The buildings of ritual
Religion and freemasonry
in The British Empire through buildings
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The global expansion of empire prompted the globalisation of The Christian religion and its buildings. In the British case, this has to be seen in terms of the ‘four nations’ of the British Isles. Throughout the empire there was a struggle between Anglicanism, which attempted to assert its authority as the English established Church, and the other denominations, notably the Church of Scotland, which was also established. The chapter examines the spread of Anglican cathedrals and churches, of Scottish churches and churches of other denominations, as well as mission stations, with their churches and many other buildings, including hospitals and schools. In addition to the Christian religion, freemasonry expanded throughout the empire, creating a large number of lodges of the various ‘rites’. The ‘friendly societies’ were also significant in this respect. The chapter surveys the various different styles in which these buildings were constructed as well as the struggles that attended their creation. As always, the racial dimension is central to the discussion, in the attempted conversion of indigenous peoples and of their acceptability within churches that were, in many cases, originally built for Europeans.

The British Empire through buildings

Structure, function and meaning

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