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Civil Society in British HistoryIdeas, Identities, Institutions$
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Jose Harris

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199260201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199260201.001.0001

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Civil Society and the Clerisy: Christian Élites and NationalCulture, c. 1930–1950

Civil Society and the Clerisy: Christian Élites and NationalCulture, c. 1930–1950

Chapter:
(p.231) 12 Civil Society and the Clerisy: Christian Élites and NationalCulture, c. 1930–1950
Source:
Civil Society in British History
Author(s):

MATTHEW GRIMLEY

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199260201.003.0013

In August 1939, the Anglican missionary and author J. H. Oldham wrote a letter proposing the creation of ‘an order of Christian laymen’. Recipients of his letter included T. S. Eliot, the critic John Middleton Murry, and Hungarian-born sociologist Karl Mannheim. They were all members of the Moot, a discussion group convened by Oldham, a prominent missionary and pioneer of ecumenism. Oldham's suggestion of the creation of a sort of Christian élite started a debate among Moot members. This chapter argues that the Moot is an interesting case study for students of civil society in Britain because it shows the resurgence in 20th-century political thought of a medieval concept of civil society.

Keywords:   J. H. Oldham, Moot, Christian elite, civil society, Britain, Karl Mannheim, T. S. Eliot, John Middleton Murry

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