By Keith Robbins
Keith Robbins, construction on his prior writing at the glossy historical past of the interlocking yet unique territories of the British Isles, takes a wide-ranging, cutting edge and difficult examine the twentieth-century heritage of the most our bodies, instantly nationwide and common, that have jointly constituted the Christian Church. The protracted look for elusive team spirit is emphasised. specific ideals, attitudes, rules and buildings can be found of their social and cultural contexts. fashionable members, clerical and lay, are scrutinized. faith and politics intermingle, highlighting, for church buildings and states, primary questions of identification and allegiance, of private and non-private values, in a century of ideological clash, violent war of words (in Ireland), global wars, and persistent chilly struggle. the big swap skilled via the nations and other people of the Isles due to the fact 1900 has encompassed transferring relationships among England, eire (and Northern Ireland), Scotland, and Wales, the tip of the British Empire, the emergence of a brand new Europe and, latterly, significant immigration of adherents of Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and different faiths from open air Europe: advancements scarcely available on the outset. this sort of huge contextual standpoint presents an important historical past to realizing the complicated ambiguities obtrusive either in secularization and enduring Christian religion. Robbins offers a cogent and compelling evaluation of this turbulent century for the church buildings of the Isles.
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Extra resources for England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales: The Christian Church 1900-2000
It was possible to gain a sense of the ecclesiastical ‘feel’ of any village or town by the character and spatial distribution of its religious buildings. Size, ‘impressiveness’ and density all constituted indicators of local ‘strength’ and ‘weakness’. The pattern would probably reveal where power and inXuence lay within a community. Foundation stones testiWed to the involvement of families locally prominent in business and commerce. The Wills ‘tobacco’ family in Bristol, for example, active in Redland Park Congregational Church (a building equipped with tower and spire) gave generously to its enlargement.
65 Since many of those who left its ranks were from its most energetic membership, the Church of Scotland was gravely weakened and had lost its clear pre-eminence. The resulting Free Church was not opposed in principle to establishment but to ‘Erastian’ establishment. The consequence of the disruption, though not in equal proportions in all areas, was that Scotland witnessed a competing parallelism between the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland—Free Church against the old parish 65 A.
Halifax, for his part, hearing of Irish Anglican goings-on in Madrid, took it upon himself, speaking on behalf of ‘members of the catholic church’, to write to the archbishop of Toledo deploring Lord Plunket’s initiative. There was perhaps something to be said for entering the new century with clarity. 63 The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church in England now knew, apparently, how they stood in relation to each other. The former could not expect that a ‘federation’ would be on oVer.
England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales: The Christian Church 1900-2000 by Keith Robbins