|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is organized in one series arranged by format and then chronologically.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains pamphlets, newspaper articles, advertisements, and other publications and materials related to the mission of the MRA, as well as press releases and statements made by MRA on the events happening in the world during the late 1950s.
Burke Library record group:
William Adams Brown Ecumenical Library Archives
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, WAB: Oxford Group Moral Re-Armament records, 1930-1961, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The exact provenance of this collection is unknown. The collection is part of the William Adams Brown Ecumenical Library Collection, which was founded in 1945 by the Union Theological Seminary Board of Directors.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. The finding aid was created by Sarah Davis and Brigette Kamsler in 2014 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2021.
2021-07-12 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Moral Re-Armament (MRA) was coined on May 29, 1938 at a meeting for Dr. Frank Buchman's Oxford Group in England. At the time the world was on the brink of war, and while leaders claimed they sought peace, they prepared for war. The Oxford Group did not think that a military re-armament would avoid catastrophe, but a moral one would save the world from calamity. At the First World Assembly for Moral Re-Armament later that year, Dr. Buchman said: "Humanity is at the cross roads. We must reach a final decision for ourselves and for our nations. Do we choose the road of selfishness that leads to uncontrollable violence and darkness? Or will it be the road of the Cross to a sound world, where the ancient virtues of justice, understanding and peace rule under God over a sane humanity?" (The Oxford Group, p. 18-19) The movement gained followers throughout Europe and America, including then Senator Harry S. Truman, who contributed speeches and writings to the group. After World War II, MRA sought to provide moral guidance in light of the Cold War. Communism and the moral evils associated with the movement were regularly targeted in MRA publications. Dr. Buchman passed away in 1961. The work of the MRA ceased in 2001, and was succeeded by another international group known as "Initiatives of Change."