Towards a New Theocracy
When we first met Whitehouse, our thoughts quickly turned from ideas of a short academic paper to more grandiose notions of a full-length book. One did not have to spend very long with her or to read very much about her to realise that here was what the journalist calls ‘a good story’, the academic ‘a fascinating study’. It is difficult, however, for us now to try and capture the mood of that time, to be conscious of what our intentions actually were. We were genuinely fascinated by her, partly because she spoke a language and expressed a sentiment which to the ears of the non-practising were no more than the faint echoes of a Christian childhood. She spoke of things which no one, at least in public and outside the pulpit, seemed to speak any more — of piety, of Biblical truths, of a rigid adherence throughout life to a very specific, divinely ordained moral code, of sexual abstinence, restraint, fidelity, and above all, time and again, of the need for a morality. Of course there were, within popular thought, remnants of each of these. What remained curious to us, though, was the explicitness, coherence and passion of the morality.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.