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Title: The Church of England and Britain's Cold War, 1937-1948
Author: Reeh, Tina Alice Bonne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 4181
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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The thesis deals with Britain's early Cold War history and the political history of the Church of England. It mainly uses primary sources, and contributes to our growing understanding of the early Cold War, especially in its cultural/religious elements. It explores how the Church of England dealt with the development of the early Cold War in Britain. It argues that in order to understand better the Church of England's role, an account of its perspective on issues of state modernisation dating back to at least the 1930s is necessary. It was then, during a decade of authoritarianism, and especially at the Oxford Conference of 1937, that the Church' standpoint towards secularisation was established, while the transnational agenda of the ecumenical movement was also adopted and internalized by Church of England. The thesis also examines the agencies which it built and worked with: in particular the British Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. As the Church is the Established Church, its relationship with specific government agencies, especially the British Foreign Office and the Ministry of Information also became increasingly important. The thesis reveals the Church of England's lack of autonomy in time of crisis and the importance of key individuals for the institutional leadership of the Church. Its ecumenical agenda had played an important role, but this was under pressure after the War, as a Europe-wide Christian community was increasingly challenged by 'Western Union' plans for a Cold War Western, Christian community and bloc. By 1948 the Church had been enrolled in the Cold War between East and West which was apparent in its alignment with British government policies and its withdrawn role in the ecumenical community. The thesis adds to our understanding of the Church of England's relationship to the state in these years, and contributes to the cultural dimension of the early Cold War in Britain.
Supervisor: Deighton, Anne Sponsor: Danish Council for Independent Research
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Christianity and politics--Great Britain--History--20th century ; Cold War--Religious aspects ; Ecumenical movement--History--20th century ; Great Britain--Church history--20th century ; Great Britain--Foreign relations--20th century ; Great Britain--Politics and government--20th century