The Church of Ireland in Victorian Dublin (Maynooth Historical Studies Series)by John Crawford, Raymond Gillespie
The Church of Ireland has received a considerable amount of attention recently from nineteenth-century historians but few have looked at it from the perspective of the local community, as has been the case with recent work by historians in Britain. This study of the church in Victorian Dublin begins with a survey of the development of the parishes and the building of churches. It examines the devotional life and pastoral concerns of the laity and the clergy and their changing roles. An analysis of churchgoing trends is included and comparison is made with trends in England and Scotland. The study includes developments in church architecture, the layout of church buildings and the content of church services. This is set in the context of the demographic changes and the overall decline in the church's population in Dublin. While the study addresses the religious rivalry which existed between Catholics and Protestants, it also includes consideration of the laity's role in the management of the day-to-day life of the local church community. The social and educational backgrounds of the clergy are discussed and an account is given of their training and the changing process by which they were appointed to parishes. The study suggests that trends in the Church of Ireland in Dublin at the time were not dissimilar to the Church of England and both churches experienced a religious boom in the period. However, disestablishment in 1870 and the church's minority status gave the Church of Ireland a distinctive social and religious flavour.
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