Extremes of faith and nation: British Fascism and Christianity

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Abstract

This article surveys the relationship between British fascism and religion in both the interwar and postwar periods. After identifying a fascist tradition in Britain by drawing on the theories of ‘new consensus’ scholars, it highlights how various fascists organisations and ideologues have developed religious dimensions to their politics. From the British Fascists who presented themselves as defenders of Christianity, to the Imperial Fascist League which used religion to legitimise its anti-Semitism, to Oswald Mosey who developed his own political religion, interwar fascists are revealed as figures who used a spiritual politics as a marker of national identity. Postwar fascists such as John Tyndall and Colin Jordan are shown to be more critical of religion. Meanwhile, the British National Party has developed a new politics around faith and Christian identity, which is also now steeped in Islamopobia. Therefore, the article concludes that the relationship between British fascism and religion has a complex history and is highly relevant contemporary trends in British fascism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReligion Compass
Volume4
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2010

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