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Title: The origins, context and ideology of industrial mission, 1875-1975
Author: Lurkings, E. H.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1981
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During the years following the Second World War, the "industrial mission" movement has attained a position of some prominence within the major denominations in England, especially within the established Church. Although the movement appears to be novel, it is in fact but the latest development in a series of movements whose origins reach back to the last . quarter of the nineteenth century and whose history is traced in this volume. The description and analysis of these movements focusses on the developing ideology of industrial mission and its relation to the social and economic order which provided the context of mission activity and to which the missions constituted a response. Industrial mission ideology has usually evidenced a strong ethical concern with social and industrial relations expressed in ideas about "the social relevance of Christian teaching" or "the need to discover the social meaning of the Gospel" and yet, paradoxically, at the level of practical issues, the missions have tended to collapse into ambiguity and incoherence. As a sociological type of religious movement, the Church seeks to comprehend the whole society and all legitimate interests within its embrace and thus tends to provide an ideological reflection of the existing structure of social relations and interests. Rigorous attempts to translate Christian ethical ideas into models of social and economic action involve the risk, if not the certainty, of offending important interests with an investment in the existing structure of social relations. The Church, therefore, is constantly caught between its ethical concerns and its need to maintain the goodwill of important social groups, a dilemma which is nowhere more apparent than in the relation between the industrial missions and the industries they service. Anxious to show that Christianity has some bearing on industrial life, but with their activities based upon the presence of the chaplain in the factory, and therefore dependent on maintaining the goodwill of competing industrial interests, they are forced into an ideological ambiguity which, while it secures their legitimacy within the factory, preserves only the illusion of ethical concern.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History History