God and the British Soldier: Religion and the British Army by Michael Snape

By Michael Snape

Drawing on a wealth of latest fabric from army, ecclesiastical and secular civilian documents, Michael Snape provides a learn of the adventure of the officials and males of Britain’s massive citizen armies, and in addition of the varied non secular enterprises which ministered to them.

Historians of the 1st and moment global Wars have always underestimated the significance of faith in Britain throughout the battle years, yet this ebook exhibits that faith had a lot larger forex and effect in twentieth-century British society than has formerly been realised.

Snape argues that faith supplied a key portion of army morale and nationwide id in either the 1st and moment global Wars, and demonstrates that, opposite to authorised knowledge, Britain’s renowned non secular tradition emerged intact or even bolstered because of the army’s stories of war.

The publication covers any such diversity of disciplines, that scholars and students of army historical past, British history and faith will all reap the benefits of its purchase.

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Extra info for God and the British Soldier: Religion and the British Army in the First and Second World Wars (Christianity and Society in the Modern World)

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Deep in the hold of a ‘hell-ship’ filled with prisoners of 30 Downloaded by [INFLIBNET Centre] at 06:36 25 September 2012 1111 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7111 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 ‘DIFFUSIVE CHRISTIANITY’ war sailing from Singapore to Saigon in February 1945, Owen Eva, who later became an Anglican priest, felt that surviving this ordeal would be a hopeful sign of God’s future plans for him. As Eva remembered of a tortured night spent waiting for the ship to be torpedoed: Praying in the hold .

However, there was still a substantial presence of British units on the ground, with most Indian brigades containing a British battalion and some wholly British divisions serving in this theatre of war. The entry of Japan into the war in December 1941 found British and Indian forces poorly prepared and unduly self-confident, their spectacular discomfiture being marked by the rapid fall of Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore and Burma, a period of defeat that concluded with Japanese forces establishing themselves on the north-eastern borders of India.

To these, religion consists of living a good life, irrespective of what you believe. 44 These problems, however, were already apparent to a new generation of army chaplains. In 1943, and with major educational reform in the offing, a conference of Methodist chaplains in the Eighth Army emphasised the desperate need for proper religious education in all British schools: 28 Downloaded by [INFLIBNET Centre] at 06:36 25 September 2012 1111 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7111 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 ‘DIFFUSIVE CHRISTIANITY’ We have found painful evidence in our work as Chaplains of the failure of our educational system in both Day and Sunday schools – not only to produce a Christian philosophy of life, but even to lay the minimum foundation of religious knowledge .

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