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The Churches

The Dynamics of Religious Reform in Northern Europe, 1780-1920

Joris van Eijnatten, Paula Yates (eds)

Publication Year: 2010

Developments in church-state relationships in north-western Europe between 1780 and 1920 had a substantial impact on reformist ideas, projects and movements within the churches. Conversely, the dynamics of ecclesiastical reform prompted the state itself to react in various ways, through direct intervention or by adapting its policies and/or promulgating laws. To which extent did church and state mutually influence each other in matters concerning ecclesiastical reform? How and why did they do so? These are the central questions posed in The Churches, the second volume in the series ‘Dynamics of Religious Reform'. The volume concentrates on the reforms generated by the churches themselves and on their response to the political and legal reforms initiated by the state. It shows how processes of church reform evolved differently in different countries. The position and role of organised religion in the modern state is a matter of continual debate. This volume offers historical insight into the enduring but sometimes uneasy relationship between church and secular authority.

Published by: Leuven University Press

Series: Dynamics of Religious Reform

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4


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pp. 5-6

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pp. 7-26

“Reform is the conscious pursuit of renewal with the aim of adapting organised religion to the changing relations between church, state and society.” The definition of reform used by this series seems quite straightforward, and all contributors to this volume have judged it to be relevant to the various national contexts they have examined. ...


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pp. 27-28

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The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland

Until the last quarter of the twentieth century the prevailing view of the established churches in the British Isles was that in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries they were largely antipathetic to reform and had to be forced to reform themselves by parliamentary legislation and government initiatives. ...

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Internal Church Reform, 1780-1850. Establishment under Fire

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pp. 31-52

The work of scholars such as Arthur Burns, Jeremy Gregory, W.M. Jacob, Frances Knight, F.C. Mather, Mark Smith and myself, has largely discredited the traditional view of the nineteenth century, that reform had to be forced on an unwilling church by parliament, and has shown, I hope convincingly, that the Anglican churches of England, Ireland and Wales ...

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The Oxford Movement and the Legacy of Anglican Evangelicalism

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pp. 53-66

The previous chapter referred to the contribution of the Evangelical Revival to reform in the nineteenth century. The literature on ‘evangelical revival’, especially in regard to its origins and genesis, is vast. It is matched by a no less substantial literature on the subject of organic and institutional church reform in the long eighteenth century. ...

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Internal Church Reform, 1850-1920. An Age of Innovation in Ecclesiastical Reform

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pp. 67-94

For as long as historians of British Christianity have been studying the nineteenth century, they have been talking about church reform. In part, this is because the participants in nineteenth-century British Christianity, and particularly the Anglican ones, became obsessed with it. ...


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pp. 95-98

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The Low Countries

Belgium and the Netherlands have gone down in history as the ‘Low Countries’. In terms of geography (a considerable part is deltaic) and politics (the Burgundian states in the later Middle Ages, the Benelux now), they to some extent still form a unit. As was pointed out in Volume I, however, the Southern and Northern Netherlands went their different ways once the dust of the Reformation had settled. ...

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Church Reform and Modernity in Belgium

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pp. 101-122

Belgium lies on the southernmost border of Northern Europe, but it could also be described as being the most northerly part of Southern Europe. The country has therefore somewhat Latin characteristics which are hardly, if at all, to be found elsewhere in the North. ...

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Contested Unity. Church, Nation and Reform in the Netherlands

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pp. 123-152

On 6 August 1863, Alexander Ver Huell (1822-1897) spent a rainy day in the Wolfhezer Woods near Arnhem in the east of the Netherlands. “I’ve just come from a General Evangelical National Mission Feast”, he wrote that evening in the diary he kept: “a renewal of the Old Hedgerow Sermons”. ...


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pp. 153-156

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This chapter is divided into two sections, one dealing with Catholic, the other with Protestant Germany. Given the political and religious complexity of the German ‘bloc’, a division along confessional lines seems the most sensible way to discuss 140 years of ecclesiastical reform. ...

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Internal Church Reform in Catholic Germany

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pp. 159-184

During the last decades of the Holy Roman Empire the Catholic Church with its 23 prince bishops and its 44 imperial abbeys constituted not only a political force of cohesion and a career market where the younger sons of the nobility could live in style, but showed remarkable efforts in the field of internal ecclesiastical reform. ...

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The Protestant Churches in Germany and Ecclesiastical Reform

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pp. 185-214

Within Protestantism, Enlightenment and Pietism shared certain essential points. Both movements aimed at intensification of individual piety as well as at new forms of social contextualization of religion. The middle-class appetite for reading was used by both Pietists and Enlightenment thinkers to spread their particular concerns. ...


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pp. 215-226

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The Nordic Countries

The Nordic countries included in this study experienced some alterations of political alliance during the period, with Norway being first part of a composite Danish state, then briefly independent after the Treaty of Kiel in 1814, when it adopted a very liberal constitution, and finally part of a union with Sweden until 1905. ...

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Church, State and Reform in Denmark

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pp. 229-246

Remarkably little happened to the fundamental structure of the Danish church1 between 1780 and 1920. The church carried out crucial reforms only towards the end of the period, in response to extensive social change. Around 1780 the Danish church was not an independent organisation; ...

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Self-Reform and Swedish Christianity

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pp. 247-260

More than in many other European nations the concept of religious homogeneity had become a tangible reality in Sweden.1 In 1780, at a time when a limited religious liberty had manifested itself in many regions, church and nationhood were still intertwined at every level, from the national Diet to the rural household. ...

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The Limits of Ecclesiastical Reform in Norway

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pp. 261-276

From the Reformation to the time of the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was a part of the composite Danish state which included Iceland, the Faeroe Islands and the duchy of Schleswig-Holstein. The church was organised as a state church with a Lutheran confession. ...


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pp. 277-279

Index, Map of Northern Europe c.1870

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pp. 280-285

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Authors, Colophon

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pp. 286-288

Claus Arnold, professor of church history, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main. Research interests: modernist crisis, ecclesiastical censure (sixteenth-twentieth centuries), Roman Curia, German Catholicism (nineteenth-twentieth centuries). ...

E-ISBN-13: 9789461660312
Print-ISBN-13: 9789058678263

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Dynamics of Religious Reform