Pulpits, Politics and Public Order in England, 1760 - 1832Robert Hole
This book explores the relationship between religion and politics in England from the accession of George III to the First Reform Bill, considering the political and social ideas of Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Dissenters, deists and atheists. It examines the effect of the French Revolution on Christian political and social theory as well as reactions to the American Revolution, riots and disorder, economic and social education, secularisation, 'Blasphemy and Sedition', the growth of atheism, and the Reform of the Constitution in 1826-32. Major figures such as Burke, Paine, Wollstonecraft, Coleridge, Bentham and Wesley are considered, but popular, everyday arguments are also analysed. The book examines Christian views on political obligation and the right of rebellion, and suggests that religion was used as a means of social control to maintain public order and stability in a rapidly changing society.