|Appears in Collections:||History and Politics Book Chapters and Sections|
|Title:||Evangelicalism and British culture|
|Authors:||Bebbington, David William|
|Citation:||Bebbington DW (2014) Evangelicalism and British culture. In: Dickson NTR, Marinello TJ (ed.). Culture, Spirituality and the Brethren. Studies in Brethren History, 3, Troon, Ayrshire: Brethren Archivists and Historians Network, pp. 25-38.|
|Series/Report no.:||Studies in Brethren History, 3|
|Abstract:||First paragraph: ‘To say’, declared W. H. Groser, secretary of the Sunday School Union, in 1900, ‘that the Church has remained unaffected by influences permeating our national life would be to assert that we are independent of our social environment’. That supposition, he assumed, was absurd. People are moulded by their circumstances and consequently the Christian community is swayed by its setting. That process takes place in many ways. Political factors can impinge on churches, absorbing their time and energy in exercising power or else in avoiding its exercise. Perhaps the impact of the state is greatest when it is hostile, but during the era since the eighteenth century, with a few notable exceptions, the public authorities in Britain have been generally benign, or at worst neutral, towards religion. Likewise economic conditions can shape church life, with abundant or restricted resources drastically affecting the conduct of congregational affairs. Wealth or poverty have certainly altered church methods in Britain, but usually the chief effect has been on the scale of operations rather than their substance. The concern of this paper is with a more fundamental aspect of the condition of human beings, their cultural formation. The subject is the basic assumptions that have coloured the way Evangelical Christians have looked at the world and ordered their affairs—what we might call the spectacles behind their eyes. How have cultural attitudes shaped the expression of the Christian gospel in Britain? . Sunday School Chronicle (1900), p. 729, quoted by P. B. Cliff, The Rise and Development of the Sunday School Movement in England, 1780-1980 (Redhill, Surrey, 1986), p.197.|
|Rights:||The publisher has granted permission for use of this work in this Repository. Published in Culture, Spirituality and the Brethren by Brethren Archivists and Historians Network: http://www.brethrenhistory.org/|
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