Contested Christianity: The Political and Social Contexts of Victorian Theology

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Baylor University Press, 2004 - Religion - 234 pages
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This volume explores the cultural, political, and intellectual forces that helped define nineteenth-century British Christianity. Larsen challenges many of the standard assumptions about Victorian-era Christians in their attempts to embody and their theological commitments. He highlights the way in which Dissenters and other free church Evangelicals employed the full range of theological resources available to them to take stands that the wider culture was still resisting - e.g., evangelical nonconformists enfranchising women, siding with the black population of Jamaica in opposition to their own colonial governor, championing the rights of Jews, Roman Catholics, and atheists. These stances belie the stereotypes of Victorian Evangelicals currently in existence and properly shift the focus to Dissent, to plebeian culture, to social contexts, and to the cultural and political consequences of theological commitments. This study brings freshness and verve to the study of religion and the Victorians, bearing fruit in a range of significant findings and connections.
  

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Contents

Gender Egalitarianism The Baptist Women of the Mill Yard Church
11
Religious Respectability The Reverend Newman Halls Divorce Case
21
Spiritual Exploration Thomas Cook Victorian Tourists and the Holy Land
29
The Social Contexts of a Contested Faith
40
Biblical Criticism and the Crisis of Belief D F Strausss Leben Jesu in Britain
43
Biblical Criticism and the Desire for Reform Bishop Colenso on the Pentateuch
59
Biblical Criticism and AntiChristian Rhetoric Joseph Barker and the Case against the Bible
79
Biblical Criticism and the Secularist Mentality Charles Bradlaugh and the Case against Miracles
97
The Politics of Free Church Polity
132
Free Church Ecclesiology Lay Representation and the Methodist New Connexion
133
Free Church Politics and the Gathered Church The Evangelical Case for Religious Pluralism
145
Free Church Politics and Contested Memories The Historical Case for Disestablishment
157
Free Church Politics and the British Empire The Baptist Case against Jamaicas Colonial Governor
169
Conclusion
189
Notes
195
Copyright

The Appeal of Victorian Apologetics Thomas Cooper and the Case for Christian Orthodoxy
113

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About the author (2004)

Timothy Larsen is Associate Professor of Theology at Wheaton College.

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