Sunday, May 8, 2011

'Woodbine Willie': After War, Is Faith Possible?

Starting a new blog on the First World War as we approach 2014. I'll have a thread on Chaplains like Woodbine Willie. From a recent reissue of his writings at The Lutterworth Press,
"There are no words foul and filthy enough to describe war." So declared Geoffrey 'Woodbine Willie' Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), a decorated frontline chaplain whose battlefield experiences in World War I transformed him into the most eloquent defender of Christian pacifism of his generation.

Studdert Kennedy was also a tireless champion of the social gospel who wrote a dozen books, scores of articles, hundreds of poems, and preached countless sermons in both the UK and the US promoting economic justice. Studdert Kennedy’s writing and preaching influenced an entire generation. William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, described him as a true prophet.

Even though he has fallen into obscurity with the passage of years, Studdert Kennedy’s message still inspires the likes of Desmond Tutu and Jurgen Moltmann.

This collection of Studdert Kennedy’s work, the first in 60 years, seeks to introduce this most relevant of thinkers to our troubled times. The book pulls together Studdert Kennedy’s most important writings on war and peace, poverty, the problem of evil, the Church’s role in the world, sin and atonement, the suffering God, love versus force as world powers, and the beloved community. Editor Kerry Walters introduces the texts with a biographical and thematic essay.