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Rival Jerusalems


  • Page extent: 516 pages
  • Size: 229 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.75 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521121224)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 02:09 GMT, 28 November 2015)


This pioneering book is based upon very extensive analysis of the famous 1851 Census of Religious Worship and earlier sources such as the 1676 Compton Census. The authors stress contextual and regional understanding of religion. Among the subjects covered for all of England and Wales are the geography of the Church of England, Roman Catholicism, the old and new dissenting denominations, the spatial complementarity of denominations, and their importance for political history. A range of further questions are then analysed, such as regional continuities in religion, the growth of religious pluralism, Sunday schools and child labour during industrialisation, free and appropriated church sittings, landownership and religion, and urbanisation and regional 'secularisation'. This book's advanced methods and findings will have far-reaching influence within the disciplines of history, historical and cultural geography, religious sociology and in the social science community general.

• A complete geography of religion of England and Wales, with exhaustive analysis of many religious questions and debates • Includes innovative technical qualities such as computerised analysis of very large datasets, and advanced religious cartography • Groundbreaking interdisciplinary approach to the history of religion, covering in particular history, geography, sociology and religious studies


Introduction; Part I. Religious Geographies: The Districts of England and Wales: 1. The 1851 Census of Religious Worship; 2. The Church of England; 3. Old dissent: the Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, Quakers and Unitarians; 4. The geographies of new dissent; 5. Roman Catholicism and Irish immigration; 6. Denominational co-existence, reciprocity or exclusion?; Part II. Religion and Locality: Parish-Level Explorations: 7. The prospect of fifteen counties; 8. From Henry Compton to Maurice Mann: stability or relocation in Catholicism and Nonconformity, and the growth of religious pluralism; 9. The Sunday school movement: child labour, denominational control and working-class culture; 10. Free or appropriated sittings: the Anglican church in perspective; 11. Conformity, dissent and the influence of landownership; 12. Urbanisation and regional secularisation; Technical Appendices: A. Denominational statistics; B. Correction of registration-district data; C. The religious measures; D. Computer cartographic methods; E. Landownership and the Imperial Gazetteer; F. The 1861 Census of Religious Worship?; Bibliography.


Review of the hardback: 'K. D. M. Snell and Paul S. Ell have shown the way to achieve what many despaired of, chronicling important years and signs of the growth in religious pluralism with all its social consequences.' Owen Chadwick, The Times Literary Supplement

Review of the hardback: 'A great deal of thought and scholarship has gone into this book. The figures illustrating the text are magnificent and the bibliography leaves one stunned that so much could be condensed into one volume. Open History

Review of the hardback: '… lucid and well organised book, which is distinguished by its excellent maps, that the sophisticated statistical techniques that are employed in it take full account of, and explore the vagaries of a set of material that emanated from a variety of local circumstances. These techniques are fully explained in text, footnotes, and appendices, but the regional emphasis, which is a strength of the book, means that its authors remain fully alert to the varieties of experience as well as behaviour that lie behind the figures, and which are as important an influence on religious life as the social and economic conditions that they also discuss.' Catholic Historical Review

Review of the hardback: 'Rival Jerusalems stands out from this existing literature as by far the most important, systematic and interdisciplinary secondary analysis of the 1851 religious census to have been published … a mine of quantitative and cartographic information on … Victorian religion …'. English Historical Review

Review of the hardback: '… an apparently endless supply of fascinating and significant detail about Victorian religious practice … Anyone interested in the social history of religion will wish that they had written an even longer book … an invaluable source of information for future discussions of the decline of British Christianity because of its wealth of suggestive detail.' The Historical Journal

Review of the hardback: '… a wonderful resource …'. Journal of Rural History

Review of the hardback: '… it is likely to become what it deserves to be - the authoritative work of reference on the 1851 religious census … it provides something long sought-for and needed, a thorough analysis and interpretation. Rival Jerusalems has been worth waiting for.' The Local Historian

Review of the hardback: '… an indispensable context within which local historians of Victorian religion can work.' History

Review of the hardback: '… an admirable piece of work … the authors are to be congratulated … for providing such an excellent set of tools with which to begin this task …'. Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Review of the hardback: 'I found this one of the most stimulating books I have read for many years … it offers a genuinely fresh perspective on English social and economic history, especially at the regional and local level … it should be essential reading from now on for anyone interested in the social, economic or population geography of Victorian England and Wales.' Local Population Studies

Review of the hardback: 'This is a major achievement. Anyone interested in nineteenth century religion in England and Wales must read it. But better than that, anyone who disagrees with Snell and Ell can access the data and repeat the analyses.' Albion

Review of the hardback: 'This well-written book is a mine of information on the Victorian religious landscape and will be an absolute must for the Victorianist and church historian.' The Heythrop Journal

'a specialists' book, there is much to attract in this primary research. There are results in all sorts of geographic, graphic and tabular presentation, and a greater nuanced understanding emerges of many features of the religious and denominational characteristics of England and Wales in 1851.' Journal of Urban History

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