Religion and Society in Twentieth-century Britain

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Pearson Longman, 2006 - 344 pages
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During the twentieth century, Britain turned from one of the most deeply religious nations of the world into one of the most secularised nations. This book provides the first comprehensive account of religion in British society and culture between 1900 and 2000. It traces how Christian puritanism and respectability framed the people amidst world wars, economic depressions, and social protest, and how until the 1950s religious revivals fostered mass enthusiasm. The 1960’s saw a sudden and dramatic change, triggered by the cultural revolutions of young people and women. This drift away from faith was followed by the appearance of religious militancy in the 1980s and 1990s.

With a focus on the themes of faith cultures, secularisation, religious militancy and the spiritual revolution of the New Age, this book uses people’s own experiences and the stories of the churches to display the diversity and richness of British religion. With examples from across the U.K.and across the religious traditions, this is the first coherent history of the religious experience of the British people during the last century.   

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About the author (2006)

Callum Brown is professor of religious and cultural history at the University of Dundee. In 2001, he wrote a controversial study called The Death of Christian Britain that argued that Britainhad secularised as a result of sexual liberation and feminism in the 1960s. That book is now studied by historians and theologians around Europe. In Religion and Society in Twentieth Century Britain, Brown provides a rounded study of the place of faith and religious adherence in the lives of the British people, giving the first complete account of religion’s place in the nation’s culture and society.

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