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Book Jacket

1597521353
Paperback
357 pages
Mar 2005
Wipf & Stock Publishers

Building the Kingdom of God on Earth: The Churches' Contribution to Marshal Public Support for World Order and Peace, 1919-1945

by Dr. Martin Erdmann

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Excerpt:

Introduction

In tracing the development of the idea of world federation from 1919 to 1945, it is our purpose to demonstrate that the ascendancy of internationalism as a political movement during the interwar years, and especially during the Second World War, can be credited in part to the efforts of John Foster Dulles, the chairman of the Commission on a Just and Durable Peace. Our purpose is to demonstrate that the ascendancy of internationalism as a political movement during the interwar years, and especially during the Second World War, can be credited in part to the efforts of John Foster Dulles, the chairman of the Commission on a Just and Durable Peace. Following his lead, the Federal Council of Churches conducted a successful campaign in support of world order and peace. Their strategy to focus on informing public opinion about international co-operation proved effective in drawing the United States away from the isolationism that had rejected Wilson's League of Nations and towards participation in the United Nations Organisation. The willing acceptance of America to play a leading role in the community of nations was deemed by many Church leaders an indispensable step towards the future realisation of the Kingdom of God on earth.

Of particular concern to us will be the influences of the Round Table Group on representatives of the churches in formulating a common socio-political and internationalist agenda. The Round Table Group was formed in Britain, and its dominions, at around 1910. Its principal leaders, Lionel G. Curtis and Philip Kerr, became outstanding proponents of the imperial federation movement and later of a federal 'world commonwealth'. To further their objectives, Curtis and Kerr played an instrumental role in establishing the Institute of International Affairs at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Members of the American delegation, such as John Foster Dulles and Whitney H. Shepardson, joined them in the endeavour. Disillusioned about the outcome of the Peace Conference, they decided to promote, in their respective countries, the ideal of a unified world. The American branch of the Institute of International Affairs eventually merged with the Council on Foreign Relations. The British branch became known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The founding of the United Nations Organisation in 1945, in which the United States were firmly integrated, was the crowning achievement of their concerted efforts.