God and the British Soldier: Religion and the British Army in the First and Second World Wars

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Routledge, May 7, 2007 - 336 pages
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Drawing on a wealth of new material from military, ecclesiastical and secular civilian archives, Michael Snape presents a study of the experience of the officers and men of Britain’s vast citizen armies, and also of the numerous religious agencies which ministered to them.

Historians of the First and Second World Wars have consistently underestimated the importance of religion in Britain during the war years, but this book shows that religion had much greater currency and influence in twentieth-century British society than has previously been realised.

Snape argues that religion provided a key component of military morale and national identity in both the First and Second World Wars, and demonstrates that, contrary to accepted wisdom, Britain’s popular religious culture emerged intact and even strengthened as a result of the army’s experiences of war.

The book covers such a range of disciplines, that students and scholars of military history, British history and Religion will all benefit from its purchase.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Diffusive Christianity and the religion of the soldier
19
2 God and the generals
59
generals chaplains and morale
83
4 The church in khaki
139
5 Religion morality and war
187
6 The army and religious philanthropy
205
Conclusion
241
Notes
247
Bibliography
275
Index
297
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About the author (2007)

Michael Snape is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham and a member of the University of Birmingham's Centre for First World War Studies. He is author of The Redcoat and Religion (Routledge, 2005) The Church of England in Industrialising Society (2003)

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