Involvement of members of the Auckland Diocese of the Anglican Church in the peace movement since 1945 : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Religious Studies at Massey University
The subject of this thesis is the involvement of members of the Auckland Diocese of the Anglican Church in the peace movement since 1945. An introductory chapter on the development of Christian attitudes towards peace and war concludes that although the Augustinian just war model became the standard Anglican tool for justifying Christian participation in warfare, the limitations on violence explicit in that model also gave a theological justification for opposing modern warfare. The second and third chapters document the activities of the Auckland sub-branch of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship This organisation, despite its small size, was active in promoting an absolute pacifist view of Christianity. It is suggested that much of its failure was a result of it being over ambitious, expecting people to make a major leap when a series of smaller steps may have been more appropriate. The fourth chapter, on the Vietnam War, contrasts two public marches in Queen Street symbolic of the unwillingness of most Anglicans at this time to consider foreign policy issues independently of considerations of patriotism, but also suggests that disillusionment with Vietnam provided a foundation for anti-nuclear protests. Chapter five is based mainly on the recollections of George Armstrong concerning the peace squadron, but also documents how one inner city parish responded to the challenges of the 1970s and 1980s. The final chapter concludes that Auckland Anglicans were more likely to respond to peace issues in response to some personal feeling of threat than because of a commitment to Biblical principles and that in most instances their theology is used to justify their actions rather than as a reason for those actions.