Religion and the Great Exhibition of 1851
Oxford University Press, 24 feb. 2011 - 226 páginas
The Great Exhibition of 1851 is routinely portrayed as a manifestly secular event which was confined to celebrating the success of science, technology, and manufacturing in the mid-Victorian age. Geoffrey Cantor presents an innovative reappraisal of the Exhibition, demonstrating that it was widely understood by contemporaries to possess a religious dimension and that it generated controversy among religious groups. Prince Albert bestowed legitimacy on the Exhibition by proclaiming it to be a display of divine providence whilst others interpreted it as a sign of the coming Apocalypse. With anti-Catholic feeling running high following the recent 'papal aggression', many Protestants roundly condemned those exhibits associated with Catholicism and some even denounced the Exhibition as a Papist plot. Catholics, for their part, criticized the Exhibition as a further example of religious repression. Several evangelical religious organisations energetically rose to the occasion, considering the Exhibition to be a divinely ordained opportunity to make converts, especially among 'heathens' and foreigners. Jews generally welcomed the Exhibition, as did Unitarians, Quakers, Congregationalists, and a wide spectrum of Anglicans - but all for different reasons. Cantor explores this diversity of perception through contemporary sermons, and, most importantly, the highly differentiated religious press. Taken all together these religious responses to the Exhibition shed fresh light on a crucial mid-century event.
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1 Fears and Dangers
2 Preparing for the Exhibition
3 Religious Organizations
The Building Its Contents and English Protestantism
5 Things Seen and Unseen
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Albert’s Correspondence Anglican anti-Catholic April Archbishop argued artefacts artisans Babel Baptist Magazine Belshazzar’s Feast BFBS BFBS Archive BFBS stand biblical Bishop Britain British Catholic Catholicism Christian Christian Guardian clergyman Commissioners Congregational Congregationalist contemporary contrast Crystal Palace Descriptive and Illustrated display of Bibles Dissenters England English especially evangelical event example Executive Committee Exeter Hall Exhibition of 1851 Exhibition’s exhibitors Figure God’s Henry Henry Cole High Church human Hyde Park ibid Illustrated Catalogue Industry issue Jewish Chronicle Jews John Bull Joseph Sturge languages large numbers Likewise London Lord Low Church manufacturing mid-century minister Minutes missionary moral nations Nonconformist Official Descriptive opening ceremony organizations portrayed prayer Prince Albert progress prominent prophecy prophetic Protestant Protestantism publications published Quaker religion religious periodicals reported Royal Sabbath secular sermon significance social Society society’s SPCK spiritual Sunday Tablet tion Tractarian tracts ultra-evangelical United Presbyterian Magazine Victorian visiting the Exhibition Westminster writers