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Resisting Totalitarianism: The Moot and a New Christendom



This article serves as an introduction to an informal fellowship of Christian intellectuals who set their sights on saving civilisation through a neo-Thomist Christian revolution in the late 1930s and 1940s. As Britain faced the threat of the totalitarian regimes on the continent, the Moot gathered to construct its programme of a ‘New Christendom’ that would counter totalitarianism and bring renewal to a decadent modern society. Although the Moot members never came to sufficient agreement to mount any significant corporate action, it makes for an interesting case study on political, social and religious thought within the British intellectual elite of the time. The impressive surviving archival material has primarily caught the attention of scholars with an interest in the more renowned Moot members, such as T. S. Eliot, Karl Mannheim, Michael Polanyi and J. H. Oldham. While providing an overview of this literature, this article will suggest that the Moot warrants further research as a case study in Christian resistance to totalitarianism.