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date: 24 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter the author suggests that, in their preoccupation with the Oxford Movement’s theological and ecclesiological legacy, historians have until recently overlooked its extensive social and political commentary. The author argues that the Tractarians’ obvious anti-Erastianism did not typically conduce to a simple anti-establishmentism, and that in fact the Tractarians nourished a high ideal of relations between Church and state. Equipped with that quasi-theocratic ideal, first-generation Tractarians—and not only the later Ritualists and Christian Socialists who are often thought to have first developed an incarnational politics—directed an extensive periodical and fictional commentary to the ‘condition of England’ question.

Keywords: British Critic, fiction, political thought, establishment, social thought, ‘condition of England’

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