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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses attitudes towards recreation and leisure in nineteenth-century Christian thought using examples from the United Kingdom, North America, Australia, and Africa. Christianity influenced recreation through phenomena related to the animal welfare, temperance, Sabbatarian, Sunday school, Band of Hope, muscular Christianity, Young Men’s Christian Association, Christian resort, Church recreation, Saturday half-holiday, and open space movements. While Christian approaches to recreation were diverse, they may be categorized into four responses on a continuum from most negative to most positive: opposition, alternative recreation, societal change initiatives, and accommodation. Although these categories may overlap and are not always mutually exclusive they do provide a helpful framework. In general, over the course of the century, approaches to recreation tended to move towards the more positive or accommodation end of the continuum.

Keywords: leisure, recreation, muscular Christianity, Saturday half-holiday, open space movement, Christian resorts

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