and formed an Anglican Church establishment for India, with a bishopric at Calcutta. British missionaries and Bible Society agents were also active on the continent. High Church Anglicans raised money for post-war relief work in Germany; the Scottish evangelist, Robert Haldane, played a leading role in the revival that swept through French-speaking Protestant communities in Switzerland and France after 1816; and British evangelicals formed a Continental Society in 1818 to co-ordinate missionary activity. In Prussia, the Protestant awakenings continued after 1815. In rural districts, revival activity was promoted by aristocratic families, for whom evangelical Protestantism was a means of enhancing their local influence. In the towns and cities, the awakening was promoted by philanthropic and educational societies, which combined evangelism with practical charity, much of it initially inspired by the needs of war widows and orphans. Revival activity also continued in Scandinavia into the 1840s, while in Russia the Bible Society remained influential into the 1820s.
Christianity was again a powerful force in the Europe of 1815. For those with property, Christianity provided the antidote to the social resentments that led to revolutionary violence; for many artists and writers, it provided an affirming faith in opposition to the dry materialism and scepticism of the later Enlightenment. Among the lower social orders, church adherence offered mutual support and a sense of community, which became increasingly important as western Europe experienced the new upheavals of industrialization and rapid urbanization. For the clergy, the years after 1815 brought an enhanced sense of vocation and improved status in society; they were, for many, the guardians of the faith and the true defenders of the social order.
In the post-war years, the alliance of throne and altar would grow reactionary, and the Holy Alliance would change from the harbinger of a new Christian and moral European order into a symbol of oppression. Baroness de Krudener died in the Crimea in December 1824, and Tsar Alexander died in the Crimea a year later; by then, their millenarian hopes had faded, along with their vision of a Christian concert of nations. The profound challenges to Christianity that we have explored in this volume were, moreover, re-emerging amid growing disillusionment with the Restoration. The nineteenth century would indeed witness further political revolutions, with revolutionaries denouncing Christianity as an obstacle to human progress and reform. The challenge to Christianity of the later Enlightenment would also resurface, with scientific materialism increasingly calling into question belief in God and providence. The Christian religion, however, would nonetheless remain a vital presence in Europe, a body of beliefs that had broad popular support and that proved
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