By Hugh McLeod
From the top of the eighteenth century, all through western Europe, the legit clergy, champions of privilege and culture, have been challenged via non secular dissenters and minorities. This booklet sincerely maps out those polarizations and analyses the impression on faith of socialism, capitalism and the expansion of towns. It examines the contrasts among the faith of the center and dealing sessions and among women and men. It discusses the attraction of pursuits like Methodism, Secularism, and Ultramontane Catholicism, and considers the predicament confronted through the church buildings in lots of nations within the Sixties. a brand new concluding bankruptcy examines the function of faith as much as 1990, and the way it's been suffering from glossy alterations in society and ideology.
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Extra info for Religion and the People of Western Europe 1789-1989
In the north-west of Scotland it was the Free Church which, from its inception in 1843, was the central institution of the crofting population and was 'largely instrumental in welding a disparate collection of small tenants into a community capable of acting collectively and possessing a distinctive character and outlook'. In the Welsh-speaking areas of Wales, both industrial and agricultural, it was the Baptist, Independent and Calvinistic Methodist chapels. In many parts of Cornwall Methodism had achieved a similar position of dominance by about the 1840s.
At the centre this took the form of resounding papal condemnations of liberalism in an encyclical of 1832 and in the Syllabus of Errors (1864), the promulgation in 1854 of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, and the declaration of papal infallibility in 1870. At the local level it meant an emphatically supernaturalist Catholicism, dedicated to alliance with what was seen as the faith of the common people against the false hopes of rationalism, scientism and liberalism.
But for the most part the rituals and the remedies by which the rural popUlation hoped to ward off the dangers surrounding them had no connection with the church. The clergy also had rivals in the handling of the supernatural in the form of the wise men, with talents for fortune-telling, divination and lifting spells: the small town of Louth, for instance, a great centre of Methodism, was equally famous for its wise men, whom villagers would come from miles around to consult. '18 This analysis gains some support from studies of Lutheran Saxony in the nineteenth century and of the Calvinist Cevennes in the nineteenth and twentieth.
Religion and the People of Western Europe 1789-1989 by Hugh McLeod