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Church History 1750CE-1918CE: Industrial Revolution

Industrial Revolution

Religion, Year 9, Church History, Industrial Revolution

Background Reading

Christianity through the ages (Excerpt from the ebook)

Historical Background

The Industrial Revolution spread from Great Britain to the Continent of Europe and the United States. It was made possible by technological inventions -- the application of power (water and steam) to machines, at first in textiles and soon to mining, metals, and many manufactures; the steam-boat; the steam railway; the electric telegraph and cable; electric lights; the telephone; the electric railway; and on the eve of 1914 the automobile, the beginnings of "wireless telegraphy," and the first airplanes.

 The Industrial Revolution brought new urban centres and the rapid growth of existing cities. The technological inventions were furthered by developments in science and man’s rapidly expanding knowledge of the physical universe.

The Industrial Revolution was giving rise to a new social structure. In place of the prevailingly rural economy to which, through the parish system, the Church had adapted itself, mining and manufacturing towns were rapidly emerging and the populations of existing cities were mounting and were outgrowing the Church’s structures of earlier days.

The Industrial Revolution gave rise to a ruthless exploitation of labour. Long working hours, poverty accentuated by low wages, wretched housing, periodic unemployment, the menace to health and physical safety, intolerable conditions in crowded jails and prisons, and the deterioration of morals in festering slums evoked angry assaults on the system of which they were a feature and on the failure of the Church to remedy them.

A variety of movements arose to meet the challenges of the social changes brought by the growth of cities and the Industrial Revolution

In the nineteenth century more new congregations came into being, entailing in their members complete dedication to God through the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience

They attracted many who were eager to live the full Christian life in unselfish service and by the end of the sixteenth century had spread through much of the Roman Catholic portions of Europe. By their poverty and austerity, convincing evidence of their sincerity and devotion to Christ, they made a wide appeal. They devoted themselves to the poor, preaching, catechizing, hearing confessions, serving the sick, and giving themselves to the sufferers from the many epidemics which swept across Europe.

Faith Deconstruction

The point of faith deconstruction is to break down every idea, practice, belief, and tradition of a religious system into tiny pieces and then examine each fragment one by one to determine the truthfulness and usefulness of each part relevant to its followers and the time in which they live. In the end, the goal is to piece it all back together minus that which is peripheral, burdensome, and distorted.

Oliver Catalogue

List of items on “Church History” found in Oliver. 

Note some resources are eBooks 

Tullow Centre Library, Brigidine College. 2022