Pluralism's Puzzles, 1976–2000

Keith Robbins

in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780198263715
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191714283 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

Pluralism's Puzzles, 1976–2000

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This chapter considers the changed circumstances in which the churches operated. It notes a multi-faith environment in both Britain and Ireland: Islam, Sikhism, and Hinduism in particular. Theologians, philosophers, and politicians debate what pluralism entails. Churches consider both community cohesion and their own identity. Church attendance declines but Christianity, at some level, is adhered to. Papal visits to Ireland and Britain receive much publicity but their lasting impact is more problematic: Northern Ireland remains a ‘divided society’. Ecumenism appears to flourish but institutional stumbling blocks remain. Increased and ultimately successful pressure for the ordination of women in the Anglican churches produces much controversy, as did the stances on social and economic policies pursued by the Thatcher governments.

Keywords: church attendance; ecumenism; Hinduism; Islam; multi-faith society; ordination; secularism; Sikhism; Thatcher

Chapter.  39718 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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