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The Making of British Socialism$
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Mark Bevir

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150833

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150833.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

The Labour Church Movement

The Labour Church Movement

(p.278) Chapter Fourteen The Labour Church Movement
The Making of British Socialism

Mark Bevir

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks more closely at the main organizational expression of the religion of socialism, namely, the Labor Church movement. Previous historians have usually explained the rise of the Labor Church as part of a transfer of religious energy to the political sphere and then explained its demise by reference to the continuing process of secularization. In contrast, it focuses on the religious self-understanding of the Labor Church. It begins by explaining the rise of the movement by reference to the immanentist theology with which so many Victorians and Edwardians responded to the crisis of faith. Thereafter, it appeals to the ideas of the movement in order to explain its appeal, structure, and activities and to suggest that the decline of the movement reflected the weaknesses of its theology as a political theory.

Keywords:   Labor Church movement, British socialism, self-understanding, immanentist theology, secularization

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