The Picture of Dorian Gray Context Analysis
Religion throughout history has actually been a controling social aspect, and in Britain throughout the nineteenth century, this exact same spiritual domination can be seen. The Victorian period was marked by the Church of England, which established such an influence in politics as well as religious beliefs that it became hard to separate the two. The power of the church created lots of issues: absence of space, not relating to its individuals, hypocrisy, and so on. The environment of the high church compared to that of the dissenting groups explains why the shift of religious beliefs occurred with such a big action.
Wealthy (High Church) vs. Middle Class (Dissenters) In the high church, funding originated from the wealthy which in turn provided a piece of the church as property-pews. These seats were branded with a household name and would pass from generation to generation. If the household moved, the seat would remain vacant not open for others to sit in! This left the lower classes to standing rooms or sitting on the flooring, neither of which leave an individual feeling morally or spiritually uplifted.
This example of people purchasing pieces of the church shows how it was growing more worried with political and economic interests and less interested in its typical spirituality. The church’s dependence on these interests produced a location that did not invite the middle and lower class worshippers, however was a “maintain of the younger sons of members of the aristocracy who had little interest in faith and less interest in the growing numbers of city bad.” This close relationship in between church and state produced a hostile environment in between it and society.
The Church developed associations to the social burdens of the time poverty, disease, and injustice. And became called a group of “elite hypocrites” instead of a mass of parishioners. Considering that the high church only preached to about fourteen percent of the population in England, it was just a matter of time before the bulk rose up and found spiritual sanctuary among the dissenting groups. Service and Worship Design of praise varied significantly in between the Church of England and the dissenters.
The Church of England had a more official structure to it, where the dissenting churches enabled the liberty of expression, class and respectability did not assign where you would sit. Embellishing your “Sunday best” was no longer a requirement for attendance. This tradition of the Church of England humiliated the lower classes because many “compromised their ‘Sunday finest’ for other investments more crucial to living, like food. In the house where everybody was supposed to be equal in the eyes of God, people were slapped in the face with pointers about their position in society”.
This rejection of stringent rules and customs created a praise of God that was more personalized and attainable for those who might not purchase their redemption. Preachers of the Church of England were inaccessible, particularly in comparison to the typical minister. Preachers were extremely informed and used a “extremely improved language” which would go right over the heads of the congregation. They were talking at the people and not to the people. On the other hand, the dissenting ministers spoke with the people and not at individuals.
The churchgoers and the ministers had a friendly relationship built off of understanding not off of supremacy and inability like the high church. The high church excluded a number of the lower classes, however invited the upper class with open arms. The dissenting faiths were outlets for those being omitted. It was an escape from the hypocrisy (preaching equality versus living equality), an escape from the custom, and an escape from the distance (in regards to relationships).