Michael Ramsey and Anglican evangelicalism in the 1960s

I’m particularly pleased to be able to say that my article on Ramsey and evangelicals in the Church of England is going to be published. It was given as a paper at an excellent conference in Oxford last summer; and some of those papers are now to be published by Boydell and Brewer. Congratulations to Andrew Atherstone and John Maiden for arranging both the conference and the volume.

[UPDATE, Jan 2015: this volume is now published – see summary.]

My paper sits in an unusual relation with most evangelical history, in that it draws mostly on sources from outside the constituency (mostly the Ramsey Papers at Lambeth Palace Library), and is, at it were, a view from outside. The National Evangelical Anglican Congress at Keele University in 1967 has been viewed as a pivotal moment, at which Anglican (conservative) evangelicals abandoned a policy of isolation from the structures of the Church of England, and resolved to get involved in them, fully and constructively.

My argument is that the evidence from the Ramsey papers suggests that there was considerable evangelical involvement in just those structures before 1967, and also that plenty of the older combativeness remained after Keele. It also attempts to show that, contrary to the feeling of many evangelicals at the time and since, there was no concerted campaign to marginalise evangelical voices by the official church. If conservative evangelicals didn’t succeed in overturning policies with which they disagreed, it was simply part of life as a minority in a diverse church.

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