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Religious Belief and Popular Culture in Southwark c.1880–1939$
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S. C. Williams

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207696

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207696.001.0001

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Occasional and Conditional Conformity

Occasional and Conditional Conformity

(p.87) 4 Occasional and Conditional Conformity
Religious Belief and Popular Culture in Southwark c.1880–1939

S. C. Williams

Oxford University Press

In urban Southwark, church-based religious idioms and Christian rituals were part of a more complex and wide-ranging pattern of urban popular belief which extended beyond the institutional church to the kinds of folk beliefs considered in Chapter 3. Church-based rituals were enacted alongside various folk responses to the super-empirical sphere without necessarily diminishing the importance which the participant attached to the orthodox content of the rite or to the overtly Christian elements of belief associated with it. Some individuals interpreted their occasional participation in these rituals as a response of duty or devotion to the Deity. Churching, baptism, marriage, and watch-night services could thus provide a context in which two religious idioms operated at once and in association with one another. It was this combination of types of religious language which constituted a distinct and characteristic feature of what may be described as popular religion and which forms the focus of this chapter.

Keywords:   Southwark, religious belief, religious practices, popular religion, religious rites

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