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Christianity and Social Order


Publisher writes

This book gives clear and popular expression to views which Temple held, in general, for most of his working life. The book's first appearence in 1942 coincided with a surge of feeling that victory over Nazism must be followed by a "new deal" at home. Temple's objectives are: firstly, to vindicate the Church's right to intervene in economic questions; secondly, to show that it has something worthwhile to say; and thirdly, to indicate clearly where the competence of the Church ceases because technicalities are involved. Other points he emphasises are the need to determine the proper balance between the profit motive and service to the community, and between the power of the state and the freedom of the individual; and the importance for man of rediscovering his true relationship with the earth upon which he lives.

Author Information

William Temple, Ronald H. Preston, Edward Heath

William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1942 until his death in 1944, is by common consent among the greatest holders of that office and one of the most remarkable Englishmen of this century. The son of Archbishop Frederick Temple (1897-1902) and in his twenties and thirties an Oxford don and public school headmaster, he made creative contributions in many fields: as the leader of the Life and Liberty Movement which led to the creation in 1921 of the Church Assembly; as a pioneer of the Ecumenical Movement; as a philosopher of religion (he was author of "Mens Creatrix", "Christus Veritas" and "Nature, Man and God"); as an interpreter of Christianity for the general public; and as one who argued from Christian principles to find solutions to contemporary problems.

Judges' and contributors' comments

John Atherton: Crisis in the welfare state, education, family life, work and unemployment, health, inequalities, food banks – and what should churches do about it? Temple addresses these questions not now but in 1942. His book remains a great classic of Christian social thought and practice. Not bad for six old pence!

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