One of my research interests not obviously connected to law and religion involves the thought of the important late nineteenth-century British judge, colonial administrator, essayist, and all around force of nature, Sir James Fitzjames Stephen (see here and here).  But as I’ve examined his ideas, it’s become clear to me how important the relationship of the state and religion was to his general view of law and politics.

I’m therefore looking forward to checking out this book by Hilary M. CareyGod's Empire
(University of Newcastle, New South Wales), God’s Empire: Religion and Colonialism in the British World, c.1801-1908 (Cambridge University Press 2013), whose focus seems in part to be the Victorian period.  The publisher’s description follows.

In God’s Empire, Hilary M. Carey charts Britain’s nineteenth-century transformation from Protestant nation to free Christian empire through the history of the colonial missionary movement. This wide-ranging reassessment of the religious character of the second British empire provides a clear account of the promotional strategies of the major churches and church parties which worked to plant settler Christianity in British domains. Based on extensive use of original archival and rare published sources, the author explores major debates such as the relationship between religion and colonization, church-state relations, Irish Catholics in the empire, the impact of the Scottish Disruption on colonial Presbyterianism, competition between Evangelicals and other Anglicans in the colonies, and between British and American strands of Methodism in British North America.

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