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The Battle for Christian Britain

The Battle for Christian Britain
Sex, Humanists and Secularisation, 1945–1980


  • Publication planned for: December 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2019
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108431613

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About the Authors
  • Post-war British culture was initially dominated by religious-led sexual austerity and, from the sixties, by secular liberalism. Using five case studies of local licensing and a sixth on the BBC, conservative Christians are exposed here as the nation's censors, fighting effectively for purity on stage, screen and in public places. The Anglican-led Public Morality Council was astonishingly successful in restraining sex in London's media in the fifties, but a brazen sexualised culture thrived amongst the millions of tourists to Blackpool, whilst Glasgow and the Isle of Lewis were gripped by conservatism. But come the late 1960s, tourists took Blackpool's sexual liberalism home, whilst progressive Humanism burrowed into Parliament and the BBC to secularise moral reform and the national narrative. Using extensive archival research, Callum G. Brown adopts a secular gaze to show how conservative Christians lost the battle for the nation's moral culture.

    • Reveals the dramatic contest between conservative Christians and the forces seeking to overthrow their control of British culture
    • Offers an alternative, secular narrative of twentieth-century British history
    • Exposes previously-hidden systems of cultural control in Britain, such as the Public Morality Council
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: December 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108431613
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2019
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Battle in Context:
    1. Introduction
    Part II. The Heyday of Christian Vigilance 1945–1965:
    2. Moral vigilance
    3. Licensing at the front line: London and Blackpool
    4. Licensing in the provinces: Sheffield, Glasgow and Lewis
    5. Battle at the Beeb part I
    Part III. The Sixties Crisis and its Legacy, 1965–1980:
    6. The privatisation of moral vigilance
    7. The sixties liberalisation of licensing
    8. The Humanist challenge
    9. Battle at the Beeb part II
    Part IV. Conclusion:
    10. The birth of civilised Britain.

  • Author

    Callum G. Brown, University of Glasgow
    Callum G. Brown is Professor of Late Modern European History at the University of Glasgow. A social historian specialising in secularisation and Humanism in nineteenth and twentieth century western society, he is the author of numerous publications including The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding Secularisation 1800–2000 (2nd edition, 2009), Religion and the Demographic Revolution: Women and Secularisation in Canada, Ireland, UK and USA Since the 1960s (2012) and Becoming Atheist: Humanism and the Secular West (2017).

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