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The Church of England and the Expansion of the Settler Empire, c. 1790–1860

When members of that oft-maligned institution, the Anglican Church – the 'Tory Party at prayer' – encountered the far-flung settler empire, they found it a strange and intimidating place. Anglicanism's conservative credentials seemed to have little place in developing colonies; its established status, secure in England, would crumble in Ireland and was destined never to be adopted in the 'White Dominions'. By 1850, however, a global ‘Anglican Communion’ was taking shape. This book explains why Anglican clergymen started to feel at home in the empire. Between 1790 and 1860 the Church of England put in place structures that enabled it to sustain a common institutional structure and common set of beliefs across a rapidly-expanding ‘British world’. Though Church expansion was far from being a regulated and coordinated affair, the book argues that churchmen did find ways to accommodate Anglicans of different ethnic backgrounds and party attachments in a single broad-based ‘national’ colonial Church. The book details the array of institutions, voluntary societies and inter-colonial networks that furnished the men and money that facilitated Church expansion; it also sheds light on how this institutional context contributed to the formation of colonial Churches with distinctive features and identities. The colonial Church that is presented in this book will be of interest to more than just scholars and students of religious and Church history. The book shows how the colonial Church played a vital role in the formation of political publics and ethnic communities in a settler empire that was being remoulded by the advent of mass migration, democracy and the separation of Church and state.

Sally Mayall Brasher

from the church to the commune occurred. Brodman, Racine, and Mambretti, have recently suggested the ecclesiastical powers remained in control throughout the period. 65 In fact, while the institutional church was resistant to ceding its power, there is abundant evidence of the civic authorities exerting authority over charitable institutions in the fourteenth century while by 1450 they were appropriating all control over the hospitals and seeking to consolidate them into larger civic institutions. Evidence from the first half of the fifteenth century suggests an

in Hospitals and charity
Marie Keenan

others are neglected or excluded. This is certainly true in relation to the study of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. Much scholarly work focuses on the assumed psychopathology of the perpetrator and on failures of individuals who were in positions of authority in the Church in relation to their handling of abuse complaints. I suggest that there is a need to expand such individualistic perspectives and examine how cultural, theological, organisational and institutional Church influences were integrated and assimilated into and in turn influenced the Irish

in Are the Irish different?
Carmen Mangion

end of the 1960s, many congregations and orders were accepting (though perhaps not really celebrating) the critical faculties of their new entrants, proposing that her personal attributes would be necessary to address the needs of the secular age. These shifts over the 1940s to the 1960s demonstrate how understandings of the Modern Girl influenced the training of female religious in British congregations and orders. The institutional Church and female religious reacted to this discourse and took steps to restructure the lived experience of religious life to

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
Kathryn Walls

Loy is doomed to frustration. This is, paradoxically, because he believes that he can remove her clothes (those being the external paraphernalia that are part and parcel of the true institutional Church or Churches that she, as the community of the redeemed, inhabits) or – and this is simply tradition as such: ‘Primo, secundo, tertio is a good play; and the old saying is, the third pays for all.’ On fainting as a recurrent motif in The Faerie Queene, see Green, ‘Swooning in the Faerie Queene’. Green observes its typically restorative character (126). 53 Cf. Book of

in God’s only daughter
Joseph Hardwick

religious revival, or, as Knight put it, the ‘large outpouring of the spirit’, failed to materialise. 1 Knight’s response to cholera shows that institutional churches had much invested in special displays of public worship. For the devout, divine visitations and deliverances, and the accompanying days of fasting and thanksgiving, represented opportunities for evangelism and mission. It is true that some religious groups refused to participate because they did not recognise state authority in spiritual matters. For others

in Prayer, providence and empire

Irish Women and the Creation of Modern Catholicism is the only book-length study of lay Catholic women in modern Irish history. Focusing on the pivotal century from 1850 to 1950, it analyses the roles that middle-class, working-class, and rural poor lay women played in the evolution of Irish Catholicism and thus the creation of modern Irish identities. This project demonstrates that in an age of Church growth and renewal stretching from the aftermath of the Great Famine through the early years of the Irish Republic, lay women were essential to all aspects of Catholic devotional life, including both home-based religion and public Catholic rituals. It also reveals that women, by rejecting, negotiating, and reworking Church dictates, complicated Church and clerical authority. Irish Women and the Creation of Modern Catholicism re-evaluates the relationship between the institutional Church, the clergy, and women, positioning lay Catholic women as central actors in the making of modern Ireland. It also contests views that the increasing power of the Catholic Church caused a uniform decline in Irish women’s status after the Great Famine of the 1840s, revealing that middle-class, working-class, and rural poor lay women fought with their priests, dominated household religion, and led parish rituals, thus proving integral to the development of a modern Irish Catholic ethos and culture.

Joseph Hardwick

Chapter one, which examines the recruitment of the foot-soldiers of the institutional Church, draws attention to the sheer variety of clergy who peopled the Church in the British world in the pre-1860 period. The chapter highlights common dynamics in the development of the colonial clerical profession in the three chosen case studies. We will see that the aims of churchmen from across the Church party spectrum were frustrated by a persistent set of recruitment problems back in Britain—the major problem being that was no centralised or coordinated system for recruiting clergy. The first part of the chapter surveys the range of government organisations, voluntary groups and private individuals that played a part in recruitment; the second half provides a detailed examination of the clergy themselves. A number of questions about the recruitment, training, education and social and ethnic backgrounds of the clergy are considered. The recruitment of clergy shows that power was far from being centralised in the colonial Church: this was an institution that was made up a variety of networks and connections; it was also one that allowed a range of actors to have a hand in finding the men who would staff and run the colonial Church.

in An Anglican British World
Church power in the Puritan Revolution, 1638–44

The years 1638 through 1644 straddle a crucial divide in British history, as calls for religious reform and renewal mutated into political revolution. This book seeks to bring coherence to a pre-revolutionary historiography that focuses on questions of conformity to and semi-separatism from 'the church by law established' and a post-1642 historiography built around a coarse polarity between 'presbyterianism' and 'independency'. It recognises that the 1640s brought new men to the fore and an intense interaction between religious divines and lay Members of Parliament (MPs) who struggled for control of a nation and the future of its church. While the historiographical rediscovery since the 1980s of Protestant scholasticism has helped to rescue post-Reformation English puritanism from the realms of pietistic platitudes, it has not been equally applied to the field of ecclesiology. The book questions the use of various pamphlet sources and also engages in a careful analysis of several well-known, but relatively unused, texts. It provides a methodology for how to approach the published volumes on the Westminster assembly edited by Chad Van Dixhoorn. Presbyterianism, much less Scottish presbyterianism, was not a forgone conclusion when the Westminster assembly first met. The book seeks to show that the dynamics in the Westminster assembly owes far more to esprit de corps within a body confident in the calling of its members by God without any need to seek puppet-masters across the road from the Abbey Church of St Peter.


The church as sacred space places the reader at the heart of medieval religious life, standing inside the church with the medieval laity in order to ask what the church meant to them and why. It examines the church as a building, idea, and community, and explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was crucial to its place at the centre of lay devotion and parish life. At a time when the parish church was facing competition for lay attention, and dissenting movements such as Lollardy were challenging the relevance of the material church, the book examines what was at stake in discussions of sanctity and its manifestations. Exploring a range of Middle English literature alongside liturgy, architecture, and material culture, the book explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, the book offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by the rituals, performances, and practices of its lay communities, who were constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations, and significance. The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval religious culture and this book provides an invaluable context for students and academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English texts.