Contested Christianity

Contested Christianity

The Political and Social Contexts of Victorian Theology

by Timothy Larsen

242 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781602581777
  • Published: January 2004



This volume explores the cultural, political and intellectual forces that helped shape and define nineteenth-century British Christianity. Larsen challenges many of the standard assumptions about Victorian era Christians in their attempts to embody their theological commitments. In contrast to other studies of the period, Larsen highlights the way in which Dissenters and other free church evangelicals employed the full range of theological resources available to them to take stands that the wider culture was still resisting--e.g., evangelical Nonconformists enfranchising women, siding with the black population of Jamaica in opposition to their own colonial governor, championing the rights of Jews, Roman Catholics, and atheists. All of these stances belie the stereotypes of Victorian evangelicals currently in existence (even among Victorian scholars) and properly shift the focus to Dissent, to plebeian culture, to social contexts, and to the cultural and political consequences of theological commitment. This study brings freshness and verve to the study of religion and the Victorians, bearing fruit in a range of significant, and often counter-intuitive, findings and connections.