The political theology of the morpeth review, 1927-1934

Ian Tregenza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The interwar years saw the initiation of a number of important periodicals that reflected the emerging vitality of public intellectual life in Australia. One such publication was The Morpeth Review, a quarterly that appeared between the years 1927 and 1934. Edited by three Anglican intellectuals - E. H. Burgmann, Roy Lee, and A. P. Elkin - it included contributions from prominent historians, political scientists, anthropologists, cultural critics, and theologians. Though its range of concerns was broad, it was guided by a basic vision of intellectual and social life that aimed at reconciling the conflicting elements of modernity. Such conflicts included the divide between the world of work and the family, the divide between classes, between nations, and between church and state, or more broadly, between the secular and the religious spheres. This article will suggest that in the endeavour to reconcile such competing elements The Morpeth Review expressed a kind of political theology that was modernist in inspiration (welcoming science and the critical consciousness) and drew on several overlapping traditions of thought including liberal Anglicanism, Christian socialism, and British idealism, all of which rejected the modern tendency to compartmentalise life and with it to relegate religion to the private sphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-428
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Religious History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

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