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Churches, Revolutions And Empires1789–1914

Churches, Revolutions And Empires


Ian J. Shaw
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An Enlightening Exploration of The Christian Church During One of Its Most Turbulent Times.


  • American War of Independence
  • French Revolution
  • European Enlightenment
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Abolition of The Slave Trade
  • The Civil War



  • Maps
  • Charts
  • Quotes
  • Drawings


‘Revolution’ might just be the best word to describe the period from 1789 to 1914 which was a time of momentous and often violent change in the western world. The formation of the modern world amidst a time of empire, upheaval, revolution, and war. Political, social, economic, and religious transformation took place, which dramatically affected society at large and in turn the years that followed. In this fascinating book, the author focuses on key people, themes, and events to show that while often society is influenced by the Church, the reverse is equally true, for good and bad. This is not a book that just looks at the Church in history but a gripping explanation of the intertwining of the two, with the huge challenges faced across the various emerging denominations, as they begin to be seen as a worldwide Christian church.


On this truly exciting journey, here are a few of the many events you will explore.


We look at life after the American War of Independence where different preachers took varying stances for it, against it and pacifistic. How the French Revolution toppled a monarchy and changed the relationship between church and state. How the European enlightenment accompanied the decline of the church along with emerging movements in Germany, the urbanisation of England after the industrial revolution and the rise in Christian socialism.


The results of the American civil war and the moral initiatives which resulted in the abolition of slavery, while the struggles with racism and anti–Semitism continued. The landmark publication and acceptance of Charles Darwin’s ‘The Origin of Species’. Meanwhile there is an explosion in oversees missionary work with the likes of David Livingstone in Africa, Hudson Taylor in China, and William Carey in India. And finally, the setting of the scene for the arrival of World War One.

Ian J. Shaw

About Ian J. Shaw

Ian J. Shaw is the Director of Langham Scholarship programme in the UK.


  • Author: Ian J. Shaw
  • Release Date: May 2012
  • Pages: 576
  • Format: Royale Hardback 234 X 156
  • Dimensions: 234 × 156
  • ISBN: 9781845507749
  • Imprint: Christian Focus
  • Category: Church > Denominations > History
  • Series: Biography


"I have long been looking for a text that would help my students in Africa understand the double development of a post western Christianity as well as a post Christian west. With Ian Shaw's extraordinary book Churches, Revolutions and Empires, that search is over."

Mark Shaw, Director of the Centre for World Christianity, Africa International University, Nairobi, Kenya

"The book is clear, well arranged and up-to-date in its absorption of recent research. It covers the full range of denominations across the globe, setting religion firmly in its socio-political context and so addressing central historical issues such as empire and national identity. It is likely to command a wide readership in universities, theological colleges, ministers' studies and private homes."

David Bebbington, Professor of History, University of Stirling, Stirling
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