Type of Document Dissertation Author Miller-Winder, Katha URN etd-04042003-170103 Title Christian Denominations and the Nuclear Issue 1945-1985: A Model of Pressures and Constraints Degree PhD Department Political Science Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title George J. Graham Committee Chair James Lee Ray Committee Member John A. Vasquez Committee Member Kathryn H. Anderson Committee Member M. Donald Hancock Committee Member Keywords
- Nuclear Weapons
- Church and State
- Religion and Politics
- Nuclear Deterrence
- Policy-making Christian Denominations
Date of Defense 2003-01-22 Availability unrestricted AbstractPOLITICAL SCIENCE
CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS AND THE NUCLEAR ISSUE 1945-1985:
A MODEL OF PRESSURES AND CONSTRAINTS
Dissertation under the direction of Professor George J. Graham
This work examines the policy positions of four Christian denominations in five nations regarding the issue of nuclear weapons/nuclear deterrence. The nations are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States. The denominations are Anglican/Episcopal, Baptist, Presbyterian (United Church in Canada and Uniting Church in Australia), and Roman Catholic. Using a model of pressures and constraints, it examines the tension between religion and politics. Specifically it considers how pressures such as conciliar memberships and public opinion encourage a denomination to place the issue on its agenda and how constraints such as organizational structure and theology restrain a denomination in adopting policies.
The work provides an initial examination of the question. Due to the fact that no prior research on the question exists, the approach taken is very broad relying on both statistical analysis of denominational positions on the issue and a more normative analysis. While no universal explanation emerges it is shown that nationalism, organizational structure and conciliarism all play a role. The impact of these factors differs from nation to nation.
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