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Carnival of Equity

In: Other Topics

Submitted By schouler22
Words 553
Pages 3
‘A Carnival of Equity’ by Pamela J Walker is looking at what role religion played in lives of the working class. She argues that religion played a bigger role in the lives of the working class than what had been previously believed. She illustrates her point by using the Salvation Army a sect of Christianity and the relationship it had with the working class. This has been divided into three different aspects. She looks at the significance of the Salvation Army’s beliefs and traditional beliefs about the spiritual world. This allowed the Salvation Army’s theology to be related to the working class. Another aspect she looks at is those of society who were opposed to the Salvation Army and especially when they were using the public areas, The this aspect she looks at how the Salvation Army incorporated the popular entertainment of the time to spread its messages.
In the first section she is looking at the spiritual side of the Salvation Army. She argues that it ‘was a distinctly working-class, urban sect’. She describes the background of the sect and what its features are and how they differed from other sects. One of the more notable aspects of the Salvation that was not common in another Christian sects at the time was that woman were allowed to preach. The following was immense; thousand of people would pile into the halls on a weekly basis. The theology of the Salvation Army suited the beliefs and the past traditions of labors. It deviated from the more rational approach of Christian sects such as the Anglicans and other nonconformists .
In the second section she looked at those who apposed the Salvation Army and how those who apposed it reacted. The theology of the Salvation Army met opposition from every all directions. People would throw food and fight with them parading Army as it walked down the streets, ‘the disputes between Salvationists and the larger community were very much part of urban street life.” This illustrates that religion was part of the lives of the working class because if it want present, the backlash from the people who opposed the Salvation Army would not have happened to such a degree.
The third section looks at how they used local customs and forms of entertainment to try and spread their message. During the nineteenth century prohibitions against leisure for both Anglicans and nonconformists were relaxed. As the streets were the places were the working class spent most of there free time, they were very important to the Salvation Army, who perceived that ‘just by marching down a street singing and preaching. Salvationists could be seen and heard by hundreds of potential converts.” This illustrated how the Salvationists did affect the lives of the working class, even if it was not a welcomed thing.
She concludes that by looking at these three aspects of the relationship of the working class with the Salvation Army that religion was part of the lives of the working class. By using the Salvation Army as an example to back up her argument she showed that the relationship they had with the working class was a religious one and that while people associated religion with going to church, she shows that with the Salvation Army this is not the case.

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