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Historians and the Church of EnglandReligion and Historical Scholarship, 1870–1920$
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James Kirby

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768159

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198768159.001.0001

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Social and Economic History

Social and Economic History

Chapter:
(p.132) 6 Social and Economic History
Source:
Historians and the Church of England
Author(s):

James Kirby

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198768159.003.0006

The vitality and modernity of Anglican historiography in this period is vividly demonstrated by its command of the new fields of social and economic history. Within this, the Reformation as a social revolution was a particular focus of attention. Historians such as William Stubbs, R. W. Dixon, and J. E. Thorold Rogers deplored the Dissolution of the Monasteries as an attack on the poor who benefited from monastic charity. This then found its way into radical and socialist ideas, not least Marx’s Capital. Some economic historians (Arnold Toynbee, W. J. Ashley) then moved away from this towards the idea of the industrial revolution. However, the idea of the Reformation as a socio-economic watershed returned in the work of William Cunningham and R. H. Tawney, who identified the growth of usury (and Max Weber’s idea of a ‘Protestant ethic’) as the rivet between religious and social change.

Keywords:   Tractarianism, Reformation, charity, poverty, economic history, social history, industrial revolution, Thorold Rogers, Arnold Toynbee, R. H. Tawney

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