The Church of England and the First World War (first published in 1978) explores in depth the role of the church during the tragic circumstances of the First World War using biographies, newspapers, magazines, letters, poetry and other sources in a balanced evaluation.
The myth that the war was fought by ‘lions led by donkeys’ powerfully endures turning heroes into victims. Alan Wilkinson demonstrates the sheer horror, moral ambiguity, and the interaction between religion, the church and war with a scholarly, and yet poetic, hand. The author creates a vivid image of the church and society, includes views of the Free Churches and Roman Catholics, portrays the pastoral problems and challenges to faith presented by war, and the pressures for reform of church and society.
The Church of England and the First World War is written with compelling compassion and great historical understanding, making the book hard to put down. This expert and classic study will grip the religious and secular alike, the general reader or the student.