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Title: Renewal in the church, social reconstruction and a community on Iona : the origins and development of George MacLeod's Christian Social Vision in 1930s Scotland
Author: Somerville, Anastasia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 9291
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis argues that George MacLeod, Church of Scotland minister and popular radio preacher, developed a distinctive Christian social vision whilst working in Govan, in the 1930s. The vision, which called for renewal in corporate worship and a new ‘social gospel’, has been underestimated in its importance. For renewal, he promoted aspects of liturgical and sacramental traditions within Scoto and Anglo-Catholicism and reinterpreted doctrine and scripture in the light of modern scientific and biblical scholarship, encouraging more sophisticated expressions of faith for increasingly literate congratulations. His ‘social gospel’ and new theological profile, influenced by Anglican expressions of ‘Christian Socialism’, developed in response to endemic social injustices within mature capitalist economies, rising collective movements and communist and fascist ideologies, which threatened to remove injustices through violent means. MacLeod sympathised increasingly with political socialism, supporting gradual and peaceful reform. His eclectic vision grew out of experiences of war, the legacy of previous MacLeod Tory paternalists and radical clerics, by the theatre and symbolism of Eastern Orthodox traditions and popular themes within ‘Celtic Christianity’. These reinforced his emphasis on the incarnation, divine immanence, ecumenism and community; themes associated with ‘Christian Socialism’. MacLeod joined John White’s crusade, in the 1930s, to review national religion, the parish system and godly commonwealth ideal. However, admiring the ecumenical movement and figures like John Baillie and William Temple, he sought a united Christian witness across boundaries of nation, ethnicity, class and denomination. Iona, boasting its important pre-reformation Christian witness, seemed to symbolise an indigenous yet ecumenical expression of the faith, during Scotland’s interwar romantic cultural renaissance. This research contextualises his teachings, explains the development of his vision and uncovers the original purpose of the Iona Community he founded in 1938, more fully than any previous research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Socialism, Christian ; Iona (Scotland)