The new issue of Faith and Freedom is available now. Our cover picture shows James Martineau on top of his house in Prince’s Park, Liverpool (from a lithograph by John R. Isaac and now held by the Library of Congress).

The cover of our latest issue

Historian Jim Kenny (well known for his blog The Priory and the Cast Iron Shore, which he publishes under the name Glen Huntley) gives the first full account of the house Martineau built in Liverpool overlooking the Park. Planned in detail by Martineau himself, including a curious network of subterranean passages, it was described by a visitor as A pie-crust sort of house, with all the “curiosities and niceties that a Unitarian Minister could wish.” In the lithograph, based on an original watercolour by W.G. Herdman, James Martineau looks down on the ‘Fancy Fair’ in aid of local hospitals. The building is long gone now although the site became the centre of a struggle between developers and conservationists in recent times and the underground passages were still discoverable then, and may yet have survived to the present day.

Passage entrance on the site of Martineau’s house, c.2001. Courtesy of Friends of Williamson’s Tunnels

These and more illustrations accompany the article which tell this fascinating story of a unique house, the brainchild of the most significant Unitarian theologian of the nineteenth century, and built in the most prosperous suburb of Liverpool.

An Edwardian postcard showing nearby Prince’s Park and the Prince’s Park Mansions, neighbours of James Martineau.

Ian Rocksborough-Smith, assistant professor of US history at the University of Fraser Valley in S’ólh Téméxw/British Columbia, Canada, writes about ‘The Ambiguities of White Catholic Liberalism’ in the context of a ‘A Case Study in the Aftermath of the 1951 Race Riot in Cicero, Illinois’. He writes:

‘What did religiously-inclined white racial liberalism look like through the mid-twentieth century at a local level? This article looks at the intersections of race, religion, and civil rights in the wake of the 1951 race riot in Cicero, Illinois. Specifically, it considers the efforts of white Catholic liberals who advocated for racial reform measures well ahead of the mainstream orthodoxies of the Catholic Church – the latter of which did not pivot substantively towards civil and human rights until after Vatican II in the early-mid 1960s.’

We also have two fine examples of thoughtful and challenging sermons, the first on ‘Catching the Spirit’ given by London District Minister Jim Corrigall at New Unity congregation, North London, and the second ‘On Agreeing – But Not Quite – with Adam Gopnik’s Liberal Credo’ by Frank Walker given in the chapel of Harris Manchester College, Oxford.

Reviews include two books (in English and Welsh) reviewed by Graham Murphy, former Principal of Unitarian College, Manchester, and a Welsh-speaker, which explore the identity of Y Smotyn Du, ‘the Black Spot’, the heartland of Welsh-speaking Unitarianism, as well as two reviews on peacebuilding in the Middle East and Christian pluralism in Britain today. These are by Marcus Braybrooke, Anglican minister and a leading figure in inter-faith relations both nationally and internationally. In addition Lena Cockroft, current moderator of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland, reviews a book on mindfulness and golf.

Books Reviewed

Eric Jones, Best Foot Forward, South East Wales Unitarian Society, 2020, pp 112, £6.95 pbk.

Goronwy Evans, Procio’r Cof, Y Lolfa, 2021, pp 208, ISBN 978-1-80099-042-5, £9.99 pbk.

Ron Kronish, Profiles in Peace: Voices of Peacebuilders in the Midst of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Publisher Ron Kronish in Israel, 2022. Available on Amazon Kindle and as a paperback 978-1734470093, $ 22.97.

Alan Race, My Journey as a Religious Pluralist: A Christian Theology of Religions Reclaimed. An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers, pp.202. ISBN 978-1-7252-9823-1, pbk £20.00. Hbk 978-1-7252-9822-4, e-bk 978-1-7252-9824-8

Martin Wells, No One Playing. The essence of mindfulness in golf and in life. John Hunt Publishing, 2022, pp 108. ISBN: 978-1-78904-781-3, pbk £ 8.99. ISBN: 978-1-78904-782-0, e-book £ 4.99.

Subscription Details

An annual subscription for each volume (two issues) costs £16.00 (postage included) in the United Kingdom. Single copies can be ordered at a cost of £8.00 each (postage included). Cheques should be made out to Faith and Freedom and sent to the business manager:

Nigel Clarke,
Business Manager, Faith and Freedom,
16 Fairfields,
Kirton in Lindsey,
Gainsborough,
Lincolnshire.
DN21 4GA.

It is also possible to pay online. For more details see our website: https://www.faithandfreedom.org.uk/subs.htm

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