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The Plymouth Brethren$
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Massimo Introvigne

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190842420

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190842420.001.0001

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Retrenchment and Mainstreaming

Retrenchment and Mainstreaming

The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church in the 21st Century

(p.90) 4 Retrenchment and Mainstreaming
The Plymouth Brethren

Massimo Introvigne

Oxford University Press

This final chapter presents a case study of Brethren IV, known today as the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC). It starts with a discussion of the legal case before the British Charity Commission, which lasted from 2006 to 2014, and finally led to the recognition of the PBCC as a bona fide religious body. The case is analysed in the context of controversies surrounding in various countries the PBCC and its schools. Some Christians accuse the PBCC of being heretic, and some secular ‘anti-cultists’ see in the PBCC a ‘cult’ harmful to its members and particularly to children. In general, these accusations fail to recognize how the PBCC is changing and evolving by adapting itself to its various host societies, without however renouncing its most distinctive (and controversial) characters, including the strict separation of believers and unbelievers.

Keywords:   Plymouth Brethren, PBCC, Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, Exclusive Brethren, Bruce Hales, cults

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