‘Christian Civilization’ in Jeopardy, 1933–1953

Keith Robbins

in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780198263715
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191714283 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

‘Christian Civilization’ in Jeopardy, 1933–1953

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This chapter positions the churches in the European crisis of the 1930s. It notes a flourishing of Christian pacifism, strong Catholic support for Franco, broad approval of ‘appeasement’ of German grievances but concern about the treatment of the German churches — all in the context of a European struggle between Fascism and Communism. Continental theologians had a divisive impact as Christian doctrine was again reconsidered. There was fresh thought on the relationship between church, community, and state worldwide. Protestant-Catholic relations are particularly considered in divided Ireland and in Scotland. The Second World War (and the Cold War) both raised issues about ‘the Christian West’. Finally, post-war, the churches had to rebuild, literally and metaphorically, in the new era of the Welfare State and Socialism. The 1953 Coronation showed that Christian Britain had appeared to overcome the crises of the two previous decades.

Keywords: Cold War; Communism; coronation; fascism; Franco; Germany; pacifism; rebuilding; Second World War; Welfare State

Chapter.  43125 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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