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The Death of Christian Britain (Christianity and Society in the Modern World) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 11. Februar 2009

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Is Christianity in Britain nearing extinction? Is the decline in Britain emblematic of the fate of Western Christianity? "The Death of Christian Britain" uses the latest techniques to offer new formulations of religion and secularization and explores what it has meant to be 'religious' and 'irreligious' during the last 200 years. It challenges the generally held view that secularization has been a long and gradual process beginning with the industrial revolution, and instead proposes that it has been a catastrophic and abrupt cultural revolution starting in the 1960s.This second edition includes a new chapter that repositions the book's argument in light of criticism and new research. It addresses the reactions to the treatment of the 'old' Christian culture of modern Britain, the sixties in religious history, gender and the mutation of Christianity and demonstrates the validity of the Death of Christian Britain in understanding contemporary religion and culture. Topical and controversial, "The Death of Christian Britain" is a bold and original work that will bring some uncomfortable truths to light.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Callum Brown is Professor of Religious and Cultural History at the University of Dundee. His publications include Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (2006) and Postmodernism for Historians (2005).

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18 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Sex Invented, 1963: Christianity Dies 18. Dezember 2010
Von T. G. S. Hawksley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
It happened in 1963. That's when Christianity in Britain died. Till I read this book I had wrongly thought in terms of a slow erosion of faith. In the late 19th C the unholy trinity of Darwin, Freud, and Marx had injected enough poison into European thought to kill the roots of traditional Christian faith even in Britain, the land of the Puritans and Wesley, and this was speeded up by liberal theology eager to bring religion in line with modern thinking. So by the outbreak of the First World War, the greenery was still visible, but the roots were weak. The first war, followed by the great crash, fascism, another war, and the holocaust then shouted from the rooftops, what the roots had long suggested: Christianity was dead. And so we move into the post Christian era. Brown shows this scheme of things to be wrong. Focusing on the period from 1800 to 1950 both the statistics and more importantly the print media - novels, magazines, tracts - he proves that Christianity was absolutely the dominating cultural force in Britain, and in contrast to the idea of an erosion of faith after the second war, church attendance actually rose in the 1950's, what he calls between 1945 - 1958, a `return to piety'. So what happened in 1963? The Hull librarian poet Larkin has part of the answer:

Sex was invented in 1963, between the Chatterley trial and the Beatles' first LP.

But it's a little bit more complicated than more sex and people turning their backs on traditional Christian morality. That has been happening furtively since the beginning of time. What was different in 1963 was the reaction of women. Brown shows that in the Christian culture women had played a crucial role of being the ones who tamed men and brought them into the church. In novels and magazines the women were always the domestic saints, the men the potential prodigals. In the 1960's women were no longer ready to be the guardians of the Christian home, and this rejection of `pious femininity destroyed the evangelical narrative'. Traditional magazines that used the old story of steadfast women taming men failed to sell, new ones like `Jackie' giving women an independent agenda did. With this rejection came a massive exodus from the church...and so, along with the better known forces of secularisation at work, it was the daughters of Eve who ate the Apple label, and let Christianity die. It's a stimulating thesis and well worth reading - but I don't think the author gives enough credit to the impact that two world wars between two `Christian' nations had on everyone's psyche. It wasn't just women swapping church for the Beatles. It was also a deep distress that somehow Christianity hadn't worked which the children picked up from their parents. The tragic irony is of course that in fact Christianity, even the lukewarm Anglican fare of the 1930's had worked. It had inspired a generation to combat Nazism. This makes the liberal fascist revolt of the 1960's an even worse betrayal.
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