Religion and community: frameworks and issues
University of Exeter
Family and Community History
The history of religion in Britain has been dominated by the concept of secularisation. This suggests that the working classes in the cities led a move away from the churches in the second half of the nineteenth century, if not before. Recent work, however, presents a growing challenge to this account, instead stressing continuities of religious practice and belief into the 20th century. This article reviews this revisionism. It asks why revival occurred when and where it did, which groups were associated with 19th century denominations and how religious identities changed. In doing this it also suggests areas for further local research. The periods before the 1840s and after the 1910s, regions and localities outside London, and the patterns of everyday religious practice and belief, are themes on which community historians can address a host of under researched issues.
Vol. 5 (1), pp. 33-44