The Clergy in Khaki: New Perspectives on British Army Chaplaincy in the First World War

1st Edition

Edward Madigan, Michael Snape

Routledge
Published November 17, 2016
Reference - 238 Pages
ISBN 9781138279285 - CAT# Y315861
Series: Routledge Studies in First World War History

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Summary

British army chaplains have not fared well in the mythology of the First World War. Like its commanders they have often been characterized as embodiments of ineptitude and hypocrisy. Yet, just as historians have reassessed the motives and performance of British generals, this collection offers fresh insights into the war record of British chaplains. Drawing on the expertise of a dozen academic researchers, the collection offers an unprecedented analysis of the subject that embraces military, political, religious and imperial history. The volume also benefits from the professional insights of chaplains themselves, several of its contributors being serving or former members of the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department. Providing the fullest and most objective study yet published, it demonstrates that much of the post-war hostility towards chaplains was driven by political, social or even denominational agendas and that their critics often overlooked the positive contribution that chaplains made to the day-to-day struggles of soldiers trying to cope with the appalling realities of industrial warfare and its aftermath. As the most complete study of the subject to date, this collection marks a major advance in the historiography of the British army, of the British churches and of British society during the First World War, and will appeal to researchers in a broad range of academic disciplines.

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