The Quest for the Historical John Ball
Spectres of John Ball - The Peasants' Revolt in English Political History, 1381-2020 - James Crossley
James Crossley [+]
St Mary's University, London
James Crossley is Research Professor in Bible, Society, and Politics at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion, and Society, Academic Director of the Centre for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements (CenSAMM), and Professor of Bible and Society at St Mary's University, Twickenham, London. He is author of numerous books and articles on Christian Origins, reception history of the Bible, and English politics and religion, reception history of the Bible, including Cults, Martyrs and Good Samaritans: Religion in Contemporary English Political Discourse (Pluto, 2018). The website John Ball, English Legend provides images and resources discussed in Spectres of John Ball.
This chapter looks at reconstructing Ball’s life prior and up to the 1381 uprising, and some of the earliest perceptions about him. It also provides explanations of how ideas associated with or attributed to Ball (e.g., apocalypticism, biblical interpretation, violence, all things in common) might have been understood.