Title: Papers and letters concerning the lay Christian ecumenical society 'The Moot'.
Classmark: BC MS 20c Moot
Main language: English
Size and medium: 1 box; manuscript, typescript (with much duplicated), and printed material.
Comprises, according to a manuscript contents list written on the inside front cover of the green folder, the following papers which are listed from the back of the file forwards: (1) Typescript copy of John Baillie's comments on Jacques Maritain's book 'True Humanism', together with comments made on it by other members of 'The Moot' and a list of members of the Society as at January 1939; (2) Typescript minutes of the discussion at the third meeting of the Society held on 6-9 January 1939 at Elfinsward, Haywards Heath; (3) Typed comments on papers written by Karl Mannheim and H.A. Hodges given by members of the Society and some outsiders; (4) Some typed 'Suggestions for the Constitution of an Order', presumably drawn up by J.H. Oldham, together with comments on the document by various members; (5) Printed 'Manifesto of the League of the Kingdom of God', entitled 'Re-call to politics', January 1939; (6) Typed list of members involved in an 'Extension of The Moot'; (7) Duplicated typescript of Karl Mannheim's paper 'Planning for Freedom'; (8) Duplicated typescript of H.A. Hodges' paper 'Towards a Plan for a new Summa'; (9) Duplicated typescript minutes of the discussion at the fourth meeting of the Society held on 14-17 April 1939 at Old Jordans Hostel, Beaconsfield; (10) Duplicated typescript copy of a letter from M. Jacques Maritain dated 14 Avril 1939 (in French); (11) Duplicated typescript of a paper entitled 'A Reborn Christianity', dated August 1939, probably written by J.H. Oldham; and (12) Several typescript letters relating to the September meeting of the Society, the latest two being dated 23 August and 12 September 1939, written from J.H. Oldham to 'Members of the Moot'.
Held loosely in its original green cardboard folder, which bears the signature of the name of the former owner and donor of the material, namely, Rev. O.S. Tomkins (who is named as an officer of the Council on the Christian Faith and the Common Life on their 1939 letterheads) and the spine title 'J.H.O.'s 'Moot' - 1939'.
'The Moot' was a lay Christian ecumenical society formed during 1939 largely on the initiative of the ecumenist, Joseph Houldsworth Oldham (1874-1969),an Oxford graduate who was converted under the preaching of D.L. Moody. In 1939 Oldham had established the short-lived Council on the Christian Faith and the Common Life with a view to encouraging the adoption of a Christian sociology in Britain, but, as he explains in the introduction to his Christian Newsletter Book 'The Resurrection of Christendom', published in 1940, he was prevented from pursuing that particular venture by the outbreak of the Second World War. 'The Moot' initiative was closely allied to the Council idea and attracted a number of prominent persons as members, including T.S. Eliot, who had become a convert to the Church of England in middle life, but it, too, was apparently short-lived. Oldham, however, later went on to help to establish the major ecumenical movement, the World Council of Churches, of which movement 'The Moot' was thus a precursor.
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