Birmingham's Evangelical free churches and the First World War

Vail, Andy (2019). Birmingham's Evangelical free churches and the First World War. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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This thesis demonstrates that the First World War did not have a major long-term impact on the evangelical free churches of Birmingham. Whilst many members were killed in the conflict, and local church auxiliaries were disrupted, once the participants – civil and military – returned, the work and mission of the churches mostly continued as they had before the conflict, the exception being the Adult School movement, which had been in decline prior to the conflict. It reveals impacts on local church life, including new opportunities for women amongst the Baptist and Congregational churches where they began to serve as deacons. The advent of conscription forced church members to personally face the issue as to whether as Christians they could in conscience bear arms. The conflict also speeded ecumenical co-operation nationally, in areas such as recognition of chaplains, and locally, in organising local prayer meetings and commemorations. The close of the conflict galvanised support for the League of Nations and for international co-operation which had been interrupted by the conflict. It has shown evidence of combatants and non-combatants alike being sustained through the conflict by their faith. Responses to the conflict varied from enthusiastic support to absolute opposition.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I


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