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Christian socialism and voluntary action: feminism, suffrage and politics, 1880-1950

Christian socialism and voluntary action: feminism, suffrage and politics, 1880-1950

Martin, Mary Clare ORCID: 0000-0002-3568-6423 (2020) Christian socialism and voluntary action: feminism, suffrage and politics, 1880-1950. In: Voluntary Action History Society seminar, 10 Feb 2020, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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Before the 2019 election, when party leaders were asked for their views about the relationship between religion and politics, Jeremy Corbyn stated that the Labour party would not have existed without the Christian Socialists. Yet, most labour history has downplayed the links between religion and the Labour movement. Christian Socialists, especially women have been even more neglected, with only a few notable exceptions. This paper will examine the relationship between Christian Socialist ideology and voluntary action through a case study of one married couple, the Rev Frederic Lewis Donaldson (1860-1953) and particularly Sarah Louise Donaldson (1861-1950). It will analyse how Christian socialist beliefs, which included both theological frameworks and critiques of capitalism, permeated their different forms of activism. These included campaigns for women’s rights within workplaces as well as for the parliamentary vote, and for women to have a greater role in the ministry of the Church of England. Activism within labour politics, including the Women’s Labour League, frequently included explicit references to religion, and the significance of the sacraments. The potential of organisations such as the Church League for Women’s Suffrage and the Church Socialist League to reach a wide audience through the institutional structures of the Church of England will be considered, as will the links between “Incarnational religion” and campaigns which focused on the welfare of the human body.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: christian socialism, feminism, suffrage, politics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > History Research Group (HRG)
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2020 00:52

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