New Century, Old Faith

Keith Robbins

in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780198263715
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191714283 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

New Century, Old Faith

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The chapter presents a broad picture of the different churches across the Isles at the dawn of the century. It identifies structures, modes of government (episcopacy, presbyterianism, connexionalism, congregationalism), and respective understandings of ‘clergy’ and ‘laity’. These are set against the backdrop of specific types of buildings — cathedrals, churches, chapels, and meeting-houses, and their ethos and regional/national distribution are described. The chapter emphasizes the extent to which buildings conveyed messages about the social character of denominations. It describes differences in styles of worship and modes of dress — preaching, praying, music — and their setting and surroundings, together with the theological and liturgical assumptions underlying them. It asks about change and continuity: the relationship between past and present in a new century. It probes the ‘public space’ churches occupied, both in terms of local communities and in relation to national politics and the constitution (establishment and disestablishment).

Keywords: cathedrals; chapels; churches; congregationalism; connexionalism; episcopacy; establishment; Presbyterianism; worship

Chapter.  23161 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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