This text provides an account of an important but neglected aspect of the history of the 19th-century Church of England: the reform of its diocesan structure. It illustrates how one of the most important institutions of Victorian England responded at a regional level to the pastoral challenge of a rapidly changing society. Providing a perspective on the impact of both the Oxford Movement and the Ecclesiastical Commission on the Church, the author shows that an appreciation of the dynamics of diocesan reform has implications for our understanding of secular as well as ecclesiastical reform in the early 19th century.
`Standard narratives of nineteenth-century English religious history stand in need of substantial revision in light of Arthur Burns's important new study of Anglican ecclesiastical reform during the period. ... The Diocesan Revival is a comprehensive administrative history of the Victorian Church of England that should be required reading not only for students of religion but also for those of modern British history.'
Anglican and Episcopal History
`Arthur Burns offers a major revision of accepted views of the revival of the Church of England in the period from 1800 to 1870 ... Burns's book is based upon exhaustive research ... and provides a new and significant perspective on the history of the nineteenth-century Church of England, of which all future historians of the period will have to take account.'
Peter Davie, Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 52/2, April 2001
`a perceptive account.'
Northern History, XXXVIII(I)
`A book that contains a chapter about the revival of rual deans in the nineteenth century might sound almost comically recherche and unhealthily obsessed with the Church as a quirky institution, but Arthur Burns' book is neither, He provides a very clear and illuminating account f hte diocesan revival in the nineteenth century which challenges many stereotyped assumptions ... he is unremittingly scholarly and puts the whole question of 'revival' into the
context of other stands of British history at that time.'
James Garrard, Vision or Revision, Seeing Through the Sacraments, 2000.