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Abstract only
Michael D. Leigh

Politics and religion were two sides of the same coin. Wesleyan missionaries went to Upper Burma for many and complex reasons but their main purpose was to convert Burmans to Christianity. One scholar described it as a ‘corrupting’ task. 1 Another suggested that giving ‘pagan souls the same cast as our own’ was to personalise imperialism. 2 Few missions achieved the conversion targets set for them by their societies. As a result mission histories are often histories of failure. 3 Conversion rates

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
Angela McCarthy

. Figure 10 Members of the Grand Orange Lodge of New Zealand, Stratford, c . 1910 Religion at sea Within the wider historiography of religion in New Zealand, debate surrounds the extent to which migrants maintained religious beliefs. On one side of the debate are scholars who emphasise the

in Scottishness and Irishness in New Zealand since 1840
Joseph Hardwick

organised by church leaders only worked because laypeople coordinated the closure of shops, businesses and offices. Days of prayer were not, therefore, always controlled from above; indeed, by the twentieth century, laypersons composed prayers, spoke at multi-faith services, and led services at all-day prayer gatherings. Much has been written about how lay involvement made institutional religion work in the colonial world, and examples of lay initiative and agency on days of prayer should be considered as aspects of a long

in Prayer, providence and empire
Abstract only
Joseph Hardwick

necessary care of their dwellings’. 45 In Canada’s Maritime colonies, where Anglicanism was a minority religion but had established status, governors cast themselves as local versions of the sovereign and supreme governor of the Church of England, with powers to order Anglican bishops to draw up forms of prayer suitable for special occasions. 46 Elsewhere gubernatorial and Anglican authority was constrained. Lower and Upper Canadian orders omitted instructions to Anglican clergy, as the large Roman Catholic, nonconformist and

in Prayer, providence and empire
Joseph Hardwick

shared a ‘national character’. According to Peter Mandler, English and British intellectuals of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries played down the idea of national solidarity, as the argument that subjects shared a common character and culture had democratic implications. 15 While Mandler’s work pays limited attention to religion, it is evident that a notion of national character, the idea that a group of people might share common traits, qualities and a culture, appeared in British and colonial fast and

in Prayer, providence and empire
Special worship in the British world, 1783–1919
Author: Joseph Hardwick

European settlers in Canada, Australia and South Africa said they were building ‘better Britains’ overseas. But devastating wars, rebellions, epidemics and natural disasters often threatened these new societies. It is striking that settlers in such environments turned to old traditions of collective prayer and worship to make sense of these calamities. At times of acute stress, colonial governments set aside whole days of fasting, humiliation and intercession so that entire populations could join together to implore God’s intervention, assistance or guidance. And at moments of relief and celebration, such as the coming of peace, or the birth of a royal, the whole empire might participate in synchronised acts of thanksgiving and praise to God. This book asks why acts of ‘special worship’ with origins in early modernity became numerous in the democratic, pluralistic and often secularised conditions found in the settler societies of the ‘British world’. Such intense and highly visible occasions had the potential to reach all members of a colonial society: community-wide occasions of prayer were hard to ignore, they required considerable organisation, and they stimulated debate and reflection on a range of political, social and religious issues. The book argues that religion, and more specifically traditional rituals and practices, had a vital role to play in the formation of regional identities and local particularisms in what remained, in many ways, a loosely networked and unconnected empire.

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The Bible, race and empire in the long nineteenth century

Chosen peoples demonstrates how biblical themes, ideas and metaphors shaped narratives of racial, national and imperial identity in the long nineteenth century. Even and indeed especially amid spreading secularism, the development of professionalised science and the proclamation of ‘modernity’, biblical notions of lineage, descent and inheritance continued to inform understandings of race, nation and character at every level from the popular to the academic. Although new ideas and discoveries were challenging the historicity of the Bible, even markedly secular thinkers chose to explain their complex and radical ideas through biblical analogy. Denizens of the seething industrial cities of America and Europe championed or criticised them as New Jerusalems and Modern Babylons, while modern nation states were contrasted with or likened to Egypt, Greece and Israel. Imperial expansion prompted people to draw scriptural parallels, as European settler movements portrayed ‘new’ territories across the seas as lands of Canaan. Yet such language did not just travel in one direction. If many colonised and conquered peoples resisted the imposition of biblical narratives, they also appropriated biblical tropes to their own ends. These original case studies, by emerging and established scholars, throw new light on familiar areas such as slavery, colonialism and the missionary project, while opening up exciting cross-comparisons between race, identity and the politics of biblical translation and interpretation in South Africa, Egypt, Australia, America and Ireland. The book will be essential reading for academic, graduate and undergraduate readers in empire, race and global religion in the long nineteenth century.

Joseph Hardwick

churches conformed to state orders, both in the era of establishment, when proclamations commanded participation, and in subsequent periods, when special worship was liberalised and became a matter for individual consciences. For denominations outside the political mainstream, participation in a fast or thanksgiving might be a way to demonstrate their reliability to the state. Days of prayer also attracted the churches as such dramatic public interventions might reinforce and showcase the public status of institutional religion

in Prayer, providence and empire
Abstract only
Joseph Hardwick

worship. Special acts of worship organised on the national and colonial scale occurred only occasionally. But they are important as they were intense, popular and highly visible events – they required considerable organisation and they stimulated debate and reflection on a range of political, social and religious issues. For scholars of religion, the empire’s culture of special, community-wide worship commands attention, as these occasions suggest that traditional beliefs about a superintending providence resonated and

in Prayer, providence and empire
Abstract only
Joseph Hardwick

counterparts, as spokespersons and leaders of a generalised ‘civil religion’. The Anglican cathedral, too, emerged as a civic space. Historians argue that the Church of England became publicly more significant as its ties to the British state weakened; something similar happened in the colonial world. 12 Though conformity, cohesion and consensus have been this book’s key words, public displays of worship could drive communities apart as much as bring them together. 13 The ugly racism that marred Australian celebrations of

in Prayer, providence and empire