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New Book Explores Role of Church in Some of the World’s Biggest Conflicts

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Religion has often played a role in conflicts around the world – no matter what your beliefs. And no more so than during the Twentieth Century when war raged across Europe, and beyond.

A new book, co-edited by two expert historians of religion – Dr Stephen Parker of the University of Worcester and Professor Tom Lawson of the University of Winchester - explores the links between war and religion; from the throngs of men who gathered to hear the Bishop of London preach recruiting sermons during the First World War, to the attention paid to Archbishop Williams' words of conscience on Iraq.

God and War: The Church of England and Armed Conflict in the Twentieth Century examines some important questions about the changing relationship between the Church and people living through difficult times.

“The book discusses the Church of England and its place in society; the relationship between the Church and politics; and explores how what the Church says at times of conflict can have an impact on people’s views,” said Dr Parker.

“We try to be as impartial as possible but it’s hard not to conclude that the Church did have a voice in terms of conflict.”

The book explores the views and accounts of Anglican clerics on the issue of warfare and international conflict across the century, the authors explore the church's stance on the causes, morality and conduct of warfare; issues of pacifism, obliteration bombing, nuclear possession and deterrence, retribution, forgiveness and reconciliation, and the spiritual opportunities presented by conflict.

The book is aimed at church and religious historians, as well as political historians and is published by Ashgate.