Decline of Christendom in Western Europe, 1750–2000
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of Pages: 248
Width: 16.1 cm
Height: 23.6 cm
Christendom lasted for over a thousand years in Western Europe, and we are still living in its shadow. For over two centuries this social and religious order has been in decline. Enforced religious unity has given way to increasing pluralism, and since 1960 this process has spectacularly accelerated. In this 2003 book, historians, sociologists and theologians from six countries answer two central questions: what is the religious condition of Western Europe at the start of the twenty-first century, and how and why did Christendom decline? Beginning by overviewing the more recent situation, the authors then go back into the past, tracing the course of events in England, Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands, and showing how the fate of Christendom is reflected in changing attitudes to death and to technology, and in the evolution of religious language. They reveal a pattern more complex and ambiguous than many of the conventional narratives will admit.
Review of the hardback: 'This book is a very timely contribution to an understanding of the concept of Christendom ... This is an important book ... a potentially very valuable resource for informing effective Christian engagement with the realities of contemporary European culture and society.' Church Times Review of the hardback: '... a very stimulating collection ...' Church of England Newspaper Review of the hardback: '... offers significant insights into the ways in which the place of Christianity in western European life changed during the period ... the book bristles with ideas and insights ... invaluable for the perspectives that they offer.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History Review of the hardback: 'Hugh McLeod is the doyen of British social historians of modern religion, and once again he has put together a valuable collection of articles on the theme of secularization ... an impressive collection of insights into Europe's chequered religious history.' Theology Review of the hardback: 'In a world where many collections of papers are a curate's egg, it is a real pleasure to read a volume so well put-together.' Review of Religion and Theology