The ‘Oldham group’, 1937–1949
People, organisations and aims
in This is your hour
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The Oldham group emerged out of J. H. Oldham’s efforts to carry forward the ideas of the 1937 Oxford ecumenical conference on ‘Church, Community and State’, one of the most important international gatherings of Christian clergy and lay thinkers in the twentieth century. Though wracked by disputes, the conference issued a clear call for Christians to respond to the political, cultural and social threats of the age, particularly totalitarianism. The organisations and projects that composed the Oldham group – the ‘Council on the Christian Faith and the Common Life’, the ‘Christian Frontier Council’, the Christian News-Letter and the discussion group known as ‘the Moot’ – are introduced along with the eight-member ‘inner circle’ on whom the book focuses: J. H. Oldham, Karl Mannheim, T. S. Eliot, John Middleton Murry, John Baillie, Alec Vidler, H. A. Hodges and Kathleen Bliss. The Oldham group foresaw the need for a ‘revolution from above’ among the British political and cultural establishment, as well as a broader effort to use media and established Christian organisations to create a Christian cultural ‘leaven’ that would enable new forms of ‘community’.

This is your hour

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


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