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The Broad Church Movement, National Culture, And The Established Churches Of Great Britain, C.1850–C.1900

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Chapter Summary


At the beginning of the Christian era, Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, records a story which he says he heard directly from the Emperor Constantine himself. The word which English speakers nowtend to use for this idea, Christendom, came into the language at an interesting time. The ideal of the fusion of church and state, as the most perfect form of Christian society, has cast a long shadow. The Constantinian legacy, as shaped by the Middle Ages, implanted a very deeply rooted belief that the ideal Christian society—Christendom— was one in which church and state were one. The abolition of the confessional state came with the overthrow of the monarchs and the reconceptualising of the state that the age of revolutions brought in its wake.

Keywords:Christendom; Christian society; Constantinian legacy


This chapter outlines the Bourbon challenge to normative Patronato arrangements and identifies the principal reforms that eroded ecclesiastical wealth and authority over the course of the eighteenth century, as well as during the liberal experiments (1808-1814 and 1820–1823) of the early nineteenth century. It considers the political implications of what has been called the crisis of ecclesiastical privilege, surveys the incidence and activities of clerical insurgents, and, finally, advances a multi-layered interpretation to explain the phenomenon of clerical insurgency in the age of the Atlantic Revolution. While the political role of clergy as insurgents in late colonial Mexico (viceroyalty of New Spain) is well known, the chapter analyses the cognate but less well-known phenomenon of insurgent clergy in the viceroyalty of Peru, above all the old Inca heartland of Cuzco, the scene of two mass insurrections (1780– 1782 and 1814–1815).

Keywords:Atlantic Revolution; Bourbon; ecclesiastical privilege; insurgent clergy; Patronato; Spain




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