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Faith and Religion in Cumbria

Vol II: The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Michael A. Mullett


Faith and Religion in the Lake Counties is an innovative and wide-ranging study of the religious experience of the inhabitants of Lakeland over the course of three millennia.

Volume One reviews the range of beliefs in pre-Roman and Roman times and describes the missionary impact of Kentigern and Cuthbert. The Normans created a diocese centred on Carlisle and its new Cathedral and established monastic houses. Late medieval Cumbria saw a renewal of ‘traditional’ Catholic-faith that acted as a barrier to state-supported religious change in the 16th century. In the mid-17th century the imposition of a monolithic ‘puritan’ variant sparked an adverse reaction that saw the emergence of England’s first pluralistic regional society: the Quaker faith was born in the Westmorland Dales.

Volume Two argues that Georgian Anglicanism in Cumbria was not a decadent corporation of politically driven bishops and negligent, ‘fox-hunting’ parsons. The Church was earnest in its pastoral care for the people, even though the strain of providing for a newly industrialising society made way for the marked local successes of John Wesley’s Methodist mission.

The 1851 Census on attendance at public worship disclosed that millions of the world’s most significant Protestant nation did not attend public religious services. Part of Cumbria’s historic problem over attendance – the existence of vast rural parishes with only remote access to churches – was a particular factor.

The book closes with a discussion of the retreat of traditional faith from modern western societies: ‘de-Christianisation’.

Deeply researched, evenly balanced and attractively written, this book follows a group of recent studies in which Michael Mullett, Emeritus Professor of Religious and Cultural History at the University of Lancaster, has explored key features of Cumbrian urban history.







Publication Date:



Paperback 167mm x 245mm



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