The third and final volume of this history, the first two of which have already earned considerable praise, seeks to provide a comprehensive narrative which bridges the divide between the Victorian age and the twentieth century. Dr Hylson-Smith has throughout identified a number of key themes to give coherence and unity to his magisterial work, The first is the transition from the monopolistic religious regime at the end of the fifteenth century to the complex multi-faith pluralism of our time. Then comes the transformation of the Church of England, from a national to an established church, and the increasingly significant development of parties within the Church of England. Next come the changing fortunes of Nonconformity and the metamorphosis of Roman Catholicism, not only in England but globally. Finally, themes particularly important for our age are the ecumenical movement, the place of women in the life of the churches, and the whole range of topics embraced by the term 'church and society'. Dr Hylson-Smith has written not only for fellow-scholars, teachers and students but also for anyone seeking a greater understanding and appreciation of the history of the English churches. All these will find him a fascinating and provocative guide.
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