Assessing the Influence of Muscular Christianity in wartime public schools (1914-1951) - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2018

Assessing the Influence of Muscular Christianity in wartime public schools (1914-1951)

Clémence Pillot
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Abstract

This paper will look back on the influence of Muscular Christianity, introduced by Thomas Arnold at Rugby School in the 1830s and later popularised by Thomas Hughes in Tom Brown’s Schooldays (1857). Drawing on St Paul’s athletic and military imagery, Muscular Christianity linked religious certainty and physical strength to the promotion of rightful causes. Together with military training, Muscular Christian values as taught by the schools helped explain the disproportionate losses suffered in the Great War by privately-educated officers whose fatality rate reached 18% as opposed to 11% nationally. The paper will then come back on the declining influence of Muscular Christianity in the wake of the Great War as Siegfried Sassoon’s and Robert Graves’s realistic accounts of the war became more widely-read than Rupert Brooke’s Muscular Christian verses, as noticeable in national as well as public school cultures. The paper will conclude on the way World War Two public schools renegotiated this cultural legacy, remaining quite religious and patriotic yet producing new discourses on military involvement and accepting forms of dissent.
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Dates and versions

hal-03682147 , version 1 (30-05-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03682147 , version 1

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Clémence Pillot. Assessing the Influence of Muscular Christianity in wartime public schools (1914-1951). JE Education dans les pays anglophones et francophones, Nov 2018, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. ⟨hal-03682147⟩
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