Perversion, surveillance and the Church of England Purity Society, 1820-1890

Harmes, Barbara (2010) Perversion, surveillance and the Church of England Purity Society, 1820-1890. In: From Augustine to Anglicanism: The Anglican Church in Australia and Beyond, 12-14 Feb 2010, Brisbane, Australia.

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This paper will address responses to the issue of social disorder that was central to many late nineteenth-century concerns in Britain. Supervision of boys and young men became more formalized in the purity movements which proliferated at the end of the century. Perhaps the most notable example was the Church of England Purity Society which was formed in 1880. The Church of England Purity Society represented responses to continued calls for an attempt to redefine masculine ideology. Most importantly, it was a way of aligning the male body with the body of Christ. Moral authority was vested in the Purity Society, which provided exemplars for young men but responsibility for careful supervision was placed with middle-class parents. As an example, physical recreation was widely endorsed, not only as an instrument of spiritual development but also as a medium for training the young to meet with the diverse challenges of a naturally harsh and competitive world.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Contributors 2010. Author holds copyright for own paper.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Date Deposited: 20 May 2014 06:13
Last Modified: 21 May 2014 03:02
Uncontrolled Keywords: Church of England; Church of England Purity Society; White Cross League; Foucault; Michel; Fin de Siecle; protestantism; Freudian psychoanalysis
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210305 British History
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220318 Psychoanalytic Philosophy
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology

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