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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Canon Professor Michael Snape

Snape, Michael (2017). The Bible and the British and American Armed Forces in Two World Wars. Journal of the Bible and Its Reception 4(2): DGJBR.2017.0004.R1, 247-286.

Author(s) from Durham


The role of the Bible in Great Britain and the United States in the era of the two World Wars offers new insights into the nature and trajectory of religious change in contemporary British and American society, and not least the much-vaunted religious impact of the First World War. By focusing on the use and the significance of the Bible during these conflicts, and especially its role in and for the British and American armed forces, this article illustrates the uneven quality of inter-war secularization on both sides of the Atlantic. Although rarely considered as a measure of religious change in this period, it underlines the enduring cultural significance of the Bible for Britons and Americans alike, demonstrates the Bible’s burgeoning importance during the years of the Second World War, and indicates that this development helped prepare the ground for the religious revival of the post-war era, and most notably the transatlantic success of Billy Graham.