Clapham Sect


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Clapham Sect

(ˈklæpəm)
n
(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a group of early 19th-century Church of England evangelicals advocating personal piety, the abolition of slavery, etc
[C19: named after Clapham, a district of London]
References in periodicals archive ?
When it cameup for renewal in 1793, the missionaries under the leadership of William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect (a group of influential personalities advocating the end of slavery) made efforts to include clauses for theCompany's support to education and missionary work in India.
Families notorious for marrying cousins, like the Darwins and the members of the Clapham Sect, figure overprominently, and an entire chapter is dedicated to the delightfully unconstrained and polyamorous Bloomsberries, who were representative of no one but themselves.
The author has already established her knowledge of the early Victorian Evangelical world and in particular, the 'Clapham Sect' with her biography of Hannah More.
James Stephen immediately became a part of the Clapham Sect. (2) Often referred to as the "Saints," the members of this remarkable group of Evangelical Anglicans, formed in the early 1790s, included John and Henry Thornton, Wilberforce, Zachary Macaulay, Charles Grant, James Stephen, John Shore, Hannah More, and John Venn.
Skaggs offers an interesting perspective through the banker Henry Thornton, whose historical contribution includes his role in the founding of the Clapham Sect. In his Paper Credit, Thornton offers a sophisticated analysis, without allowing his religious commitments to appear, at least explicitly, and the careful essayist is perhaps a bit perplexed about how to interpret his subject.
She discusses in turn, therefore, women from the Latitudinarian and bluestockings circles of the mid eighteenth century onwards through the Whigs, Rational Dissenters, Unitarians, Radicals, Lunar Society and Clapham sect and Evangelicals of the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century, to the political economists, social interventionists, radical humanitarians and Froebelian missionaries and educators of the mid nineteenth century.
Wilberforce and his aristocratic evangelical colleagues (for example, Henry Thornton, Granville Sharp, John Venn, Hannah More, and Zachary Macaulay), dubbed as "Saints" (123) by their contemporaries and later known as the Clapham Sect, were infused with a combined Christian sense of noblesse oblige and paternalism.
After a lengthy first chapter that treats, among others, Said, Asad, Habermas, and Blumenberg, Pecora moves to discussions of Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer, with Kracauer as something of a corrective to Benjamin's Messianism (Chapter 2), of Emile Durkheim, who exemplifies the process by which modernity preserves religion in the form of the social (Chapter 3), of Matthew Arnold and racial theory (Chapter 4), and of Virginia Woolf, whose modernism sustains the religiosity of the Clapham sect as a form of social habitus (Chapter 5).
With the observances of the 200th anniversary of the 1807 act abolishing the slave trade, it is easy to focus on the prime characters like Wilberforce, Clarkson and the Clapham Sect. But there were others like John Woolman.
INFLUENCE: His self-indulgent lifestyle changed completely when he became an evangelical Christian, and in 1784 Wilberforce joined a leading group known as the Clapham Sect. In 1787 he was introduced to Thomas Clarkson and the group campaigning against the slave trade and was persuaded to become leader of the parliamentary campaign.
This was not inappropriate, as the original client, Godfrey Thornton, was a cousin of William Wilberforce and a member of the Evangelical 'Clapham Sect'.
The Clapham Sect 'Saints' are given prominent mention, though the author is clearly unsympathetic to their narrow humanitarianism.