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Churches and Social Issues in Twentieth-Century Britain$
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G. I. T. Machin

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198217800

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198217800.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Churches and Social Issues in Twentieth-Century Britain

G.I.T. Machin

Oxford University Press

This book deals with the reactions of the Christian Churches in Britain to a succession of social and moral change that was unprecedented within a single century. During the twentieth century, not only did state collectivism establish itself as the central means of initiating and administering social policy, but so many changes took place in personal behaviour (some of them sanctioned and encouraged by legislation) that a virtual social revolution of a non-political variety took place. In the realm of social policy, the twentieth-century watershed was the 1940s, when the welfare state was established. In regard to personal morality and behaviour, the century's watershed was the 1960s, after which a markedly different climate prevailed in these matters than had previously been the case. Whatever the extent to which the Churches had helped to provide the original climate of thought in which twentieth-century social changes came to flourish, they were clearly challenged to defend or modify their traditional attitudes as the changes developed.

Keywords:   Christian Churches, Britain, social changes, social policy, personal behaviour, welfare state, morality

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