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Religious Belief and Popular Culture in Southwark c.1880-1939 : Oxford Historical Monographs - S. C. Williams

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

Oxford Historical Monographs

Hardcover

Published: 1st May 1999
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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 persistence of 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 a methodology 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.

`measured, lively and well-documented prose ... Written with verve and clarity, and superbly edited ... Williams integrates her interviewees' words well with the large historiography on the subject to offer up a persuasive argument for the ways in which religious belief maintains itself over time.' C.Brad Faught, SEL, Summer 2000 `Williams has written an engaging and important book about working class religiosity in London that challenges the secularization thesis.' C.Brad Faught, SEL, summer 2000 `provides an impressive account of folk religion, carefully locating formal practice within a wider cultural context. There is much valuable detail here on the persistence of magaic and fatalism' Peter Catterall, Twentieth Century British History, Vol.12, No. 1, 2001 `This book ... goes further than previous accounts by paying serious attention to non-churchgoers.' Frances Knight, Theology, Vol.103, No.814, Jul/Aug 2000. `This book should be read by anyone with an interest in what ordinary people believe. It is relatively short, very readable, yet highly sophisticated in its analyses and its engagement with historiography. The evidence presented rings true; I say that both as a historian, and as the descendant of a South London family of mainly non-churchgoers.' Frances Knight, Theology, Vol.103, No.814, Jul/Aug 2000. `This book should be read by anyone with an interest in what 'ordinary people' believe. It is relatively short, very readable, yet highly sophisticated in its analyses and its engagement with historiography.' Theology. Frances Knight. `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 for the 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

Religious Belief and Popular Culture The Metropolitan Borough of Southwark Urban Folk Religion Occasional and Conditional Conformity The Ideal of the True Believer Religion by Deputy: the Church and the Community Patterns of Change Appendix: The Oral Project

ISBN: 9780198207696
ISBN-10: 0198207697
Series: Oxford Historical Monographs
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 218
Published: 1st May 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 14.61  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.37