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‘Blessed are the Pacifists’: E. W. Barnes of Birmingham and Pacifism, 1914–45

Parker, Stephen (2009) ‘Blessed are the Pacifists’: E. W. Barnes of Birmingham and Pacifism, 1914–45. Midland History, 34 (2). pp. 204-219. ISSN Print: 0047-729X Online: 1756-381X

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The contribution of E.W. Barnes, bishop of Birmingham 1924–1953, is dealt
with only in passing in the historiography of both pacifi sm and the Church
of England, and then somewhat scathingly. This is somewhat surprising
given the durability of his personal absolute pacifi st conviction and his clear
pastoral role to many leading Christian pacifi sts of the time. Seeking to
remedy this historiographical oversight, this paper traces the origin of
Barnes’s moral conviction and the measure of his contribution in terms of
his interaction with many Christian and non-Christian pacifi st individuals
and groups in Birmingham and elsewhere against the backdrop of world
events. Barnes’s contribution requires such reassessment, for though he
lacked the common touch and charisma to make a popular leader, his
infl uence upon the movement was manifest. Of particular note is the clear
infl uence of Barnes’s eugenics upon his conceptualisation of pacifi sm.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Birmingham, Church of England, eugenics, pacifism, second world war
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
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Depositing User: Janet Davidson
Date Deposited: 17 May 2016 14:39
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:11

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