The main theme of this book is religion and identity - not only national identity, but also regional and local identities. David Hempton penetrates to the heart of vigorous religious and political cultures, both elite and popular, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He brings to life a diverse and variegated spectrum of religious communities in all of the British Isles. With so much new British history really an extended version of old English history, Hempton has devoted more attention to the Celtic fringes, especially Ireland. It is an exercise in comparative history, but he also shows how richly coloured is the religious history of these islands. He demonstrates that even in their cultural distinctiveness, the various religious traditions have had more in common than is sometimes imagined. The book arises from the 1993 Cadbury Lectures at the University of Birmingham.
• Deals with British Isles as a whole by bringing to life religious and political cultures, both elite and popular • Introduces the main themes of religious history in the British Isles in the modern period • Introduces at least four different historiographical traditions in religious writing in sharp, vigorous, accessible language
1. The Church of England: a great English consensus?; 2. The Methodist revolution?; 3. Evangelical enthusiasm and national identity in Scotland and Wales; 4. The making of the Irish Catholic nation; 5. Ulster Protestantism: the religious foundations of rebellious loyalism; 6. Religious and political culture in urban Britain; 7. Religion and identity in the British Isles: integration and separation; 8. Conclusions.
'A work of immense scholarship and stunning insights …'. Marianne Elliott, The Times Higher Education Supplement
'… nobody who is interested in the making of the modern Church of England should miss it'. Arnold Hunt, Church Times
'… written in a crisp, incisive prose, and reflects a thorough knowledge of all relevant literature, combined with a judicious assessment of the issues'. Hugh McLeod, Reviews in Religion and Philosophy
'… brings balance and wisdom to a variety of controversial areas … I commend his book enthusiastically in the highest terms'. Linda Colley
'… we find information, illumination and wisdom, often overturning popular received opinion.' Themelois Volume 23:1