The seemingly inexorable decline of religion in twentieth-century Britain has for long fascinated historians, sociologists and churchmen. In this cogent and original study, S.J.D. Green concentrates scholarly attention for the first time on the social history of the chapel in a characteristic industrial-urban setting. He demonstrates just why so many churches were built in these years, who built them, who went to them, and why, and he offers a fresh interpretation of the extent and the implications of the decline of religion in Britain.
S. J. D. Green (University of Leeds)
Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:
13 November 2003
Professional and scholarly
Part I. Providing the Means: 1. The environment and its constraints: economic revolution, social transformation and spatial evolution; 2. The many houses of God: churches, church-building and church extension in the industrial town; 3. The burden shared: the changing political economy of religious organisations; Part II. Drawing in the People: 4. The unfolding of the associational ideal: auxiliary organisations and ambitious societies; 5. Learning advanced: the Sunday School Movement, pedagogical innovation and the theory of juvenile religious development; 6. Salvation extended: conversion, revivals and the unending mission to the people; Part III. The Trials of the Religious Life: 7. Worship exalted and experience eclipsed: liturgical orderliness, dutiful observance and the making of a modern Christian witness; 8. Christianity within and beyond the churches: the pattern of devotion and the authenticity of expression; 9. The forward march of the Christian churches halted? Organisational stasis and the crisis of the associational ideal in early twentieth-century religious institutions; Conclusion; Bibliography.
Reviews for Religion in the Age of Decline: Organisation and Experience in Industrial Yorkshire, 1870-1920
'Green's approach is both fresh and stimulating ... at its best in analysing organizational changes within churches ... it also provides important insights about developments in their devotional and evangelistic activities ... an important and welcome contribution to the historiography which deserves to be widely read.' Journal of Religious History