Explorations on the frontier: I Faith and the social order
in This is your hour
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Chapter 2 introduces one of the group’s key concepts – what Oldham called the ‘frontier’ between faith and social life – and examines how the group defined a socially relevant religious worldview despite there being dramatically divergent viewpoints among Christians about the relationship between faith and society. The group saw an emerging ‘convergence’ in Christian demands for a radical reshaping of dominant ideas, cultural norms and social practice in accordance with Christian understandings of human nature and the purposes of social life. They sought ‘middle axioms’ to express how eternal, universal Christian principles applied to modern, complex societies. Five theological influences on the group stand out: (1) a self-critical theological ‘liberalism’, (2) the ‘Christian realism’ of Reinhold Niebuhr, (3) the neo-Thomist philosophy of Jacques Maritain, (4) ‘continental’ Protestant theology (which was largely rejected) and (5) varieties of ‘personalism’

This is your hour

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


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