Building Jerusalem

Nonconformity, Labour and the Social Question in Wales, 1906-1939

Author(s): Robert Pope

Language: English

Genre(s): Religion Welsh Interest

Series: Studies in Welsh History

  • June 2014 · 288pages · 216x138mm

  • ·Paperback - 9781783160600

About The Book

Much of the social and industrial history written during the last quarter of the twentieth century presented Welsh working-class culture in terms of a thirst for knowledge that was secular, economic and political. The emphasis was squarely placed on the influence of the union lodge and the workingmen's institute, and priority was given to the importance of sport and the public house in the life of the working class. Relatively little attention was given to religion and its continuing influence on industrial communities, despite the fact that the 1904 - 5 revival brought many thousands into contact with the chapel. Inspired in part by the challenge of socialist and labour agitation and in part by theological considerations, Nonconformists moved away from specifically political involvement and developed their own responses to the social questions of the day. This new edition will appeal to a fresh generation of scholars and readers interested in Wales's Nonconformist history, presenting an exploration of Welsh social thinking, politics and religion.


'The book's strength is its detailed treatment of the intellectual, individual and organisational responses by Nonconformity to the 'social question' in Wales'. (Labour History Review)

'... this is a book which will command respect and attention from all working in the field.'
'... well researched ... ' (Choice) 'His work is original, well-informed, and a valuable addition to our knowledge of modern Wales.' (Expository Times) 'As a full published study of Labour and nonconformity, the book is unique in regard not only to Wales but to Britain. Important courses in both Welsh and English, including oral history records, have been effectively utilised in order to produce a highly stimulating account ... Dr Pope's study arouses some questioning as well as admiration. But his crowded and colourful tapestry of nonconformity and Labour in Wales is generally a fascinating depiction of a unique, if tense and ambiguous, relationship.' (Welsh History Review) 'Labour's inroads into the Liberal hegemony by 1914 and the complete rout of Liberalism in urban Wales by 1922 are, therefore, of great significance in understanding changes in political culture ... This book seeks to explore the response of Nonconformity to the rise of labour between 1906 and 1939 ... This is a useful introduction to religious debates about social issues and provides a sure-footed guide to broad theological trends ... ' (Social History Bulletin)


Contents 1 Setting the Scene 2 the Nonconformist Response to Socialism, 1906-1914 3 Labour, Socialism and Nonconformity 4 The Turning-point 1901-1911: Nonconformity’s Social Conscience 5 Building Jerusalem: Nonconformity and post-war Reconstruction 6 Losing the Battle

About the Author(s)

Robert Pope

Dr Robert Pope is Reader in Theology in the University of Wales: Trinity St David, based at Lampeter, Wales, UK.

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