Needless to say, this argument has profound implications for contemporary narratives that either lament or celebrate a purported conflict between faith and reason and steady march of secularization. The long sweep of history, from the 18th century down to the 20th, allows a bold thesis to be worked out in its totality. There is much to appreciate here. Trained as an undergraduate at Oxford and a research student at Cambridge to study history 'for its own sake', he is nevertheless committed to bringing historical insights to contemporary debates, especially in the area of Christianity and culture. This book traces the rise and fall of the evangelical movement, the powerhouse of Victorian religion, via its preoccupation with pleasure.
Tracing a history of doubt and unbelief from the Reformation to the age of Darwin and Karl Marx, Dominic Erdozain argues that the most powerful solvents of religious orthodoxy have been concepts of moral equity and personal freedom generated by Christianity itself. These means are the word of God and the sacraments by means of which God intends seriously to call sinners into His kingdom of grace and convert, regenerate, justify, and save them. You should start right now! Repeatedly, the reader thinks of an obvious monograph germane to a discussion and then discovers that it is not even in the bibliography. Notwithstanding the remarkably independent line taken by the author, chapters one and two are heavily reliant on the work of previous historians. This is lively, even sparkling, prose.
Church has become a source of entertainment in an entertainment filled society. It is generally approached within the context of God's universal benevolence. Others have suggested that the most powerful critiques of Christian orthodoxy have been primarily moral, indeed religious, but no-one has pursued this argument so consistently and across three centuries. His first book The Problem of Pleasure: Sport, Recreation and the Crisis of Victorian Religion was published in 2010. I look forward to further conversations. But not only pleasure--many other aspects of society were secularized through the para-church concept.
The long sweep of history, from the 18th century down to the 20th, allows a bold thesis to be worked out in its totality. For this audience, including many students as well as committed secularists with their own entrenched interpretations of the canonical figures Erdozain studies, this should be a valuable and important study. A good deal of the earlier part of the material, for example, is derived from secondary sources. At times this apocalyptic fervour and fascination with eschatological doctrines veered into extremes. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries evangelical disapproval of worldly amusements amounted to a near-total ban on recreation, including sport. Erdozain has shed new light, a new perspective, on modernity. On the first occasion he points out that he is merely recognising that religion is influenced by concepts p.
He possesses a delightful felicitous style that makes him a pleasure to read. This is lively, even sparkling, prose. In fact, sport became the perfect vehicle for that humanistic, 'unmystical' morality that defines the secularity of the twentieth century. The author engages explicitly with, on the one hand, the advocates of the secularisation thesis such as Bryan Wilson and Steve Bruce who believe that there has been a steady move from the religious to the secular over the past 300 years and, on the other, its critics such as Grace Davie and the authors of a 2007 symposium on Redefining Christian Britain who hold that religion has been remarkably persistent over that period. The long sweep of history, from the 18th century down to the 20th, allows a bold thesis to be worked out in its totality. Romanticism did not engulf the churches in a single wave of influence.
There is much to appreciate here. There are fascinating suggestions, for example, about the genealogy of Romantic ideas among broader-minded theologians of the mid-century. The churches followed suit, allowing their spiritual work to contract in favor of church-sponsored recreational activities. Historians have praised the mood of engagement but the costs were profound. Abbreviations Introduction: Desecularizing Doubt 1. The long sweep of history, from the 18th century down to the 20th, allows a bold thesis to be worked out in its totality.
It has to be said that the book is not flawless. This tour de force of incisive argument and wide-ranging erudition confirms his reputation. This book traces the rise and fall of the evangelical movement, the powerhouse of Victorian religion, via its preoccupation with pleasure. Holiness, according to Keswick, was attained by faith alone. This is, of course, an ongoing struggle for the church--to find effective ways of living life within the constraints of our social structure, but living in such a way that influences, for good, the world as a whole.
Such a stance made evangelicalism repugnant to many outsiders and as the century advanced, its own adherents began to concede that they had condemned what the Almighty permitted. The counter-attractions to the public house channelled social energy away from religion in other directions. This tour de force of incisive argument and wide-ranging erudition confirms his reputation. Th This book traces the rise and fall of the evangelical movement, the powerhouse of Victorian religion, via its preoccupation with pleasure. The prime example of this fruit of this progression? Victorian evangelicalism demonstrated an ability to excite the affections but also a corresponding suspicion of worldly pleasures. A third welcome aspect of this book is its style.
The problem of overdrawn boundaries between church and world gave way to a new and subtle confusion of gospel and culture. It may be suggested that the thesis could be extended in a couple of ways. The injection of contemporary reference into these passages is typical, making for a rich reading experience. If so many of the Enlightenment's landmark thinkers were inspired by religious ideas, the concept of a secular modernity must be open to revision. Fourthly, the findings are highly instructive. Erdozain provides an invaluable-indeed indispensable-contribution to the rich and evolving tapestry that constitutes our historical reconstruction of the relationship between religion and secularism. The Catholic Historical Review 89.