At the heart of American democracy is the contradiction of slavery: segregation and racial inequality in a nation that was built on the premise of equality and liberty.

Eight of the United States first twelve Presidents were slaveholders and after the Civil War and Abolition, legal segregation took hold in the South and was augmented by violence and intimidation. The struggle for black equality has been a constant theme in American history. In the 1950s it was to take a dramatic turn when Martin Luther King, Jr., a young pastor in Montgomery, Alabama, became the leader of a mass non-violent protest. Over the next twelve years he became the voice of the Civil Rights Movement and provided a vision of social change and community that was rooted in Christian values. The course will explore the theological ideas and Biblical themes expressed by King and the development of the Civil Rights Movement from Montgomery to Selma. It will conclude by considering King's assessment of America as the focus shifted from segregation to poverty and the war in Vietnam.

Over the course the sessions will include audio and film clips from the period.

Tutor: Canon Jonathan Gordon, Tutor in Church History

Venue: Alban Room, St Albans Cathedral

Price: £60

Dates: Tuesdays 5 November - 10 December (excl. 3 December)

This course can be taken as part of the Certificate in Theology, or Certificate in Theology Plus

Booking will open later in the summer term.