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Parading the Cornish subject: Methodist Sunday schools in west Cornwall, c. 1830–1930

Authors
Journal
Journal of Historical Geography
0305-7488
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
33
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhg.2006.02.002
Keywords
  • Cornwall
  • Methodism
  • Sunday Schools
  • Parades
Disciplines
  • Religious Science

Abstract

Abstract This paper explores the historical relationships between Methodist Sunday school tea treats and parades and the formation of religious identity in west Cornwall between c. 1830 and 1930. Through these ritual activities, people were entrained into the symbolic identity-forming apparatus of Methodist faith and practice. Moving beyond the spaces of school rooms and chapels, the paper focuses on the organisation, the use of public space and the territorial significance of annual tea treats and parades in the nurturing and maintenance of a Methodist constituency. In so doing, the paper draws on work in the history of Nonconformity, geographies of religion and the historical geography of parades to conduct a critical analysis of tea treats and parades as ritual, spectacle and carnival.

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