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 how the perceived threat of Bolshevism could be used to evoke old memories of Ball as a seditious threat. Yet among socialists, Ball was regularly invoked, and in Communist Party circles he was understood from a historical materialist perspective and now employed in the fight against fascism.