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Defending the FaithGlobal Histories of Apologetics and Politics in the Twentieth Century$
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Todd Weir and Hugh McLeod

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266915

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266915.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Recognising Secularisation: The Church of England and Its Struggle for a Political Role (1960–90)

Recognising Secularisation: The Church of England and Its Struggle for a Political Role (1960–90)

Chapter:
(p.272) 13 Recognising Secularisation: The Church of England and Its Struggle for a Political Role (1960–90)1
Source:
Defending the Faith
Author(s):

Peter Itzen

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266915.003.0014

For leaders of the Church of England, secularisation was such an obvious fact that it virtually became a self-fulfilling prophecy as it informed political and theological debates within the Church. This article shows how by adjusting to secularisation the Church demonstrated a remarkable degree of resilience and managed to remain an important national voice – at least until the end of the Thatcher era. Three factors were of particular relevance in this development: First, the use of old networks which gave the Church of England privileged access to the political establishment. Second, the professionalisation of its political structure that equipped the Church with expertise. Third, complex changes within the Anglican theological strands that were opened up for political and social issues. These elements enabled the Church to develop new political agendas that were able to substitute political and moral positions that had become obsolete in the era of secularisation.

Keywords:   Church of England, Secularisation, Resilience, Professionalisation, political establishment

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