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Peter Childs

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748620432

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620432.001.0001

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Political Speech: Margaret Thatcher's Hymn at the Sermon on the Mound

Political Speech: Margaret Thatcher's Hymn at the Sermon on the Mound

Approach: Historicism

Chapter:
(p.95) Chapter 9 Political Speech: Margaret Thatcher's Hymn at the Sermon on the Mound
Source:
Texts
Author(s):

Peter Childs

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620432.003.0010

Thatcher saw herself as far more than a political leader, believing in a set of spiritual values, culled from her reading of the Old Testament, that amounted to a vision of Britain as a chosen land. Her view of the Church within this was that it should support the state and promote law and order along with the need for personal morality and self-reliance. Consequently, when the Anglican Church refused to celebrate the war at the time of the Falklands Memorial Service in 1982, Thatcher set out on a course of evangelical Methodist instruction in which she would repeatedly tell the Church its function and assert her own interpretation of the Bible, while dismissing as ‘Marxist rubbish’ the Church of England’s views on a range of subjects from nuclear disarmament to Britain’s inner cities. Consequently, the 1988 speech under consideration here, though delivered to the Church of Scotland, was, according to Henry Clark, ‘Thatcher’s interpretation of Christianity as an earnest cultivation of the bourgeois virtues’, and its ‘real target was the bishops of the Church of England’.

Keywords:   Historicism, Margaret Thatcher, Religion and Politics, ‘I Vow to Thee My Country’

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