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This article looks at how ZANU and ZAPU, the two main Zimbabwean nationalist groups in UDI-era Rhodesia, sought to present and engage with Christianity in their propaganda. Given that the Rhodesians cast themselves as defenders of ‘Christian civilisation’, it was inevitable that the media war would touch heavily upon ecclesiastical issues. It is contended here that the nationalists developed a powerful argument: that the Rhodesian government and the Churches of southern Africa were falling far short of the ideals of Christianity. This message then in turn served as an important part of their critique of the white minority regime.
This article considers attacks on reredoses in the late Victorian Church of England with the objective of placing such controversies within the context of anti-idolatry and anti-ritualism campaigns of the period. By doing so it seeks to rectify the lack of focus in the historiography on how the ritualist controversy affected discussion of changes to church architecture. In particular, by using local newspapers, it extends consideration of the reredos issue beyond the two main cases, namely those of Exeter and St Paul’s cathedrals. It argues that the reredos cases provide a powerful tool for considering how the Church of England moved towards a more ‘catholic’ position on ornamentation during this period, showing how it became impossible for the more Protestant members of the Church to prevent what they saw as the ‘Romanization’ of ecclesiastical spaces. This was part of a broader process by which ornamentation was coming to be accepted on purely aesthetic terms, and not as a challenge to the theology of the Church of England. It further assesses the significance of the Public Worship Regulation Act 1874 in relation to cases involving church fabric, arguing that the introduction of the bishops’ veto had only limited practical effects on such disputes.
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