19th Century Literature, Religion and Society

1st Edition

Naomi Hetherington, Rebecca Styler, Angharad Eyre, Richa Dwor, Clare Stainthorp

September 11, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 1916 Pages
ISBN 9781138563155 - CAT# Y381472

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This four-volume historical resource provides new opportunities for investigating the relationship between religion, literature and society in Britain and its imperial territories by making accessible a diverse selection of harder-to-find primary sources. These include religious fiction, poetry, essays, memoirs, sermons, travel writing, religious ephemera, unpublished notebooks and pamphlet literature. Spanning the long nineteenth century (c.1789–1914), the resource departs from older models of ‘the Victorian crisis of faith’ in order to open up new ways of conceptualising religion. A key concern of the resource is to integrate non-Christian religions into our understanding and representations of religious life in this period.

Each volume is framed around a different meaning of the term ‘religion’. Volume one on ‘Traditions’ offers an overview of the different religious traditions and denominations present in Britain in this period. Volume two on ‘Mission and Reform’ considers the social and political importance of religious faith and practice as expressed through foreign and domestic mission and philanthropic and political movements at home and abroad. Volume three turns to ‘Religious Feeling’ as an important and distinct category for understanding the ways in which religion is embodied and expressed in culture. Volume four on ‘Disbelief and New Beliefs’ explores the transformation of the religious landscape of Britain and its imperial territories during the nineteenth century as a result of key cultural and intellectual forces.

The resource is aimed primarily at researchers and students working within the fields of literature and social and religious history. It supplies an interpretative context for sources in the form of explanatory headnotes to each source or group of sources and volume introductions that explore overarching themes. Each volume can be read independently, but they work together to elucidate the complex and multi-faceted nature of nineteenth-century religious life.

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