In August 2015 the Clark Lecture Series, a flagship initiative by The Scots College, again brought the world’s finest scholars to Sydney as part of the Scots Distinguished Professorial Fellow Program. The Centre and Scots College hosted a special lecture by Professor David Bebbington from the University of Stirling on Evangelicalism and Secularisation in the United States and Britain since the 18th Century.
Evangelicalism, the most salient form of religion in America and Britain by the mid-nineteenth century, formed the core of what was undermined by secularisation over subsequent years. Did the characteristics of Evangelicalism on the two sides of the Atlantic contribute to the different degrees of disenchantment with religion in the two countries? It is argued that the Evangelical movements in the United States and Britain were still much the same around the opening of the twentieth century. But from that point onwards divergence set in, so that Evangelicalism in America became more successful in capturing the allegiance of the public. The British version of Evangelicalism that was undermined by secularisation was a much feebler force during the twentieth century. Hence it is not surprising that the secular made much greater strides in Britain than in America.
Co-hosted by The Scot's College, Sydney.