Essays illuminating the broader issues of church and gender in the context of England's Industrial Revolution, through the study of a single Shropshire parish.
Trade Information: JPOD
Available as: Paperback, PDF
Specifications: 229x153mm, 258pp
Published: March 2012
Published: June 2012
Questions have been raised in recent decades about the place of women in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in church and society during a time of vast industrial change. These topics are broad, but can be seen in microcosm in one small area of the English Midlands: the parish of Madeley, Shropshire, in which Coalbrookdale became synonymous with the industrial age. Here, the evangelical Methodist clergyman John Fletcher (1729–1785) ministered between 1760 and 1785, among a population including Roman Catholics and Quakers, as well as people indifferent to religion. For nearly sixty years after his death, two women, Fletcher's widow and later her protégé, had virtual charge of the parish, which became one of the last examples of Methodism within the Church of England.
Through examining this specific locality, with its potential for religious tension and great social significance, this multidisciplinary collection of essays engages with developing areas of research. In addition to furthering knowledge of Madeley parish and its relation to larger themes of religion, gender and industry in eighteenth-century Britain, the impact of the Fletchers in nineteenth-century American Methodism is examined.
Geordan Hammond is Lecturer in Church History and Wesley Studies, Nazarene Theological College and Director of the Manchester Wesley Research Centre, UK.
Peter S. Forsaith is Research Fellow at The Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History, Oxford Brookes University, UK.
Our understanding of eighteenth-century English industry, gender, and religion has been transformed during the last thirty years. The special merit of this symposium is to bring together researchers often pursuing their subjects in isolation. The conference producing these papers met, appropriately, in an area that saw industrial innovation, the ministry of the Methodist clergyman John Fletcher and his remarkable wife and female friends. This excellent collection sensitively illustrates the lives of working men, women, and believers and deserves to set the pattern for similar collaborations in future. Henry Rack, Former Bishop Fraser Senior Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History, University of Manchester
What we actually have here is an interesting book that is mainly about religion and gender, with a focus on John and Mary Fletcher and their contributions to the growth of Methodism. Michael Wheeler, in Church Times
This is quite a specialised book, intended for the serious student. However, it is far from being either dull or heavy-going, and the end result leaves the reader feeling that s/he was present throughout the conference ... There is always a danger, of course, in generalising from the particular, but although these studies focus on a particular idea, the contributors allow their research to speak for itself, and therein lies the book's basic integrity and undoubted excellence. Barrie Tabraham, in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol 64, Issue 1
[Religion, Gender and Industry] adds considerably though to our general understanding of the contexts and influences that helped to shape the movement that became eighteenth century Evangelicalism. It is to this enterprise that the volume as a whole makes a substantial contribution well worth the cover price. Mark Smith, in Wesley and Methodist Studies, Vol 5, 2013
... this volume is inherently interdisciplinary in its approach, and this is unquestionable one of its greatest strengths. ... these essays are very useful for examining religion and gender in eighteenth-century England. ... this will prove an important resource and a valuable addition to knowledge in this area. Andrew Crome, University of Manchester, in Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol 37, Issue 1