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Is God Still An Englishman?: How We Lost Our Faith (But Found New Soul) [Hardcover]

Cole Moreton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 2010
There has been a revolution. The God who ruled over us for five hundred years has been overthrown. The soul of England has been transformed, almost without anybody noticing. Gone are the shared values and confidence of a nation that seemed so sure of itself and what it believed in, even as recently as the wedding of Charles and Diana, our last great festival of certainty. Since then the number of people who go to church on Sunday has halved. More of us go to IKEA. Millions still believe in God but never want to go near a pew again. Why have we turned away, and what does it mean? Moreton uncovers the battles, blunders, sex scandals and financial disasters that caused the long predicted death of the established Church. But this extraordinary story is about all of us, not just the Christians. Can a new national identity emerge, now that we have a thousand gods instead of just one? Moreton says yes and reveals how a constantly evolving but uniquely English spirituality remains at the heart of who we are.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408701804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408701805
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 603,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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** This exuberant and assured book posits the central dilemmas of our times . . . eccentric, mystifying and gripping (Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, INDEPENDENT)

** 'The Cole Moreton revealed in IS GOD STILL AN ENGLISHMAN? is intelligent, vulnerable, modest and philanthropic: an immensely likeable commentator on matters spiritual . . . It should be required reading for every English man and woman - whatever their (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

** 'Absorbing, and colourful, as any religious ritual. He weaves in a witty, self-knowing, self-mocking account of his own faith journey . . . an elegant, potted social and cultural history of 1980s and 1990s Britain, told in the broad, sweeping manner of a prime-time BBC television history series, presented by an off-duty newscaster, full of wonderfully evocative references . . . There are many good things about this book, not least the personality of its author, which is stamped on every page. He can make you laugh out loud, and generates a momentum that has you turning the pages wanting it never to end. And his theory, when the party finally reaches its conclusion, namely that there is some kind of spiritual something going on here right now, is intriguing (Peter Sandford, OBSERVER)

** 'There were times during this book when I thought it was one of the most perceptive and original studies of the English that I've read in ages (SUNDAY TIMES)

Book Description

* A compelling narrative of Britain's changing culture and attitude to religion since the 1980s * Who are we? What do we believe? Where are we going?

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and extremely insightful 23 Aug 2010
Is God Still An Englishman? is a made up of three seamlessly interwoven strands - a social and political history of the British people's increasing disillusionment with authority, government and institutions over the last 30 years; a history of the UK church over the same period and how this is related to wider social change; and a startlingly honest and open account of Cole Moreton's own personal religious journey. Many of the events described are still sharp in the nation's shared memory and consciousness. Moreton's ability to identify how different social trends knit together, and to pinpoint key events that fed change in the 'atmosphere' of the nation, are insightful and persuasive. It's also a beautifully written and very readable book - stimulating, funny, touching and discomforting. Recommended not only for those interested in recent church history, but anyone wanting to delve deeper into the evolution of the British collective conscience over recent decades.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The death of the English God 30 April 2010
Is God Still An Englishman?
How we lost our faith but found new soul.
Cole Moreton, Little Brown, 2010

If you only read one book about religion this year, make sure it's this one. Cole Moreton has produced a fantastic social history of popular faith in England over the last thirty years. It begins with the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 and takes in every major event from then till now, tracing how each event has been a nail in the coffin of the established Church of England as the arbiter of the nation's spiritual beliefs. In 1981, the great English God was still more or less in control though his days were numbered even then. Since the Elizabethan Settlement in 1559 when the Church of England was formally established defined but the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity in pretty much the form we knew it in the 80s. The tenets of this national religion, were fair play, the stiff upper lip and knowing one's place in the great scheme of things. Over the last 30 years, Moreton maintains, the high place of this God, his national church and the Establishment which maintained them have been gradually eroded, till Anglicanism is just one of the possible faiths on offer in the post-modern market place and has lost its distinctiveness, splintering into several different tribes, all fighting for the dwindling stock of believers and adherents.

Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. While this great national faith gave the nation a shape and form which held it together over five hundred years, it had become stifling, crippling creativity and new expressions of faith. Moreton outlines how the Soul of England is changing to become more accepting, more honest, less rigid and buttoned-up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it! 29 Jan 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is such a well written book. It opens up events in recent English history and questions the way we see God. This is a great read for anyone.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for faith ... finding soul 30 Aug 2011
A highly readable review of the place of faith and belonging in Britain over the past 30 years. Cole Moreton is informed, fair, angry, gracious, betrayed and hopeful in equal measure as he charts the changing fortunes and wasted opportunities of the established church since the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981. However this is not a book about church so much as a carefully researched and wide ranging journey through recent key events and changes in Britain. As a gifted story teller, Moreton is able to assemble such apparently diverse elements as the miners' strike, Jade Goody and the Church Commisioners'financial advisor who had a taste for expensive cigars and travel on the QE2 and make of them a coherent picture of who 'we' are and how we've changed over the past 3 decades.
This book is a 'must read' for believers who think about their faith but it's equally a stimulating guide for anyone in Britain who has ever thought that there must be more to life than Eastenders, Hello magazine or Sky TV.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars English born & bred 11 Jun 2010
I got a lot from this book. Although not agreeing with everything written, I think that Cole Morton has opened up some valid debates and introduced many interesting takes on life in England now. At least we all can question things today, having much more information at our fingertips. We are free to choose and not necessarily follow standard religion in blind faith if that's not our desire. Hopefully, though we will choose the path of 'good' if not 'God.'
I liked the author's openness and honesty and to me he appears to have a 'good soul.'
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent moving read 12 May 2010
I've just finished reading Is God Still An Englishman. It's an excellent book. It entwines the author's very personal, moving and funny search for meaning in life, with a social, political and spiritual history of England over the past thirty years.
This is definitely not a book just for the experts, it's for anyone who wants to know what has happened to the UK during their lifetime. How and why it has changed.
The same goes for if you want to know what on earth has happened to the Church of England. This story does not flinch from covering some of the less savoury episodes.
But it's not blinkered. Though the story begins inside the Church of England, it opens out to take in other Christian and non-Christian faiths. (Even Dawkins gets a look in.)
This is high quality stuff, but the author wears his erudition lightly. It very accessible, not at all dull and dusty.
I recommend this excellent history, which is also a very enjoyable, often amusing, personal journey too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The opening pages about the sad death of a friend were a little...
The opening pages about the sad death of a friend were a little sentimental for my taste but once he got on to the recent history of the Church of England, it got more interesting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by postwork
5.0 out of 5 stars Is God Still an Englishman
A very thought provoking and enjoyable book - I would definitely recommend it.
Published 1 month ago by Charmian Law
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written interesting analysis of recent events happening in our...
Once beginning this brilliantly written book, it keeps one's attention to the very last page. Sobering conclusions from a recent period, one can identify from personal... Read more
Published 14 months ago by tony stanyer
1.0 out of 5 stars smug, self-indulgent and unoriginal
I don't know why I wasted my time on this book (although by persevering as far as page 292 I happened across a splendid typo, 'the Royal Anglican Regiment'). Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2011 by Stephen
2.0 out of 5 stars God was never an Englishman
The British flag is called the Union Jack because Britain consists of several of the lost tribes of Israel (Union Jack means - Union of Jacob). Read more
Published on 19 Jun 2011 by Chris Bevan
3.0 out of 5 stars Through A Maze, Darkly
This book is partly one person's personal quest, partly an attempt at a history of popular religion and culture over the past quarter century or so, partly a musing on various... Read more
Published on 29 Nov 2010 by Ian Millard
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