Religion in the age of decline : organisation and experience in industrial Yorkshire, 1870-1920
West Riding of Yorkshire (England)
Cambridge University Press 1996EISBN 9780511522994
The seemingly inexorable decline of Christianity in Britain has long fascinated historians, sociologists and churchmen. They have also been exasperated by their failure to understand its origins or chart its progress. Sceptical both of traditional accounts and of their more recent rejection by revisionist writers, S. J. D. Green concentrates scholarly attention for the first time on the 'social history of the chapel' in a characteristic industrial-urban setting. He demonstrates just why so many churches were built in late Victorian Britain, who built them, who went to them, and why. He evaluates the 'associational ideal' during its period of greatest success, and explains the causes of its decline. In this way, Religion in the Age of Decline offers a fresh interpretation of the extent and the implications of the decline of religion in twentieth-century Britain.