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Today's Sunday schools are a pale shadow of what they were in the past. Churches have found other ways of serving children and young people and carrying out adult education. From a historical point of view Sunday schools have immense significance. As late as the 1950s approximately half the children in Great Britain were associated with Sunday schools. In the nineteenth century Sunday schools were part of general educational provision. With National, British, and Ragged schools, Sunday schools represented the Christian philanthropic impulse to provide a basic education to the public at large and at low cost. The role of the churches in educational provision is again a topic of public interest and the time is right to reflect on some of the lessons of the past. A range of experts have been asked to assess different aspects of the history of the Sunday school movement: Clyde Binfield, Faith Bowers, John H. Y. Briggs, Grayson Ditchfield Hugh McLeod, Stephen Orchard, Jack Priestley, Geoff Robson, and Doreen Rosman. They provide a remarkable survey of many aspects of Sunday schools, from their origin to their reinvention, from teaching the catechism to promoting sport. ""Since most of the member societies of the Association of Denominational Historical Societies and Cognate Libraries were sponsors of Sunday Schools, it is entirely appropriate that the Association's third conference should explore this important subject. These lively and carefully researched papers are of great interest. They will inform readers and stimulate further research. The book is a worthy tribute to a significant movement which, owing to changes in society and in patterns of worship, has been reduced to a shadow of its former self within the space of one lifetime."" --Alan P. F. Sell, Acadia University Divinity College ""Sunday Schools taught faith, duty, and--for much of their existence--literacy. As this collection of essays covering the whole period since their origin shows, they trained successive generations of children with dedication, often with flexibility, and usually with an intelligent concern for the welfare of their charges."" --David Bebbington, University of Stirling ""The papers from this conference to mark the bicentenary of the National Sunday School Union offer important new insights and perspectives on one of the most significant social institutions of modern Britain from the late eighteenth to the mid twentieth century. Social and religious historians will gain much from this book."" --David M. Thompson, University of Cambridge ""Although its influence remains in many beliefs and attitudes, few would imagine that the Sunday School was once a major British institution catering for hundreds of thousands of adults and children. This book fills a gap in British social and religious history. Many of its readers will discover their grandparents and perhaps their parents in these fascinating pages."" --John M. Hull, University of Birmingham and Queen's Foundation Stephen Orchard is Principal of Westminster College, Cambridge and former Director of the Christian Education Movement. John H. Y. Briggs is Senior Research Fellow in Ecclesiastical History and Director of the Centre for Baptist History and Heritage, Regent's Park College, University of Oxford.
Release date NZ
June 1st, 2007
Edited by John H.Y. Briggs
Edited by Stephen Orchard
Illustrations, black and white
Wipf & Stock Publishers
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