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1937–1939
Carolyn Sanzenbacher

Chapter 3 opens with analysis of a July 1937 ICCAJ study on antisemitism at an international conference in Vienna, advanced by delegates from eighteen countries. The consultative statements on racial antisemitism delivered ten days later to the historic UCCLW Oxford conference that ushered in the World Council of Churches in Formation (WCCIF) bore significantly on ICCAJ’s increasing status as ecumenical expert on the Jewish problem. The subsequent restructuring of UCCLW into WCCIF in 1938 moved the social-issue and conversionary arms of the movement into closer proximity by way of powerful overlapping roles in leadership. Ongoing Nazi aggression increasing the refugee crisis furthered the move by bringing ICCAJ and the social-issue arm of WCCIF into collaborative proximity. Both trajectories responded by taking on new refugee-related roles that led incrementally to collaboration on other Jewish issues. Beginning with Germany’s Anschluss of Austria in March 1938 and increasing after Kristallnacht in November, joint efforts led to a spring 1939 launch of an ecumenical office for non-Aryan Christian refugees in London. The directorship, which was slated for the ICCAJ director, was inadvertently altered by the sudden onset of war and the subsequent relocation of the refugee office to Geneva. Against these backdrops and woven throughout were the ongoing efforts of UCCLW, and then WCCIF, to advance ecumenical unity through maintenance of relations with all parts of the German Protestant church, including the Reich church aligned with the Nazi state.

in Tracking the Jews
The Canadian Official Record and the treatment of Maher Arar
Peter Finn

In September 2002 a Canadian citizen of Syrian origin, Maher Arar, was detained at JFK airport in New York City. Arar was detained in New York for eleven days prior to an extraordinary rendition to Syria via Jordan. In Syria, Arar was subject to physical abuse and torture, and held until October 2003. Following his release, a commission of inquiry was held in Canada. Among other things, this commission documented issues with the Canadian state’s sharing and receiving of material about Arar and his mistreatment and torture in Syria. Via engagement with material from the ‘Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar’ (the Arar Commission) this chapter highlights issues that can arise with the sharing of the Official Record between states. The chapter has three main sections. The first section documents the circumstances that led to the capture of Arar in New York, his treatment in custody in the US, his rendition to, and brief detention in, Jordan and his transfer to and almost year-long detention in Syria. Arar was mistreated while in Jordan, and over a more prolonged period was tortured in Syria. Next, the chapter outlines the main documents placed into the Public Record by the Arar Commission. Finally, the chapter highlights two key issues arising from the sharing of the official records between two different states.

in The Official Record
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Political-legal tensions in going to war and the art of the possible for the Public Record
Louise Kettle

On 17 March 2003 the British government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Tony Blair, agreed to join a coalition of thirty-eight other countries in an invasion of Iraq. The coalition’s mission, with the United States taking the lead, was to topple the Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein, destroy the threat of weapons of mass destruction and bring peace, security and democracy to the Iraqi people. It was one of Britain’s biggest national security decisions of the twenty-first century. From the very beginning, the decision to go to war had been controversial. There was considerable media criticism, Cabinet resignations and large-scale street protests. Under significant political pressure, the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced the establishment of the Iraq Inquiry, one month before British combat forces left Iraq. This chapter examines the events surrounding the Iraq Inquiry. It discusses the rationale for the establishment of the inquiry, the challenges and significance of the inquiry for the Public Record and its impact on the subsequent historiography of the Iraq War. In addition this chapter uses the official and historical records gathered by the inquiry to demonstrate some of the competing political-legal tensions in planning a war. Finally, it warns of the current gaps and biases that exist in the Public Record on the war in Iraq and finishes by offering some reflections on the challenges related to placing information related to national security into the Public Record.

in The Official Record
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Brian Heffernan

The conclusion summarises the main findings of this Dutch Discalced Carmelite case study for the use of scholars of the female religious life more widely. It makes eight points: victim spirituality was central to the history of modern women religious and there are non-reductionist ways of analysing this; the public performance of the cloistered life involved an enduring paradox that marked many of its aspects; the conciliar and post-conciliar renewal of the religious life was a project mainly promoted by the clergy; contemplative nuns appropriated renewal and attempted to steer it into ways that reflected their own priorities; reformism and traditionalism, as responses to the challenge of renewal, should be historicised as competing but not dissimilar manifestations of a new, ‘expressive’ concept of the religious life; there was a degree of continuity in the religious life of Carmelites that defied the turn to self and the notion of expressive religion; historical analysis of prayer must be alert to its polysemic nature; and prayer can and must be historicised as performance of self.

in Modern Carmelite nuns and contemplative identities
Insights from the WikiLeaks cables
Rubrick Biegon

Leaked documents can function as an excellent means of contextualising the Official Record. This chapter makes use of diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks to analyse the United States’ foreign and security policy toward Venezuela during the tenure of President Hugo Chávez (1999–2013). The talisman of Latin America’s Pink Tide of leftist leaders who gained international prominence in the 2000s, Chávez sought to spearhead a regional movement against US hegemony. Acknowledging the methodological limitations of working with leaked materials, the chapter argues that the detail found in the cables strengthens scholarly accounts of the United States’ response to Chávez, providing an important internal perspective on the decisions underpinning US diplomacy and foreign policy-making. Efforts to contain Chávez and his regional movement can be traced through the Public Record, including the leaked cables, providing a critical and nuanced understanding of Washington’s aims and strategic approach. This chapter begins with a discussion of the WikiLeaks archive, explores the methodology adopted for the chapter, and notes some troubling actions of WikiLeaks as an organisation. Next it explores US foreign policy towards Chávez. In the final section it traces the relationship between Chávez and chavismo as shown in the leaked diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks. Particularly in the final section, there are discussions of the broader politics and diplomacy of Latin America.

in The Official Record
Prayer and the turn to self, 1970–2020
Brian Heffernan

This chapter explores the outcome of renewal: the construction of a new identity as contemplatives in an expressive culture. Human values such as community spirit and spontaneity were highly esteemed, and the new concept of spirituality was discursive rather than ritual or devotional, requiring narrative expression of experiences and feelings. Life as a Carmelite required the performance of a new persona: that of the mature, free but conscientious religious. The new Carmelite identity pivoted around prayer, and, although many sisters experimented with novel, extemporaneous forms, mental prayer according to a now non-dolorist reading of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross remained core. Discourse about Carmelite prayer focused particularly on an apophatic interpretation of John’s dark night of the soul. This also shows the limits of the turn to self and the expressive revolution for Carmelite life: new acquaintance with John of the Cross gave the sisters a sense of the inadequacy of experience. The reinvention of Carmelite identity and spirituality entailed shifts in memory, as dolorism and victim spirituality were expunged from the new narrative, in line with the ‘othering’ of the traditional in media representations. But legacies of the past continued to obtrude on the present, particularly around the beatification and canonisation of Edith Stein in the 1980s and 1990s. The chapter also looks at the evolving Carmelite presence in society amid the closure of convents, and addresses heritagisation, post-Christian nostalgia and oblivion.

in Modern Carmelite nuns and contemplative identities
Brian Heffernan

Chapter 1 sets the stage for the analysis of discourses of spirituality and identity in the subsequent chapters. It does this, under ‘convents’, by providing an event-based historical overview of Carmelite history, particularly of the foundations of Carmelite convents in the Netherlands from early modern times to the 1950s, and of the complicated process of merging and closing convents from the 1970s onwards as the population of sisters declined. This section gives readers a sense of the geographical spread and chronological waxing and waning of the Carmelite presence in the Netherlands. It also discusses the motives for foundations, including the culture wars as they occurred in Germany and France, and the church politics involved in the order’s slow retreat, from 1970 to 2020. Under ‘sisters’, it looks at the composition of the population itself, with particular regard to nationality and social background, recruitment strategies, vocation narratives and internal stratification between choir nuns, lay sisters and extern sisters. Finally, under ‘power’, it addresses power relations within convents and between the communities, external authorities and other parties. Gender roles are discussed, as well as the models that were proposed to justify or contest power relations. This chapter gives readers all the context they need to understand the rest of the book.

in Modern Carmelite nuns and contemplative identities
1925–1932
Carolyn Sanzenbacher

To place the unprecedented initiative within that historical development, the 1925 conference that evolved into UCCLW unanimously affirmed the need for a marshalling of Christian forces in the area of ‘burning’ social problems. Two months later, the IMC missionary thrust so central to ecumenical aims issued a call for Christian experts to take up the study of the ‘Jewish problem’. At the centre of the call was belief that a universal Jewish problem would not have emerged had the Church not failed historically to ameliorate world Jewry through Christianisation. By the spring of 1927 the unanimity of 175 delegates from mainstream Protestant bodies in twenty-six countries had produced a series of transnational conference findings on relations between the Jewish problem and the societal need for Jewish conversion. The International Committee on the Christian Approach to the Jews (ICCAJ), whose theoretical base was grounded in the claims of those findings, was brought into existence in 1929 as an international lobbying initiative for adoption of official church policy on Jews and Jewish missions. By the eve of Hitler’s rise, with regional sectors in Continental Europe, Britain and North America, it was a fully constituted body, a brand name programme of Jewish evangelisation said to be promoted in thirty-six countries, and the self-christened agent for educating Protestant churches on the ‘right’ Christian attitude toward Jews, the Jewish problem and Nazi antisemitism. The long-term result was a widely disseminated discourse on conversionary solution under the banner of an enlarging vision of Christian benovolence.

in Tracking the Jews
Robert Ledger

The 1994 Pergau Dam inquiry shone a spotlight on policy practices that embarrassed a number of Conservative politicians and angered the British public, ultimately leading to a cleaving of the Overseas Development Administration from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a change in the law regarding ‘tied aid’ in British overseas development policy. Whilst carrying out the inquiry, the Foreign Affairs select committee demonstrated the interplay between the oversight role of the UK Parliament, the Official Record and government policy-making. The 1996 Scott Report into the Arms to Iraq scandal, likewise, showed the opacity of ministerial accountability and arms sales, adding to calls for more open government and freedom of information legislation. Drawing on under-utilised aspects of the official and public records, as well as academic work, this chapter explores the intersection between the Westminster Select Committee system and scandals stemming from British foreign and arms policy with Malaysia and Iraq. This chapter first introduces Westminster select committees. Next, elements of UK arms and trade policy under the premierships of Margaret Thatcher and John Major are documented. Attention then moves, in turn, to the Pergau Dam and Arms to Iraq scandals. The final section documents the impact of these two scandals on UK foreign and aid policy.

in The Official Record
1933–1936
Carolyn Sanzenbacher

The lens is adjusted so that over the next three chapters ICCAJ’s developing views on antisemitism and the Jewish problem are juxtaposed on a shared landscape of UCCLW-WCCIF responses to unfolding Nazi persecution of Jews. Beginning with the ascension of Hitler in January 1933, three events shaped the parameters of response. First, the threat of ecumenical division was reignited in March over Germany’s handling of its Jewish problem, lodging as a permanent feature informing decisions about what could and could not be said about Germany. Second, the introduction of Nazi Aryan legislation began to be viewed as an attack against Christianity, moving the perceived anti-Christian aspects of Nazi antisemitism to the forefront of transnational ecumenical concerns. Third, the September adoption of the Aryan Paragraph by the Prussian Synod and the subsequent outbreak of the Confessing church internal struggle against the Deutsche Christen faction began to be ecumenically explained as a representative fight on behalf of the Church Universal. As this path was being sedulously cut by UCCLW leaders, ICCAJ’s goals remained focused on efforts to educate Protestant audiences about the Jewish problem, convince them of the need for conversionary cure and disseminate theory about the causes of antisemitism. Both before and after enactment of the 1935 Nuremberg Laws and the corresponding increase in Nazi propaganda on ‘Judaisation’, ICCAJ pointed with frequency to a ‘renaissance of Jewishness’, Jewish racial identity with nationalism and increasing atheistic Jews as ‘undeniable entrenchment of Jewry in opposition to Christianity’.

in Tracking the Jews