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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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Churches and Social Questions, 1970–1996

Churches and Social Questions, 1970–1996

(p.211) 7 Churches and Social Questions, 1970–1996
Churches and Social Issues in Twentieth-Century Britain

G.I.T. Machin

Oxford University Press

In the course of the twentieth century, the Christian Churches in Britain were presented with innumerable and unprecedented challenges to their moral and social assumptions. There were continuing theological battles between liberal and conservative opinion; and there was notable conflict over social policy between those of a ‘consensus’ and those of a ‘Thatcherite’ persuasion. One of the chief examples of controversy and disruption was the conflict over the ordination of women in the Church of England and other Anglican Churches in the British Isles. During the 1970s and later, the Churches also had to confront the growing effects of the permissive developments of the 1960s — a steadily rising divorce and abortion rate, a steady increase in co-habitation, and a steady increase in illegitimate births. Society continued to become on the whole more prosperous, but also to be increasingly free and unconventional in personal behaviour.

Keywords:   Christian Churches, Britain, social policy, ordination, women, divorce, abortion, personal behaviour, illegitimate births

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