Westminster: The Council for Defense of Church Principles, . First edition. Staple-bound (7 1/4 inches tall) in original printed brown wrappers. Fine. Item #1326
"I AM WRITING AS AN ANGLICAN LAYMAN TO THE LAITY"
First edition of T.S. Eliot's argument against a proposed plan to unite the Anglican dioceses in South India under a single entity. Printed by Pax House and issued as part of their series of pamphlets by The Council for Defense of Church Principles.
Reorganizing the Church of England in India was controversial within the Anglican Communion, especially among Anglo-Catholics. Inspired perhaps by Eliot's abiding interest in Indian philosophy, the issue festered amid the gathering momentum for Indian independence against the backdrop of Colonialism. Dismissing the scheme as "fundamentally unsound," Eliot warns that "the future of a Church of England, enlarged according to the pattern of South India, would be as an organ of the totalitarian state, charged with the preservation of morality in the interest of that state. It would be a National Church, not in the sense of representing the true religious spirit of the people, but as a department of the Board of Education." Published in November 1943 as Number 7.in the series (a list of 9 titles is printed inside the rear wrapper). Despite this effort, the church union was soon effected in 1947. This pamphlet was not published in the United States. Donald Gallup. T.S. Eliot: A Bibliography, A43.