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The Strange Death of Moral Britain
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In the last half of the twentieth century, a once respectable and religious Britain became a seriously violent and dishonest society, one in which person and property were at risk, family breakdown was ubiquitous, and drug and alcohol abuse was rising. The Strange Death of Moral Britain demonstrates in detail the roots of Britain's decline. It also shows how a society, strongly Protestant in both morality and identity, became one of the most secular societies in the world.The culture wars about abortion, capital punishment, and homosexuality, which have convulsed the United States, have little meaning in Britain where there is neither a moral majority nor any indigenous emphasis on rights. In the period when Britain had a strong national and religious identity, defense of this identity led to legal persecution of male homosexuals. As Britain's identity crumbled, homosexuality ceased to be an important issue for most people. Similarly, all the pressing questions on abortion, capital punishment, and homosexuality were settled permanently on a purely utilitarian basis in Britain, where all sources of moral argument are weak. The ending of the death penalty marked the decline of the influence of the official hierarchies of church and state, the Church of England, the armed forces, and their representative, the Conservative Party.The Strange Death of Moral Britain is a study of moral change, secularization, loss of identity, and the growth of deviant behavior in Britain in the twentieth century. Based on detailed scholarship, it is tightly argued and clearly written with a minimum of jargon. It will be of interest to scholars in religious studies and British social history, and to a general reading public concerned with timely moral controversies.
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-Davies (emer., sociology, Univ. of Reading) argues that in the course of the 20th century, Great Britain went from a law-abiding society to a violent and disobedient community... This is an interesting... book for readers concerned with social and moral issues. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.- --L. J. Satre, Choice -Although focused on Britain, Christie Davies's well-documented social-historical study addresses several of the major problems and perplexities of the Western World in our times, preminently the impact of secularization.... The study also illuminates the changing conceptions of human nature and their impact on social controls and policies, in particular the shift from a morally autonomous conception that entails free choice and individual responsibility.... a convincing demonstration of the importance and the influence of moral factors in criminal and other anti-social conduct in Great Britain.... - --Modern Age -Although focused on Britain, Christie Davies's well-documented social-historical study addresses several of the major problems and perplexities of the Western world in our times, preeminently the impact of secularization on moral standards and social order.- --Paul Hollander, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst "Davies (emer., sociology, Univ. of Reading) argues that in the course of the 20th century, Great Britain went from a law-abiding society to a violent and disobedient community... This is an interesting... book for readers concerned with social and moral issues. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." --L. J. Satre, Choice "Although focused on Britain, Christie Davies's well-documented social-historical study addresses several of the major problems and perplexities of the Western World in our times, preminently the impact of secularization.... The study also illuminates the changing conceptions of human nature and their impact on social controls and policies, in particular the shift from a morally autonomous conception that entails free choice and individual responsibility.... a convincing demonstration of the importance and the influence of moral factors in criminal and other anti-social conduct in Great Britain.... " --Modern Age "Although focused on Britain, Christie Davies's well-documented social-historical study addresses several of the major problems and perplexities of the Western world in our times, preeminently the impact of secularization on moral standards and social order." --Paul Hollander, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst "Davies (emer., sociology, Univ. of Reading) argues that in the course of the 20th century, Great Britain went from a law-abiding society to a violent and disobedient community... This is an interesting... book for readers concerned with social and moral issues. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." --L. J. Satre, Choice "Although focused on Britain, Christie Davies's well-documented social-historical study addresses several of the major problems and perplexities of the Western World in our times, preminently the impact of secularization.... The study also illuminates the changing conceptions of human nature and their impact on social controls and policies, in particular the shift from a morally autonomous conception that entails free choice and individual responsibility.... a convincing demonstration of the importance and the influence of moral factors in criminal and other anti-social conduct in Great Britain.... " "--Modern Age " "Although focused on Britain, Christie Davies's well-documented social-historical study addresses several of the major problems and perplexities of the Western world in our times, preeminently the impact of secularization on moral standards and social order." "--"Paul Hollander, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst "Although focused on Britain, Christie Davies's well-documented social-historical study addresses several of the major problems and perplexities of the Western World in our times, preminently the impact of secularization.... The study also illuminates the changing conceptions of human nature and their impact on social controls and policies, in particular the shift from a morally autonomous conception that entails free choice and individual responsibility.... a convincing demonstration of the importance and the influence of moral factors in criminal and other anti-social conduct in Great Britain.... ""- Modern Age " "Although focused on Britain, Christie Davies's well-documented social-historical study addresses several of the major problems and perplexities of the Western world in our times, preeminently the impact of secularization on moral standards and social order." "-Paul Hollander, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst "

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