The name of the British historian Jonathan Clark in Russia is known only to specialists in English history of the XVIII – XIX centuries. Meanwhile, his writings generated a heated debate and led to a partial revision of some established ideas. According to Clark, in England of the «long XVIII century», which lasted from the end of the XVII century until 1832, there was an «old order», based on a continued strong monarchy, cultural hegemony of the landed elite and the dominance of the Church of England. Historian uses the term «confessional state» to characterize this dominance. According to Clark, the main opponents of the «confessional state» were dissenters, whose opposition to the «old order» was based on theological grounds. Clark was heavily criticized for replacing economic reductionism, which he strongly opposed, with theological reductionism (J. Innes, R. Davis). It was emphasized that the opposition of dissenters can be explained not only by theological reasons (J. Phillips, R. Davis). F. O’Gorman, P. Corfield, E. Thompson pointed out to Clark that the «confessional state» did not exist in reality. J. Bradley, J. Phillips objected to the thesis of the «cultural hegemony» of Anglicanism. Ultimately, only a few researchers (N. Yates, W. Gibson) have shown a willingness to support the concept of a «confessional state». Nevertheless, Clark's extremely sharpened concept led to serious historiographic shifts. Researchers abandoned to underestimate the role of religion in the era of the «long XVIII century», starting to create synthetic works in which politics, culture, theology, and Economics are considered as part of a single complex.
Scopus subject areas
- Political Science and International Relations