Religious Belief and Popular Culture in Southwark c.1880-1939

Hardcover | May 15, 1999

byS. C. Williams

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This book challenges the domination of the institutional church as the overriding concern of nineteenth-century religious history by taking as its starting point the nature and expression of religious ideas outside the immediate sphere of the church within the wider arena of popular culture.It considers in detail how these beliefs formed part of a richly textured language of personal, familial, and popular identity in the day-to-day lives of the inhabitants of the London Borough of Southwark between c.1880 and the outbreak of the Second World War. The study highlights the persistenceof patterns dismissed as alien to the industrial and urban environment. The interaction of folk idioms with institutional religious language and practice is also considered and urban popular religion is identified as a distinctive system of belief in its own right. This study also pioneers amethodology for exploring belief and interpreting it as a popular cultural phenomenon. A wide range of source materials are drawn on including oral history. Centrality is given to understanding the ways in which individuals expressed and communicated their religious ideas.

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This book challenges the domination of the institutional church as the overriding concern of nineteenth-century religious history by taking as its starting point the nature and expression of religious ideas outside the immediate sphere of the church within the wider arena of popular culture.It considers in detail how these beliefs form...

S. C. Williams is a Research Fellow, Department of Theology at University of Birmingham.

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Format:HardcoverPublished:May 15, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198207697

ISBN - 13:9780198207696

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Table of Contents

Religious Belief and Popular CultureThe Metropolitan Borough of SouthwarkUrban Folk ReligionOccasional and Conditional ConformityThe Ideal of the True BelieverReligion by Deputy: the Church and the CommunityPatterns of ChangeAppendix: The Oral Project

Editorial Reviews

`The author places great emphasis on 'oral evidence as a medium through which to examine the dimension of personal religious belief' and gives the reader some wonderful insights into the religious beliefs, or lack thereof, of 'the people'... any church historian will be more than grateful forthe author's skill in giving us such a widely based insight into the people's' uses and understandings of the Christian religion.'Contemporary Review, April 2000