BUCHAN’S POWER HOUSE

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I have been posting on some books that appeared during the First World War – books by Wells, Moore, and Machen – but one contribution from that time was one of the most daring and, we might even say, prophetic. Amazingly in light of his later reputation, the author in question was John Buchan. His [Read More...]

THE GHOSTS OF WARS TO COME

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As we commemorate the First World War in coming months, we are going to hear a great many myths and mis-statements. Although it certainly is not the most pernicious, let me just correct one of the more persistent. Recently, the Weekly Standard presented an interesting review by J. Harvie Wilkinson III, who began, “Back then, [Read More...]

MACHEN’S TERROR

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I recently published the book The Great and Holy War, about the supernatural dimensions of the First World War. In connection with that project, I have posted on some of the major books of that era, including works by George Moore and H. G. Wells. I am arguing that the war’s astonishing violence inspired both [Read More...]

THE FOUR HORSEMEN

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Following on from my book The Great and Holy War, I have been working on the religious and apocalyptic aspects of the First World War, and have recently posted on some major popular culture items from that time. I find myself concentrating on 1916, the year of Mr Britling Sees It Through and The Brook [Read More...]

TECTONIC FAITH

In my new book The Great and Holy War, I argued that the catastrophe of the First World War transformed the world’s great religions. I continue to think through some of the implications of this story, for what it might tell us about the history of religions more generally. (I have already posted a couple [Read More...]

THE BROOK KERITH

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I recently published the book The Great and Holy War, about the religious and apocalyptic dimensions of the First World War era. Looking at the best-selling books of those years gives us a sense of the strong and diverse religious interests of that time, and the results are often surprising. Who for instance would think [Read More...]

SEEING IT THROUGH

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Here’s a question. I am going to quote a passage published in 1916 by a famous British novelist. Who was it? Religion is the first thing and the last thing, and until a 
man has found God and been found by God, he begins at no beginning, he works to no end. He may have [Read More...]

THE GREAT AND HOLY WAR

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Not long since, I posted about my current book project on the First World War, and especially its supernatural and apocalyptic dimensions. That grew out of a long-standing fascination with the period roughly between 1890-1920, and a host of writers I loved – from Conrad, Joyce and Kipling through Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood, Jack [Read More...]

FROM ANGELS TO ARMAGEDDON

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Over the past couple of years, I have been working on a book about the religious aspects of the First World War, to be published in this centennial year of 2014. It will appear this coming May, as The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade (HarperOne). It’s an ambitious [Read More...]

WAR AND GOD’S KINGDOM

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Wars often change and reshape religions. I have posted recently, for instance, on how the chaos of war can stir apocalyptic expectations and fears, and spawn new religious movements. War can also have a powerful effect on theology, on how they see the church’s role. Historically, churches have repeatedly discredited themselves by their uncritical acceptance [Read More...]


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