Protestantism and National Identity: Britain and Ireland, c.1650-c.1850

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This volume traces the complex contribution which protestantism made to national identity in the British Isles between the Stuart and the Victorian age. It therefore examines an essential, if ambiguous, foundation of British patriotism in the period when the United Kingdom was formed and emerged as a world power. Often challenging existing work, the essays both question whether nationalism was a secular and 'modern' phenomenon, and ask whether protestantism could support any simple vision of a united, imperial, and 'elect' Britain. Covering a wide variety of subjects, the authors show that whilst the reformed faith was always central to 'British' self-awareness, it could also divide the peoples of Britain and Ireland, could cast doubt on their greatness and could dissolve any insistence on the uniqueness of these nations.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Protestantism and National Identity is thus an important volume, amply demonstrating the importance of religion for any discussion of national identity with the English-speaking world,....Editors and contributors alike are to be congratulated for sticking so successfully to a common agenda while at the same time remaining willing to challenge, and where necessary subvert, its basic assumptions." S.J. Connolly, Church History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521620772
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors
List of abbreviations
1 The trials of the chosen peoples: recent interpretations of protestantism and national identity in Britain and Ireland 3
2 'I love my King and my Country, but a Roman catholic I hate': anti-catholicism, xenophobia and national identity in eighteenth-century England 33
3 Confessional state or elect nation? Religion and identity in eighteenth-century England 53
4 'To protect English liberties': the English nationalist revolution of 1688-1689 75
5 A history of variations: the identity of the eighteenth-century church of England 105
6 The British dimension, religion and the shaping of political identities during the reign of Charles II 131
7 The bible and national identity in the British Isles, c. 1650-c. 1750 157
8 Protestantism, presbyterianism and national identity in eighteenth-century Scottish history 182
9 Protestantism, ethnicity and Irish identities, 1660-1760 206
10 'The common name of Irishman': protestantism and patriotism in eighteenth-century Ireland 236
11 The island race: Captain Cook, protestant evangelicalism and the construction of English national identity, 1760-1800 265
12 A transatlantic perspective: protestantism and national identities in mid-nineteenth-century Britain and the United States 291
Index 311
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