Anglicanism, anti-communism and Cold War Australia

LeRoy, Doris (2010) Anglicanism, anti-communism and Cold War Australia. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The influence of the Anglican Church within Australia during the 1950s has received insufficient historical analysis, especially given its predominant numerical strength amongst Australian churches at that time. This thesis will rectify that oversight. The Anglican Communion worldwide exerted a singular ability to sway its adherents to follow the resolutions of the Lambeth Conferences, which were attended by the international hierarchy. Australian archbishops and bishops closely adhered to the deliberations of the Lambeth Conference in 1948. Subsequently, the Communion, under the leadership of Archbishop Fisher, adopted a decidedly conservative and anti-communist stance. The visits of Dean Hewlett Johnson, Queen Elizabeth II and Dr Billy Graham throughout the 1950s saw the reinforcement of that stance. The next Lambeth Conference, in 1958, displayed a realisation that some form of negotiation with the communist nations was necessary to circumvent nuclear war. It will be demonstrated that the hierarchy of the Anglican Church in Australia, and that of some laity, did not support this understanding. The thesis also traces, through church papers and observations of clergy, the increasingly close relationship between the Episcopal Church in America and the Australian church. By the end of the 1950s, the significant challenges faced by the Anglican Church had resulted in a diminution of its influence and numerical superiority, and a need to re-evaluate its position in Australian society.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2204 Religion and Religious Traditions
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1606 Political Science
Keywords Anglican Church, Church of England, Anglicanism, church history, The Cold War, Australia, Australian society, 1950s, anti-communism, anti-communist, communism, conservatism, conservative politics, Lambeth Conference, Lambeth Conferences, international dialogue
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