What was the Religious Crisis of the 1960s?
Article first published online: 15 NOV 2010
© 2010 The Author. Journal of Religious History© 2010 Association for the Journal of Religious History
Journal of Religious History
Volume 34, Issue 4, pages 468–479, December 2010
How to Cite
BROWN, C. G. (2010), What was the Religious Crisis of the 1960s?. Journal of Religious History, 34: 468–479. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9809.2010.00909.x
- Issue published online: 15 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 15 NOV 2010
The crisis of the 1960s is now central to debates about religious change and secularisation in the twentieth century. However, the nature of the crisis is contested. Using Hugh McLeod's The Religious Crisis of the 1960s (2007) as a starting point, this article explores the issues that divide scholars — the origin and length of the crisis (was it revolution or evolution?); was it generated more by developments within the Christian churches or by developments without them; and what was the relative importance of liberal Christianity versus conservative Christianity in the development and legacy of the crisis? It argues that secularisation of the period should be regarded as mostly a sudden and shocking event, based on external threats, and reflected in the churches dividing between liberals and conservatives in ways that were to become ever more militant as the century wore on.