Religion changed in terms of its meaning in people's everyday lives in 18th century England. The first ten years of the 18th century was the final decade of the "old world," which meant that religious beliefs were based on the sociality of people, i.e. what other people believed. Christian imperatives on manners, values, and even sexual habits were based on universally-held opinions, rather than what clergy officials dictated. 7

These religious ideas came about because of the parish churches that pervaded England, particularly London. They provided a focus for neighborhood life and pride. 8

But in the latter half of the century, people began to assert their individuality rather than maintain the ideology of a collective identity. These new thoughts about religion came out of the slow growth of Enlightenment thought that began to take shape in the late 18th century. People wanted more of a personal relationship with G-d rather than a relationship with the community with G-d. They also attacked early Methodist ideas because they disrupted communal life and focused on the parish church. 9

Another factor in the new wave in religious thinking was the growing urbanization of towns and cities in England. There was no longer the "collective morality" of the first half of the 18th century because the fragmented urban society allowed for premarital/extramarital sexual activity. 10

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