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Brown, Stewart Providence and Empire ISBN 13: 9780582299603

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The 19th century was, to a large extent, the ‘British century’. Great Britain was the great world power and its institutions, beliefs and values had an immense impact on the world far beyond its formal empire. 

Providence and Empire argues that knowledge of the religious thought of the time is crucial in understanding the British imperial story. The churches of the United Kingdom were the greatest suppliers of missionaries to the world, and there was a widespread belief that Britain had a divine mission to spread Christianity and civilisation, to eradicate slavery, and to help usher in the millennium; the Empire had a providential purpose in the world. 

This is the first connected account of the interactions of religion, politics and society in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales between 1815 and 1914. Providence and Empire is essential reading for any student who wishes to gain an insight into the social, political and cultural life of this period.

 

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“This is a splendid account... written in superbly clear prose by a master of the subject, this book provides a unique interpretation of "vital religion" and its changing relation to State and society in the period when Britain was the world's richest and greatest power.” Thomas William Heyck. Professor of History Emeritus, Northwestern University    

 

“Stewart J. Brown’s lucid account will be invaluable for those seeking to understand either society at large in the nineteenth century or the subsequent trajectory of religion in the British Isles.” Professor David Bebbington, University of Stirling

"... A well-researched and richly evocative book, breaking new ground by providing a broad United Kingdom and imperial perspective." Prof John Wolffe, The Open University

 

 

The 19th century was, to a large extent, the ‘British century’. Great Britain was the great world power and its institutions, beliefs and values had an immense impact on the world far beyond its formal empire. 

 

Providence and Empire argues that knowledge of the religious thought of the time is crucial in understanding the British imperial story. The churches of the United Kingdom were the greatest suppliers of missionaries to the world, and there was a widespread belief that Britain had a divine mission to spread Christianity and civilisation, to eradicate slavery, and to help usher in the millennium; the Empire had a providential purpose in the world. 

 

Yet this was also the time of industrialisation, imperialism and the growth of democracy.  Britain was no longer a semi-confessional state, but rather a liberal one in which religious observance was left largely to the choice of the individual.  Providence and Empire explores the continued unravelling of the religious unity in the British state and surveys the transformative effect that moral questions raised by developments in biblical criticism and natural science had on society.

 

This is the first connected narrative of the interactions of religion, politics and society in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales between 1815 and 1914. Providence and Empire is essential reading for any student who wishes to gain an insight into the social, political and cultural life of this period.

 

Stewart J Brown is Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Edinburgh. He has authored and edited many texts including The National Churches of England, Ireland, and Scotland 1801-1846 (2001)

 

About the Author:

Stewart J. Brown has been Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Edinburgh since 1988.  From 2000-2004 he was Dean of the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh

 

He has acted as co-editor of the Scottish Historical Review from 1993 to 1999 and is now Honorary President of the Scottish Church History Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. 

 

He is has written seven books and authored over forty articles for various journals.

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  • PublisherRoutledge
  • Publication date2008
  • ISBN 10 0582299608
  • ISBN 13 9780582299603
  • BindingPaperback
  • Edition number1
  • Number of pages508

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