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Title: Characteristics of religious diversity in mid-nineteenth century Warwickshire : a study of the 1851 religious census
Author: Geary, Frank K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 7384
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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The Census of Religious Worship of 1851 was a unique attempt to collect information about the nation's religious practice in the middle of a century of great social, economic and political upheaval. By 1851, a period of intense urbanisation had resulted in the country's urban population exceeding that in rural areas. Warwickshire can be considered as a microcosm of England as a whole, with its mixture of rural and urban landscapes and agricultural and industrial employment. This study attempts to investigate how far the Religious Census helps to illustrate the nature and extent of religious diversity. From the survey of the extensive literature emerge a number of significant questions about the reliability of the Census. This study is rooted in the geographical, socio-economic and religious contexts of Warwickshire in the middle of the nineteenth century, drawing original raw material from transcriptions of the Warwickshire returns of the Religious Census. The spatial distribution of these differences is analysed through a comparison of distribution maps. It is possible to observe the results of the attempts of the Church of England as it struggled to maintain its position as the Established Church, as well as responding to criticisms. There is evidence that the Church of England in Birmingham was faring much better than in other urban-industrial centres, while in rural Warwickshire, clerical abuses such as pluralism and nepotism were being addressed. We can also see the rapidly developing diversity of religious provision in the proliferation of Nonconformist sects and denominations during the first half of the nineteenth century. The results of the Census reveal the variety of provision of accommodation for worship, including Sunday Schools, variations in attendance and worship provided and also demonstrate clearly the variety of religious experience in rural and urban areas in the county which the different denominations offered.
Supervisor: Smith, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available