Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Church, State and Propaganda: The Archbishop of York and International Relations, A Political Study of Cyril Forster Garbett, 1942-1955

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Church, State and Propaganda: The Archbishop of York and International Relations, A Political Study of Cyril Forster Garbett, 1942-1955

Article excerpt

Church, State and Propaganda: The Archbishop of York and International Relations, A Political Study of Cyril Forster Garbett, 1942-1955. By Dianne Kirby (Hull: University of Hull Press. 1999. Pp. vi, 303. L14.99 paperback.)

Christianity has played a major role in the growth and development of western civilization. Marxists and other secularists, however, have taken a critical view of religion and have even predicted its demise. Events of the twentieth century, which has seen two world wars and the Holocaust, seemed to confirm its declining significance in the contemporary world. But communism has collapsed and Christianity appears to be thriving. Important in any discussion of modern religion is its connection with politics, and Dianne Kirby re-evaluates the political role of the Anglican Church and the actions of the Archbishop of York, Cyril Forster Garbett, and shows how religion became a defense against godless communism. According to the author, "This study ventures into the field of `the most contested concept'-ideology, bringing together the political and the religious in a way not previously attempted" (p. 1).

After a brief biography of Garbett (1875-1955), which emphasizes his concern for the poorer members of society and his early work in the Anglican Church, Kirby begins her analysis of Garbett's view of the relationship of church and state in 1942, when he was enthroned as Archbishop of York. As Archbishop, he effectively promoted the war effort and worked with the Ministry of Information and the Foreign Office. Consequently, Garbett came to believe that the church had an important part to play in modern society as an equal partner with the state. Kirby successfully demonstrates how this principle guided Garbett in his defense of a Christian western civilization against the evils of atheistic communism and shows how Archbishop Garbett responded to the anxiety created by fear of Soviet domination. …

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