Download A Spiritual Home: Life in British and American Reformed by Charles D. Cashdollar PDF

By Charles D. Cashdollar

A non secular domestic explores congregational lifestyles within British and American Reformed church buildings among 1830 and 1915. At a time while students became drawn to the daily adventure of neighborhood congregations, this ebook reaches again into the 19th century, a seriously formative interval in Anglo-American non secular existence, to check the ancient roots of congregational life.Taking the viewpoint of the laity, Cashdollar levels generally from worship and tune to fund-raising and management, from pastoral care to social paintings, from prayer conferences to strawberry gala's, from the sanctuary to the kitchen. Firmly rooted in broader currents of gender, type, notions of middle-class respectability, expanding expectancies for private privateness, and styles of professionalization, he reveals that there has been a steady shift in emphasis in the course of those years from piety to fellowship.Based on files, courses, and memorabilia from approximately one hundred fifty congregations representing 8 denominations, a religious domestic provides us a accomplished, composite portrait of non secular lifestyles in Victorian Britain and the United States.

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Given that the two groups of leaders had different constituencies, priorities, and personalities, perhaps the surprise is that disputes were not more frequent. Church music is an example of one area that was prone to disagreement because the elders or deacons appointed and oversaw the work of musicians while the financial board set and paid the salaries. In Philadelphia’s Second Presbyterian Church the elders and trustees had a particularly tempestuous relationship that extended over more than a decade, with the elders searching the church records back into the 1780s for precedents that would buttress their side of the argument.

From a perspective outside the local congregation, the pulpit stars often seem to be the main story of Victorian worship, and with some reason. They were uniquely visible and centrally placed. Together with the sparkling talents of the stage, recital and lecture halls, they were testimony to the age’s devotion to virtuosity. Their oratory readily pulled individual listeners into its grasp. One of the ushers at Plymouth Church studied the young men around him, and while Beecher preached, they sat poised and receptive, “all sense of surroundings .

The Rev. George Punchard, writing in 1840, cautioned that “the female members of a church should be present at the transaction of all ordinary business, for their satisfaction and instruction; but, it is utterly inconsistent with established usage for females to take any part in business transactions. Their views are to be expressed privately to their pastor or their brethren. ”66 Despite such admonitions, the trend by the last half of the nineteenth century was toward the inclusion of women. 68 Both in America and Britain, therefore, Congregationalist women found that it could matter very greatly which local church they had joined.

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