Gibson, William1995 0-7734-8990-8
This strongly revisionist account seeks to redress the harsh judgments on the Hanoverian Church by Victorian and later historians. This lucid work, drawing on much recent scholarship, advances an interpretation that is far more favorable. The Church's involvement in politics is explained and vindicated. An examination of the social status of the clergy, and of the professionalization of the ministry suggests that period was one of progress and advancement, and the discharge of episcopal and clerical duties is considerably more distinguished than hitherto conceded. Much of the evidence supports the Clark thesis that eighteenth century England was a 'confessional state', in which the ethos and aspirations of the Anglican Church predominated. Drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, this book ably synthesizes both qualitative and quantitative evidence to encourage the view that for the Church the period was one of accomplishment rather than decline.