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Classes and CulturesEngland 1918-1951$
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Ross McKibbin

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206729

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206729.001.0001

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Religion and Belief

Religion and Belief

(p.272) VII Religion and Belief
Classes and Cultures

Ross McKibbin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the extent to which the English practised a religion and how far they had religious or quasi-religious beliefs. It looks at the experience of each of the significant Christian churches over the period, how that experience differed between different churches, at the nature and meaning of ‘secularization’, and at the extent to which people held transcendent beliefs irrespective of church attendance or formal religious affiliation. It also considers the degree to which men and women differed in their beliefs. Tensions between the ‘religious’ and the ‘secular’ in English life were remarkable and, throughout these years, unresolved. The adherence of the majority of the English to religious rites of passage — birth, marriage, death — suggests that the influence of organised religion went considerably beyond its active membership.

Keywords:   Christian religions, beliefs, Roman Catholic, anti-religion, Church of England, secularization

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