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A History of the English Parish

A History of the English Parish
The Culture of Religion from Augustine to Victoria

$86.99 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521633512

$ 86.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Most writings on church history have been concerned mainly with church hierarchy, and with theology, liturgy and canon law. This book looks at the church 'from below', from the lowest stratum of its organisation - the parish - in which the church building is seen as the parishioners' handiwork and as a reflection of local popular culture. The book discusses in turn the origin and development of the system of precisely-defined parishes, their function - in terms of economics and personnel - and the church fabric which embodied the aspirations of parishioners, who saw the church more as an expression of their cultural and social hopes than as the embodiment of their faith. The book ends with the failure of the parish to meet all of its obligations - social, governmental and religious - from the late eighteenth century onwards.

    • A sweeping account of the culture of the English parish from early medieval times to the early nineteenth century
    • Another title by the author of such standard works as An Historical Geography of Europe and The Medieval Castle in England and Wales
    • Contains much of interest to the non-academic reader in dealing with the fascinating detail of parish history and organisation, and the contents and fabric of the English church
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Professor Pounds's illuminating history … is rewarding reading for anybody interested in local history or church architecture … as an account of the evolution of the parish it is hard to see how it could be better.' Country Life

    '… a full, proficient and readable guide to work that is voluminous and often disparate, and will be welcomed as an introduction to this important subject'. The English Historical Review

    'Pounds draws on the most recent research and adds much of his own.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

    'This book is a magisterial account … of the history of the parish from its earliest beginnings to the modern period … invaluable and accessible … a book to be treasured and enjoyed … this book will become a universal classic without which no library large or small, amateur or professional, will be complete.' Landscapes

    'A compendious but clearly organised account of the religious and secular functions of the parish.' Northern History

    'As a history of the English parish Pounds' is indeed encyclopaedic. As a work of reference it will prove invaluable, and its concern with the materiality of religion makes it also a work of great relevance to archaeology.' Medieval Archaeology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2004
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521633512
    • length: 620 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 189 x 32 mm
    • weight: 1.09kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Abbreviations
    Part I. The Origins of the Parochial System:
    1. Church and parish
    2. Rectors and vicars
    3. The bounds of the parish
    4. The urban parish
    Part II. The Functions of the Parish:
    5. The parish and its servants
    6. The economics of the parish
    7. The community and the parish
    8. The parish and the church courts
    9. The parish and popular culture
    Part III: The Parish and its Church:
    10. The parish: its church and churchyard
    11. The fabric of the church: the priest's church
    12. The people's church
    Postscript.

  • Author

    N. J. G. Pounds, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

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