Skip navigation

Religious practice and the social worlds of eighteenth-century Children, 1688 to 1800

Religious practice and the social worlds of eighteenth-century Children, 1688 to 1800

Martin, Mary Clare ORCID: 0000-0002-3568-6423 (2021) Religious practice and the social worlds of eighteenth-century Children, 1688 to 1800. In: Bowden, Caroline, Vine, Emily and Whitehouse, Tessa, (eds.) Religion and the life cycle in early modern England. Manchester University Press, Manchester. (In Press)

[img] Microsoft Word (Book Chapter)
Martin Final Chapter (1).docx - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 1 April 2023.

Download (45kB) | Request a copy


Despite the revision of the gloomy historiography of the eighteenth century Church of England, little attention has been paid to the religious experiences and rites of passage of the young, especially in cross-denominational perspective. Indeed, the historiography of childhood has frequently represented the eighteenth century as a period of increasing secularisation. Drawing on personal memoirs from members of different religious denominations and social strata , this chapter will focus on the ways children and young people experienced religious practice and co-constructed meaning about religion, in the contexts of personal relationships and worshipping communities. While recognising the methodological issues of using autobiographies and conversion narratives as sources about children’s experiences, these do nevertheless yield significant insights into patterns of pedagogy, the acquisition of belief, and the conduct of rites of passage across denominations. Formerly neglected groups such as High Church Anglicans and evangelical Congregationalists will be included.

This chapter draws on the concept of ‘social worlds’ of children to explore how they could play an active part in co-creating religious understanding through interaction with others. Furthermore, it shows how the young might affect their respective worshipping communities collectively through practices such as catechising and singing, as well as unorthodox behaviour.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: religious practice, children, young people, eighteenth century, belief, worshipping community
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology > BV1460 Religious Education
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > History Research Group (HRG)
Last Modified: 23 May 2021 07:40

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics