Biblical Christianity was thickly intertwined in the fabric of Victorian society.
Any discussion on European history is incomplete without reference to the church. In very many epochs of history, the church ruled the country in the European continent and the king was merely a puppet. There were also conflicts between the church and the state.
Many scholars in the past including St.Augustine and St.Thomas Aquinas have tried to assert that the church is to obeyed because it is the manifestation of god on earth. They have also opined that on the occasion of conflict between the interest of the state and that of the church, the interest of the church will prevail.
Victorian England was a deeply religious country, and the religious arena was dominated and monopolized by the religion which has the most number of followers around the globe, the Christian religion.
Almost all the people were Christian devotees who visited the church every Sunday without fail. The book of bible began to exert significant influence over the society. The religious truth was accepted as the eternal truth. Textbooks and games were based on religious dogma and moral standards based on religion.
As religion had a strong hold in society, many distinguished missionaries were born. A lot of religious based literature was also produced. Great evangelist Charles Finney is famous for his sermons, theological treatises, and hymns. Missionaries like Amy Carmichael, David Livingstone, and Hudson Taylor helped to spread Christianity far and wide.
As the Victorian era was characterized by the progress of science and technology, religion began receiving setbacks. From the middle of the century, science and reason started to attract the attention of the masses. In 1859, Charles Darwin expounded his Evolution of the species theory in his classic Origin of Species.
This caused upheaval in society because it was in contradiction to the historical study put forward by the Bible. Church and its validity over science and reason began to be questioned.
As a result of this conflict, two schools of religious thought came into being; the Anglican group and the Nonconformist group. The Anglican group believed in the infallibility of the institution of church whereas the other group rejected it.
Victorian age is referred to as the age of Puritanism by many. It is pointed out that Victorian era was the most religious society that the world had ever known. Christian symbols were displayed everywhere. Religion had its say in each and every issue including politics, marriage, sex and so on.
Talking about the negative aspect, the Victorian religion believed in the superiority of Christianity over other religions of the world. It even extended to the white man’s superiority over other races and classes. One could see that the religion of Christianity was highly institutionalized during the Victorian era.