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Religion and society in the parish of Halifax, c. 1740-1914

Hargreaves, John A. (1991) Religion and society in the parish of Halifax, c. 1740-1914. Doctoral thesis, Huddersfield Polytechnic.

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    Most recent studies of religion and society have focussed on
    the period from c. 1880 to 1914, basing their investigations
    upon late-Victorian newspaper censuses of churchgoing. This
    thesis aims to study the development of religion in its
    economic and social context in a large northern industrial
    parish over a longer period of time from c. 1740 to 1914. In
    religious terms this period extends from the mid-eighteenth
    century Evangelical Revival to the decline of organised
    religion in the early twentieth century. In economic and
    social terms the period is characterised by the transformation
    of the parish from a semi-rural, proto-industrial society
    dominated by a relatively small but expanding market town, into
    a predominantly urban advanced industrial society dominated by
    a medium-sized textile manufacturing town and several smaller
    urban centres of textile production; supporting a wide
    diversity of associated industries and trades, but still
    containing within its boundaries sharply contrasting urban and
    semi-rural environments.

    The thesis aims to assess how religious expression within the
    parish of Halifax was affected by the changing economic and
    social environment, in particular the urban-industrial
    experience, and how religion helped shape the new urbanindustrial
    society during the period from the middle of the
    eighteenth century to the outbreak of the First World War. It
    argues that whilst the pessimistic view of a moribund Georgian
    Church of England can no longer be sustained by the Halifax
    evidence, the Established Church nevertheless lacked the
    logistical resources to respond effectively to the new urbanindustrial
    society as it emerged within the parish in the lateeighteenth
    and early-nineteenth centuries, providing an
    opportunity for the growth of Evangelical Nonconformity,
    especially Methodism. It maintains that Evangelical
    Nonconformity and an Anglican Church renewed by Evangelical
    incumbencies during the period 1790-1827 and reformed as a consequence of national legislation in the 1840s played a vital
    role within the expanding urban-industrial society, surviving
    the experience of industrialisation and urbanisation and
    displaying a remarkable vibrancy, despite underlying downward
    trends in churchgoing in the late-Victorian era. It suggests
    that the causes of the decline of organised religion during
    this period were complex, but related more to the onset of
    industrial-urban stagnation and decline than to the experience
    of industrial-urban expansion.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Additional Information: EThOS Persistent ID
    Uncontrolled Keywords: History, Philosophy, Religion
    Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
    H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
    B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
    D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
    Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
    Depositing User: Graham Stone
    Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2009 13:00
    Last Modified: 28 Jul 2010 19:37


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