Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

The Church of England and the British imperial state: Anglican metropolitan sermons of the 1850s

Strong, R. (2010) The Church of England and the British imperial state: Anglican metropolitan sermons of the 1850s. In: Carey, H.M. and Gascoigne, J., (eds.) Church and State in Old and New Worlds. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp. 183-208.

Google Books Preview:
*Open access. Some pages may not be available


The British Empire was the British state at its most expansive and diverse, though it was far from being as collectivised as the metropolitan British state was becoming by the mid-nineteenth century. The Church of England had moved during the first half of the nineteenth century from a paradigm of partnership with the state with regard to its colonial extension to one of increasing autonomy. This paradigm shift had begun in the 1840s with the establishment of the Colonial Bishoprics Fund in 1841 and was increasingly well-entrenched in church circles by the succeeding decade.

This chapter looks at the interface in the mid-nineteenth century between the Church and England and the imperial state of which it was still nominally the established church. it does so through the viewpoint of prominent Anglican preachers in England, both from Britain and the colonies. The sermons indicate a more critical distance between church and state in this period with respect to the British Empire, and an engagement with the empire by the Church of England that increasingly left the state out of the reckoning. The chapter focuses on the reasons behind this development, and the ways in which these leading Anglicans configured the empire as the nineteenth century drew closer to its period of high imperialism in British culture.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Brill
Copyright: 2011 Koninklijke Brill NV
Publisher's Website:
Item Control Page Item Control Page