CenSAMM co-director James Crossley gave the Ed Conrad Memorial Lecture at the University of Queensland (29 May 2019), "From the Peasants' Revolt to Jeremy Corbyn - The Fate of the Bible in the English Radical Tradition". The podcast is now available.
The Bible has been an ongoing feature in English political radicalism. While such uses of the Bible did not begin with the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, this particular revolt has commonly been seen as a convenient starting point. In this talk, Professor Crossley will use the Peasants’ Revolt and its reception to look at which biblical texts have been used, remembered, forgotten, and rethought in the English radical tradition. He will look at the ways in which historical and cultural contexts and different interpreters (e.g., William Morris, the emergence of the labour movement, the tensions between revolutionary and parliamentary socialism, Cold War, folk music traditions, declining church affiliation, Brexit) have helped frame the ways the Bible, Englishness, radicalism, apocalypticism, and the Peasants’ Revolt are currently understood and used in English political discourse.