National days of prayer in a period of crisis, 1966-74

Dipping one’s toe tentatively into the new world of Open Peer Review, a draft paper of mine on archbishop Michael Ramsey is now available for comment and criticism at the History Working Papers Project. The idea is that HWPP can re-create the interchange of a seminar online, with readers commenting on the paper as a whole and on individual paragraphs, with an opportunity for the author to respond, and post revised versions for subsequent rounds of review. More on the HWPP project is available here.

The paper examines the petitions that were made to Michael Ramsey, archbishop of Canterbury, to call a national day of prayer. It considers the grounds upon which the petitions was made, and the Church’s official reactions to them. In doing so, it sheds light from an unaccustomed angle onto attitudes towards petitionary prayer among some of the British public, on understandings of the role of the archbishop as leader of the nation’s religious life, and of the recent providential history of the nation, particularly during the 1939-45 war.

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