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Nineteenth-Century British Christian Socialism: Association rather than Competition

Ross B. Emmett


This article traces the origins, varieties, and trajectory of Christian socialism in Britain in the nineteenth century. Reacting to theological acceptance of the new science of political economy, particularly as articulated by the Rev. T. Robert Malthus, as well as, after his time, the divergence of mainstream economics from theology, the Christian socialists sought a foundation for Christian political economy other than competition. They believed to have found it in cooperation, but what that meant to conservative Anglican clergymen F. D. Maurice and Charles Kingsley differed from the more radical J. M. Ludlow. Nevertheless, together their grassroots efforts differed from later generations’ advocacy for state action, which would ultimately taint the movement’s reputation in the twentieth century, though it has seen a resurgence since the ministry of Tony Blair.

Ross B. Emmett, "Nineteenth-Century British Christian Socialism: Association rather than Competition," Journal of Markets & Morality 26, no. 1 (20223): 7-25

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