• Homiletics as mnemonic practice: Collective memory and contemporary Christian preaching, with special reference to the work of Maurice Halbwachs

      Greggs, Tom; Burkett, Christopher P. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2009-12)
      In his book Twilight Memories Andreas Huyssen (1995) famously described contemporary Western culture as 'a culture of amnesia'. That concern about social memory is evident in many areas of contemporary discourse. Social memory's confabulatory, subjective, and ambiguous nature makes its analysis an arena of conflicting and diverse opinions. Drawing on Maurice Halbwachs' concept of 'collective memory', and its use in more recent sociological studies, this study uses preaching theory and practice as a way of addressing those wider memory concerns in the life of the church. In particular, the profound challenge of memory work to Christianity's insistence on remembrance as the foundation of its authenticity is examined through contemporary homiletic practice. It is argued that, alongside the familiar didactic, cognitive, epistemological and contextual categories employed in preaching practice, the current crisis of memory requires a new emphasis on memory maintenance. Sermons are presented as mnemonic events essential to the ongoing living tradition of the faith.
    • Society and the land - the changing landscape of Baschurch, North Shropshire c.1550-2000

      White, Graeme J.; Varey, Sharon M. (University of LiverpoolUniversity of Chester, 2008-12)
      This study focuses upon elements of continuity and change in the developing landscape of the parish of Baschurch in north Shropshire during the period c.1550-2000. In considering a relatively neglected part of the English rural landscape, the writer examines whether landscape change in this area was unique or mirrored experiences in neighbouring parishes and the county as a whole. Shropshire as a county is understudied in terms of its landscape history and so this research project aims to redress this balance, whilst at the same time contributing to the growth of knowledge regarding rural landscape studies generally. The writer examines the themes of population, farm and fieldscape, land use, settlement and buildings, and transport. Analysis draws upon a wide range of documentary sources including a large collection of probate inventories, existing primary and secondary literature and oral testimonies, alongside an examination of structures and features in the present landscape. Analysis reveals the diverse nature of the landscape of the parish. It exhibits varying patterns of landownership, enclosure, field systems, land use and settlement. Research shows that in some instances experiences mirror those exhibited by neighbouring parishes: for example with regard to the enclosure of open arable lands, the rise of dairy farming and the emergence of settlement in areas of former woodland. Overall, this research demonstrates the importance of landownership during the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries in influencing the extent of landscape change. Landowner involvement affected field systems, farm size, land use, settlements and emerging transport networks. Research shows that single landownership of a township has often led to landscape change, whereas change has occurred more slowly, or has been inhibited, in areas exhibiting multiple landownership. This study reveals that during the twentieth century the role of the dominant landowner as a major influence on the landscape has been superseded by local government planning departments. Although subject to landowner involvement, the importance of transport developments in understanding landscape change is also highlighted. In addition to enhancing our knowledge of the rural landscape of north Shropshire, this research project reveals that through its varying patterns of landownership, field systems and settlements, the parish of Baschurch is a microcosm of the west midlands and borderlands landscape as a whole.
    • The Conservative party in north-east Wales, 1906-1924

      Smith, Jeremy; Williams, Thomas W. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2008-12)
      Between 1906 and 1924 the Conservative party only won three parliamentary elections in North-east Wales - the Denbigh Boroughs division twice in 1910 and the county seat in Flintshire in 1924. Conversely the Liberal party won all the other elections throughout the period, with the exception of Wrexham which fell to Labour in 1922 and 1923. This, however, says more about the vagaries of the British 'first past the post' electoral system than it does about the true strength of the political parties in the region. Indeed, between 1906 and 1924 the Conservative party never averaged below 39 per cent of the electorate in the constituencies it contested. Given this impressive but unrecognised electoral position, what this study set out to do was to analyse the strength of Conservatism in a region where failure was the norm. The period was chosen because it saw the last Liberal administration in this country, and marked the start of the Conservative dominance of government for much of the twentieth century. It also saw one of the biggest cultural and social upheavals in British history with the advent of the First World War, and witnessed the enfranchisement of women for the first time. The general election of 1906 returned no Conservatives for Wales. In North Wales a conference was called to examine the situation and evaluate future prospects. This led to a review of party organisation in the region, the intention being not only to attract more working class people and women, but also to lessen the autocratic domination by the landed classes. In 1910 the Conservatives won the Denbigh Boroughs constituency with a large swing against the Liberals, and came very close to winning the Flint Boroughs by-election of 1913. The period of War, 1914-1918, saw all political parties moth-balled until the end of hostilities, but during the period of Coalition Government from 1918 to 1922 in which Liberal representation went almost unchallenged in North-east Wales, the Conservatives reorganised their Constituency Associations. By 1924 the landed domination of the party had diminished significantly, and in Flintshire the Conservatives won their first seat in an industrial working class area. Underpinning this success was a long-standing popular support, which after 1906 was better organised and mobilised for the Conservative cause through a variety of loosely attached organisations, societies and clubs. The Primrose League, an organisation that had been founded in 1883 to rally Conservative support, had a very high membership in the region compared to the rest of Wales. For example, the Denbigh Primrose League had over 800 members in 1912. A network of Conservative clubs existed in the region and as early as 1905 a thriving Workingmen's Association had been founded in Wrexham. The Conservative party was also well represented in local government; in Flintshire between 1907 and 1913 it had more county councillors than the Liberal party. In addition, the upheaval of War and the attraction of socialism to the newly enfranchised masses meant that the Conservative party had to widen its appeal to those people who had acquired the vote in 1918. By recruiting women and working class members the Conservative party was able to lay the foundations for a number of parliamentary successes in North-east Wales that lasted until the 1990s. It is therefore the contention of this thesis that the Conservative party not only survived a very difficult period, but that it emerged a strengthened and invigorated force.
    • Landownership and settlement change in south-west Cheshire from 1750 to 2000

      White, Graeme J; Gaunt, Peter; Bird, Polly (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 2007-12)
      This work analyses the impact of landownership on the physical development and other factors affecting settlements in south-west Cheshire between 1750 and 2000, seeking to demonstrate the hypothesis that landownership was the overriding influence on settlement growth or decline. To assist in this the work also addresses the related problem of how most accurately to analyse landownership in townships. It therefore presents an original methodology using the Herfmdahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) in an historical context to determine the amount of landowner concentration in a township. The use of HHI as a measure of landownership concentration (indicating the extent of large landowner control) is presented as a more accurate, easy to use, quantifiable method of analysis than the traditional distinction between 'open' and 'closed'. Following a demonstration of HHI's superiority over the traditional terms using examples in south-west Cheshire, HHI is used to analyse the effect on settlement development of landownership trends in the area. HHI is then used to analyse the effect of dominant landowners on the main population trends, transport infrastructure, farming, enclosure and twentieth-century planning and legislation in relation to settlement development in the area. HHI supports the main conclusion that decisions made by large landowners and subsequently planners in south-west Cheshire had a continuous and profound effect on settlement patterns and development from the mid-eighteenth century up to the end of the twentieth century. The intervention and influence of the major landowners and twentieth-century planners hindered settlement growth. Landowners had both a direct influence on settlement development through the buying and selling of land and an indirect influence through their role in determining the transport infrastructure and their bequest of a prevailing pattern of land use, which in turn was preserved via modern planning decisions. Following the decline of major landowners during the early twentieth century, planning laws restricted building in agricultural areas with the aim of preserving agricultural land. Analysis of land tax records in conjunction with HHI shows that although landownership consolidation took place, the number of smaller landowners was maintained and even increased in places and such building as took place was focussed on the increasing number of smaller plots. HHI also demonstrates the discernible trend that in south-west Cheshire the settlements that were the larger, more open settlements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were those that increased in size both physically and in terms of population throughout the period while the smaller closed settlements tended to stagnate or decline. Overall the research has demonstrated that settlements flourished in low HHI townships with less control by large landowners, that settlements in high HHI townships were rarely allowed to grow, and that patterns established in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were perpetuated into the late twentieth and early twenty-first century by a conservative approach to planning.
    • An interrogation of the selfishness paradigm in sociobiology including its explanations of altruism and a response to its interpretation of New Testament love

      Deane-Drummond, Celia; Goddard, Lisa M. D. (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 2007-11)
      This thesis is a response to the sociobiological paradigm which sees all aspects of life as fundamentally 'selfish'. This view is built upon two concepts, firstly, that the evolutionary process of natural selection leads to a world characterised by 'selfish' genes and 'selfish' individual organisms. Secondly, that all aspects of human nature, including benevolence, are defined by natural selection and are consequently selfish in motivation also. In Chapter 2, the first of these ideas is shown as inappropriate, not least, because selection favours genes that 'cooperate' and individuals that 'sacrificially' expend themselves in producing offspring. In Chapter 3, the second concept is discounted as only some aspects of human behaviour and culture can be explained in terms of natural selection. These points are central to the discussions on 'altruism' in Chapters 4-6. While sociobiologists have rightly noted that kin and reciprocal forms of 'altruism' occur in nature and in human society, their rendering of them in terms of genetic and individual 'selfishness' is again entirely misleading. The arguments of some sociobiologists for group selected forms of 'altruism' in nature and human culture are shown as unconvincing. Further, the sociobiological contention that human benevolence is constrained to the aiding of kin, reciprocal partners and group members is also countered. Humans exhibit the capacity to care for those outside of these sociobiological categories. Moreover, rather than being primarily selfish in motivation, humans are both more altruistic and more egoistic than the sociobiological view can accommodate. Chapter 7 considers the sociobiological interpretation of the New Testament (NT) teachings on love as selfishly concerned only with the care of kin, reciprocators and group members. This view is largely acceded to by the theologian, Stephen Pope, while another, Patrfcia Williams, has argued that the NT directly strives to counter such innate forms of behaviour. Chapters 8-10 investigate some of the NT teachings on love and argue for a more profound and complex altruism than any of these views. Chapter 8 contends that NT love is a deeply humble and sacrificial altruism where the needs of the other are placed before those of the self; one that is patterned after the example of Christ. It is a radical altruism, which as Chapter 9 argues, encompasses kin but also goes beyond this category in the requirement to love the new family of believers. This love of the group, the church, is itself transcended in a love for all others. Chapter 10 argues that this NT altruism is not bound by reciprocity for it prioritises the care of the weak, those who cannot reciprocate; and extends love to enemies, those who will not reciprocate. The view that such a love is ultimately reciprocal on the grounds of its heavenly reward is countered, as the NT reward of love is the promise that the believer's capacity for self-giving love will be perfected.
    • The gaze and subjectivity in fin de siècle Gothic fiction

      Baker, Brian; Foster, Paul G. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2007-03-19)
      This thesis is concerned with the importance of the gaze in fin-de-siecle Gothic. One of the ways in which the importance of the gaze manifests itself is in the central role of the onlooker like Enfield, Utterson or Lanyon in Robert Louis Stevenson's Stange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), Prendick In H.G. Well's Island of Dr Moreau (1896), or Harker in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). As their appelation suggests, Wells's Beast Men confound the distinction between the human and the animal, which is also the case with 'Beast Men' like Hyde and Dracula. A central concern of the thisis is the perceptual drama that is involved in looking at the spectacle of the monstrous body, for excample, as the onlooker struggles to get to grips with the challenge to representation posed by these 'Beast Men'.
    • The primitivist missiology of Anthony Norris Groves (1795-1853): A radical influence on nineteenth-century Protestant mission

      Partridge, Christopher; Dann, Robert B. (University of Liverpool (University College Chester), 2006-05)
      With the publication of his tract Christian Devotedness in 1825, Anthony Morris Groves joined a growing network of Protestants in the United Kingdom who aspired to follow the teaching of Christ and the example of his apostles in a more literal fashion than was common in the churches of their day. Seceding from the Anglican communion in 1828, he adopted a consciously non-denominational identity. With little interest in buildings, services, finances, organisation, training or ceremony, he developed an essentially primitivist ecclesiology, regarding the principles and practice of the early churches in the New Testament as a model to be followed by every generation. A number of Groves's closest friends became leading figures in circles soon to be known as Brethren, or Plymouth Brethren. After leaving Britain in 1829, his ongoing influence in this movement was mediated largely through his brother-in-law George Mtiller, and is reflected in the principles adopted by the latter in his church leadership and in his support of missionaries for more than half a century. One of those influenced by Miiller was the young Hudson Taylor, whose financial support during his early years came almost entirely from Groves's personal friends among the Brethren. It was overseas that Groves himself spent most of his adult life, and in India that we see the clearest practical outworking of his ecclesiology in a cross-cultural context. Identifying weaknesses in existing missionary institutions, he offered an alternative strategy for appointing missionaries, creating churches, maintaining practical unity and stimulating indigenous leadership. His missiological ideas stand in contrast to the consensus of his day, and also to the methods of indigenisation advocated some fourteen years later by Henry Venn and Rufus Anderson. Indeed, he might be described as the first major primitivist among mission strategists, and as such was an early forerunner of Roland Alien. Groves encouraged young Indian Christians to ignore Western church tradition and to follow, as closely as possible, the teaching and practice of Christ and his apostles. He advocated the liberty of indigenous Christians to take responsibility without reference to foreign organisations, the freedom of missionaries and Indian believers to seek guidance and provision directly from God, the sending of evangelists by congregations, the gathering of converts into new congregations, the development of local leadership in the course of active Christian service, and the partnership of industrialist and evangelist in frugal living "by faith" for the extension of the gospel. He viewed education, commerce and medicine as aids to evangelising rather than civilising. Above all, Groves wished to simplify the missionary task of the Church. Where his contemporaries envisaged the creation by one institution (a foreign mission) of another institution (a national church), he drew no distinction between mission and church. And rather than projecting an eventual shift from foreign government, support and propagation to self-government, support and propagation, he would start with no organised government, support or propagation at all, expecting these to develop naturally as local believers helped one another develop their own spiritual abilities and ministries. With no organisation to oversee, no buildings to maintain, no salaries to pay, his emphasis from the start was on the freedom of local converts to meet together without foreign supervision, and to preach the gospel to their own people without being trained, authorised or paid to do so. The influence of Groves on his own and subsequent generations has been seriously underrated. This may be attributable partly to the opposition he encountered during his own lifetime, partly to the commercial failures that clouded his final years, and partly to the inaccessibility of his own writings and works about him. Described twenty years ago as a "neglected missiologist", and largely unknown today, his significance might seem somewhat negligible, but to Groves we can trace back ideas that stimulated the birth of a new generation of missions following what have been called "faith principles". These included Brethren initiatives in many countries in addition to numerous interdenominational "faith missions" inspired by the example of Hudson Taylor. With some justification, Groves has been called the "father of faith missions". Nevertheless, his idea of using the New Testament as a practical manual of missionary methods was taken up with greatest effect not by Anglo-American missionaries but by the leaders of some remarkable indigenous movements. Notable among these was his own disciple John Christian Arulappan and, at a later date, Bakht Singh and Watchman Nee, all of whom had direct or indirect links with him. Our research concludes that the primitivist missiology of Anthony Norris Groves exerted a significant radical influence on Protestant mission in the nineteenth century, and indeed to the present day, for his ideas find many points of contact with current missiological thinking.
    • The charitable work of the Macclesfield silk manufacturers, 1750-1900

      Gaunt, Peter; Lewis, Chris; Starkey, Pat; Griffiths, Sarah J. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2006-04)
      The existing literature on philanthropic effort during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has taken a number of different approaches to the subject. These include general works charting the development of the charitable sector, the exploration of voluntary organisations as a subsidiary topic to broader themes and regional studies adopting a range of perspectives. Most research in this latter category has been conducted on large towns and cities that generally have copious amounts of source material. In contrast, lesser provincial towns have received relatively little scholarly attention, despite the more manageable nature of their documentation. The aim of this thesis is to explore the growth of charitable organisations within Macclesfield, an East Cheshire industrial town that was dominated by the silk industry. This study concentrates on the period from 1750 to 1900, when the silk industry was dominant within the town and philanthropic activity was at its height. The town’s silk manufacturers were renowned for their charitable work and thus this research focuses on the extent to which this occupational group was critical in the development of Macclesfield’s voluntary institutions, the motives that lay behind their contributions, and their achievements. In order to see whether their involvement was typical of other businessmen, comparisons are drawn throughout with the charitable activities of contemporary entrepreneurs in a variety of urban settings. This study investigates the silk manufacturers’ participation in Macclesfield’s voluntary institutions in the fields of religion, education, public services and public amenities, together with any additional charitable acts. The evidence from all these areas suggests that in most cases the silk manufacturers were heavily involved in funding and managing these institutions. Their obvious motives reflected altruistic, religious and educational beliefs, but there were also a variety of other concerns that could have been contributory in determining their support for particular institutions. The primary achievement of Macclesfield’s voluntary sector was to provide a network of services that, in conjunction with later state initiatives, improved living standards for inhabitants by the end of the nineteenth century. This thesis gives an insight into the development of charitable institutions in a medium sized industrial town and demonstrates how one group of businessmen were able to dominate this field. Many silk manufacturers were generous in their support of charitable causes in Macclesfield, but the scale of their support did not match that of some other notable philanthropic families, such as the Crossleys of Halifax. The charitable work of the silk manufacturers appeared to be broadly similar to that of entrepreneurs in other small and medium sized industrial towns where they could form a dominant occupational group in public life. In larger towns and cities, this strong manufacturer influence was less evident and a greater range of other people contributed significantly to philanthropic institutions. This type of approach supplements the existing material on philanthropic effort during the long nineteenth century and overlaps a number of related subject areas, such as urban élite activity and the growth of the welfare state.
    • Intimacy between men in modern women's writing

      Stephenson, William; Woledge, Elizabeth (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2005-08)
      This thesis sets out to investigate, and concludes by defining, a genre of modern women's writing. This genre, which 1 have called 'intimatopia' for its depiction of fictional worlds which centre around intimacy, explores close relationships between men, I use this thesis to elucidate the ideological assumptions which underlie this genre, as well as to consider the textual features which are commonly used to support them. My investigation is facilitated by my choice to focus on the appropriative fictions which form a significant part of the intimatopic genre. The appropriative text is particularly apposite to any project which, like this one, seeks to investigate distinctive ideologies, for in a comparison between the text and its source the ideological perspectives of the writer can be glimpsed. As a result of this approach one of the central features of this thesis is a comparison between hegemonic and intimatopic ideologies, which are found to be markedly different. Central to the intimatopic text, which may be sexually explicit, sexually discreet, or sexually ambiguous, is the assumption that there exists a fluid link between love, friendship and intimacy. This ideological perspective is one which many theoreticians, in fields as diverse as literary criticism, psychology and biology, have connected to feminine, rather than masculine, ways of thinking. Although it is therefore unsurprising to find that this is a feature of a predominantly feminine genre, its application to relationships between men runs counter to ideological assumptions about masculine interaction. From examining a variety of appropriative literature 1 move on to less overtly appropriative texts in which the by now familiar intimatopic features can be identified. Following this, 1 discuss the interpretive communities which produce intimatopic texts, using the example of slash fiction, where the interpretive community is readily accessible, I begin to investigate the ideological assumptions about human interaction which underpin the interpretations typical of intimatopic writing. Finally, I consider the genre's antecedents, and mention other texts which, although they do not take male intimacy as their theme, nonetheless share intimatopic features. Thus this thesis offers an insight into an area of women's writing which has received little critical attention and which I have been able to crystallise into the genre of intimatopia. Whilst it is clearly inaccurate to describe all women's writing as intimatopic, this genre accounts for a significant number of texts by women and should be recognised alongside other feminine genres as part of the varied field of women's literature.
    • The Irish in north-east Wales 1851 to 1881

      Swift, Roger; Jones, Peter (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 2002-01)
      This study derives from the interest of recent years in the Irish during the late Victorian period in the smaller towns of Britain. Much work has been done on the Irish in the larger conurbations of industrial England and Scotland, particularly in the 1830s and 1840s - work that has overshadowed the experience of the Irish elsewhere, skewing the historiography and locking the migrants into a huddled mass in a northern city. However, the 'Wild Milesians' of Thomas Carlyle, living cheek-by-jowl with Engels's pig in the slums of Liverpool and Manchester, have come to be seen as less than typical of the Irish, especially the second and third generations of the migrants living in provincial towns. Furthermore, the representation of the Irish as uniformly poor, wretched and Catholic has been revised. Again, the phenomenon of 'ethnic fade' was assumed to have occurred as the nineteenth century progressed, so that after the initial troubled years, the Irish merged with the 'host' population. However, differing rates and degrees of assimilation have been revealed; indeed, religious and political differences among the Irish themselves, frequently violent in their expression, were often defining characteristics of Irishness. Following in the footsteps of micro - studies of the Irish in the regions and smaller towns, this study aims to examine the experience of the Irish in the later nineteenth century in an area hitherto neglected in the historiography, namely, North-East Wales, with particular reference to the towns of Wrexham, Mold, Holywell and Flint.