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Title: The social sources of the Salvation Army 1865-1890
Author: Ward, Christine
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1970
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The thesis is concerned with the origin and early development of The Salvation Army, particularly its role in working-class history in the later part of the nineteenth century. It is assumed that the Army, with its proclaimed purpose "to reach the masses with the Gospel", developed into a working-class movement important in an increasingly class-conscious age. The early success of the movement reflects the continuing need for a type of religious expression suited to the emotional needs of less sophisticated groups. In this respect, it gained some of the authority which had been largely lost by an earlier generation of methodists and became sin its turn the champion of evangelical Christianity. There is evidence that the emerging working classes found relevance in such a Gospel, with its emphasis upon the necessity for individual Salvation, giving to believers the dignity of sons of God. The Army's main field of success indicates that this message was best suited to those who were already beginning to be aware of their potential status within society. In spite of its avowed aims, the Army was not conspicuously successful among the very poor, who were psychologically unsuited to any group movements. Its most numerous adherents were to be found among the stable, working-class element, those who desired above all statues and recognitions, best signified through commitment to an all-embracing cause. Amongst this class the Army, organized into its separate 'corps', functioned much as any other working-class group, although its external influence was reduced by an uncompromising insistence upon evangelism, which effectively divorced the movement from the more general aims of the working classes. Internally, however, it gave identity to the individual and to the croup and provided above all a much needed sense of mission.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available