By Frank Prochaska
An elegantly written learn that charts the connection among Christianity and social provider in Britain because the eighteenth century and offers a difficult new interpretation of the hyperlinks among Christian decline and democratic traditions.
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Extra resources for Christianity and Social Service in Modern Britain: The Disinherited Spirit
To many of them, the teaching of writing and arithmetic was potentially dangerous. ²⁷ He need not have worried. Methodists were often hostile to traditional doctrines stemming from the Reformation, but they were not enthusiastic about French principles. ²⁸ Sectarian rivalries ensured that no one class or denomination had a monopoly on Sunday schools. ³⁰ In the competitive religious atmosphere, the rival denominations worshipped themselves; they believed it imperative to teach their children the tenets of their faith and to inculcate social discipline.
This was but a fraction of the overall activity, for many schools were initiated locally without connection to the society. The schools sought out the ‘deserving poor’, or ‘persons employed in the manufacturies’. The indispensable text, as in the weekday charity schools, was the Bible, though catechisms, primers, and hymn-books Schooling 33 supplemented it. Such materials were thought sufﬁcient to give a rudimentary education to children in employment, on farms or in textile factories, who could not attend school without interruption to their work.
Many such schools persisted, but in a society growing more urban and industrial the hallmark of elementary education was increasingly the result of collective effort rather than individual benefaction. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries benevolent citizens, parishes, churches and chapels, and national societies founded tens of thousands of voluntary schools, often representing competing denominations. These various institutions—charity schools, Sunday schools, and ragged schools—were expressions of a Christian associational culture, typically ﬁnanced by subscriptions and managed by local committees.
Christianity and Social Service in Modern Britain: The Disinherited Spirit by Frank Prochaska