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Study Questions for The Idea of a Christian Society


Chapter 1
  1. What makes a Christian society different from the present one (ala' England 1939)?
  2. When does a society cease to be Christian?
  3. How does Liberalism prepare the way for totalitarian governments?
  4. Why should political philosophies represent their people's worldviews?
  5. How does political speech lose its meaning?
  6. Why does industrialism create a "well-fed" mob?
  7. What problems do a tolerated, Christina minority face in a pagan society?

Chapter 2

  1. How does Eliot define a "Christian State"?
  2. Why are Christians in government not enough to address his concerns?
  3. What is the purpose of "Christian education"? What undergirds it?
  4. What distinguishes a "Christian Community" from a "Community of Christians"? (Be sure to consult pages 69-70 as well.)
  5. Why is the parish no longer effective?
  6. Why does there remain a need for a religio-social whole to shape behavior?
  7. Why are neo-agrarianism and an uncritical acceptance of modernism false answers to the current problem?
  8. How does the modern world mitigate against Christianity?
  9. How do modern economic systems work against the arts?
  10. Why is there a need for a uniform ideal in education?

Chapter 3

  1. Why is there a need for a majority, established Church?
  2. What should the Church of a Christian Society be?
  3. What are the temptations of the Established or National Church?
  4. What is the National Church's relationship to the Universal Church?

Chapter 4

  1. Why is it a mistake to identify any one form of government with Christianity?
  2. Why is the Kingdom of God always being realized, never fully realized?
  3. Why is there a need for religious orders?
  4. Why does a wrong attitude towards nature imply a wrong attitude towards God?

Appendix

  1. Why should there be some tension between Church and State?
  2. Why should the Church interfere with the World?
  3. Why is there a need for humility in the Church?
  4. Why should the Church never be identified with one political party?

General Question

How is Eliot's social and political and religious ideal present in his poetry and plays?

"All manner of thing shall be well/ When the tongues of flame are in-folded/ Into the crowned knot of fire/ And the fire and the rose are one." -- T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding