The Local Church and Generational Change in Birmingham, 1945-2000

October 2012
3 black and white, 2 line illustrations
236 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
ISBN: 9780861933174
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Royal Historical Society
BISAC SOC039000, REL040030

The Local Church and Generational Change in Birmingham, 1945-2000

Ian Jones

An examination of how religious identity changed in twentieth-century England, using Birmingham as a case-study to illuminate wider trends.
The ongoing debate about secularisation and religious change in twentieth-century Britain has paid little attention to the experience of those who swam against the cultural tide and continued to attend church. This study, based on extensive original archive and oral history research, redresses this imbalance with an exploration of church-based Christianity in post-war Birmingham, examining how churchgoers interpreted and responded to the changes that they saw in family, congregation, neighbourhood and wider society. One important theme is the significance of age and generational identity to patterns of religiosity amidst profound change in attitudes to youth, age and parenting and growing evidence of a widening "generation gap" in Christian belief and practice. In addition to offering a new and distinctive perspective on the changing religious identity of late twentieth-century English society, the book also provides a rare case-study in the significance of age and generation in the social and cultural history of modern Britain.

Ian Jones is the Director of the Saltley Trust (an educational charity), Birmingham.

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Table of Contents

Birmingham: the city and its churches
The spectre of 'decline'
Church, youth and family from the 1940s to the 1960s
Life and worship in the local congregation
Church and neighbourhood: four congregational stories
Towards the margins: being Christian in a pluralist society
Appendix: Oral history


Not only a good book; it is also an ambitious one. JOURNAL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY HISTORY

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