Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

English (M.A.)

Degree Program



Throughout history, faith and religious principles have been used as motivation for war. Accordingly, political leaders, religious leaders, and writers all used religion-themed propaganda to encourage enlistment in World War I. Two soldier poets, Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, after meeting in the asylum of Craiglockhart, together recognized the injustice represented in using faith to promote warfare. Subsequently, they wrote poetry which criticized the religious and political hierarchy, countered the theology used in propaganda, and attempted to reveal the atrocities in battle. Although Sassoon‘s poetry remained satirical of the use of religion, Owen recognized its power and used religion and a connection to God as a medium for building empathy for and understanding of those called to serve.