Elite and popular religion in the religious census of 30 March 1851

Wolffe, John (2006). Elite and popular religion in the religious census of 30 March 1851. In: Cooper, Kate and Gregory, Jeremy eds. Elite and Popular Religion. Studies in Church History (42). Woodbridge: Ecclesiastical History Society, pp. 360–371.

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Abstract

[About the book]: This wide-ranging volume explores and examines the complex and nuanced relationship between elite and popular Christianity, focussing on the issue of how we should define these concepts, and how useful the distinction is for the history of Christianity. Topics covered include the meaning attached to baptism in sixth-century Spain, crusading ideology, medieval and Reformation religiosity, seating arrangements in eighteenth-century churches, the reception of visual media in modern American religion, and the use of 'pop' music in the Church of England. Taken together the essays in this volume challenge conventional understandings of a simple and sharp dichotomy between elite and popular religion, instead highlighting the ways in which participants from across the social spectrum could take part in a shared religious culture - albeit often for different reasons and with different resonances - and emphasising how elements of that culture were appropriated by different social groups.

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