British mechanical engineer Jack Keiser’s postwar career in industrial education was simultaneously a career in justice work and Christian industrial mission. This paper examines the Christian critique of industry Keiser developed early in his career, as he transitioned in 1949–1950 into his life’s work in firm-based industrial education, and asks how historians of technology might interpret a critique that characterized industry in hyperbolic terms as enslaving or demonic. Keiser’s was part of an international critique connected to three important post-war Christian institutions: Student Christian Movement, the Industrial Mission Movement, and the World Council of Churches. He engaged with justice at both an intimate and a cosmic level, intimately through face-to-face relationships with apprentices and trainees under his supervision, and cosmically by engaging with the biblical prophets through whom God called for justice.
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- industrial mission
- mechanical engineering
- social justice
- world Council of Churches