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Title: The political economy of fin-de-siècle Christian Socialism
Author: Budden, Daniel
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2011
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The term 'Christian Socialism' carries two meanings: firstly, it denotes an abstract political and theological idea; and secondly, it refers to the various figures and organizations who laid claim to the term throughout history, and who fought for social justice under its banner. It is the latter definition given above that describes the theoretical scope of this thesis, but on the basis of the research some tentative thoughts are offered on Christian Socialism as a political philosophy. Few works of scholarly literature have sought to critically analyse the history of the movement without also explicitly or implicitly advancing particular notions of what the 'essence' of Christian Socialism was, and what it ought to be. This thesis aims to address this historiographical imbalance by investigating the social, political, and economic ideas of the fin-de-siecle Christian Socialists in light of their historical context. To do so, the thesis conceives of Christian Socialist political economy not in terms of its leaders' theories, but as it was expounded by the movement's leading theorists as they engaged with contemporary socialist and economic discourse. These theorists were the editors and authors of the movement's political literature, which comprised numerous sermons, pamphlets, novels, textbooks, and magazines, as well as periodicals such as The Economic Review. These sources have been used to trace the Christian Socialists' attempts to challenge popular conceptions of the poor, of socialism, and of political economy, as well as their attempts to forge a Christian economics based on their understanding of contemporary strands of economic and socialist thought. The thesis uncovers several previously marginalized aspects of the history of Victorian and Edwardian Christian Socialism, such as: the movement's interaction with and use of the ideas of J. A. Hobson, Alfred Marshall, Karl Marx, and the historical school of economics; the movement's popularization of economic theory and secular socialist doctrines; and the movement's promulgation of collectivist economic socialism throughout the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available