I believe...

July 5, 1996

"I was brought up a good Methodist and was one until my teenage years. I expect that has influenced me in all sorts of ways and given me all sorts of prejudices I am not conscious of.

My parents were very keen on foreign missions, and I was brought up to think that all men were equal, black and white. It was a very egalitarian background. I was very shocked when I went to school and heard a Jewish joke - I had to ask my parents to explain it. "I don't believe in any religion now, but atheist is perhaps too positive a word for me."

Christopher Hill is former master, Balliol College, Oxford, and author of numerous books, including The World Turned Upside Down (1972) and The Century of Revolution (1961).

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