‘Race’, black majority churches and the rise of ecumenical multiculturalism in the 1970s

Maiden, John (2019). ‘Race’, black majority churches and the rise of ecumenical multiculturalism in the 1970s. Twentieth Century British History, 30(4) pp. 531–556.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/tcbh/hwz016

Abstract

At the beginning of the 1970s relations between the historic British churches and the new black-led churches were usually non-existent or marked by prejudices or ambivalences. This article examines the emergence, development and significance of a cross-cultural ecumenical dialogue sponsored by the British Council of Churches. It places this in a context of both growing white liberal interest in the ‘multi-racial’ society and the increasing public assertiveness of collective black Christian consciousness. In doing so it contributes to our understandings of religious change in the twentieth century: both in terms of perceptions of ‘secularisation’ and the complex relationship between Christianity and race relations in the decades after Windrush.

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