Christianity and English Society: Methodism and the Working Class in the nineteenth century

Mr Akira Mabuchi (PhD student, Faculty of History, Pembroke College)

Saturday, 01 June, 1996; 7:00-9:00 pm

Seminar room, Darwin College

E. Halevy (1870-1937), a French historian, said that the reason why English society escaped a revolution in the nineteenth century while revolutions were taking place in other European countries was the effect of evangelicalism encouraged by Methodism (the then leading Christian denomination in England) on the working class. He argued that the evangelicalism changed the nature and moral standard of the working class. Socialistic historians, however, tended to deny his thesis, whereas Methodist historians tended to emphasize such a Methodist role. Discussing Halevy's thesis, the relationship between Christianity and English society, working class in particular, in the nineteenth century will be considered.