Introduction
‘This is your hour’
in This is your hour
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The Oldham group were British Christian intellectuals, with each term locating it in a key sphere: a national (British) context with specific identities and assumptions; a religious (Christian) context defined against ‘secularism’; and a public (intellectual) context marked by certain forms of cultural authority. After a long period of neglect, there is increasing interest in Christian responses to the Second World War, the crises that preceded it and the social rebuilding that followed. The concept of ‘middle ways’ is introduced to describe the group’s recurring intellectual approach, referring either to taking a moderate position between perceived extremes or constructing a synthesis of different – even contradictory – elements. Middle ways reflected the intellectual content of the group’s ideas or also strategies for implementing them. Various kinds of ‘betweenness’ were involved and define the chapters that follow: paths were sought between Protestantism and Catholicism, faith and secularity, laissez-faire capitalism and collectivist socialism, rootless internationalism and nationalism, freedom and order, and egalitarianism and elitism.

This is your hour

Christian intellectuals in Britain and the crisis of Europe, 1937–1949

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