Priest and Parish in Vienna, 1780-1880
Priest and Parish in Vienna, 1780 to 1880 is a bold, new social and cultural history of religion in modern Europe. By establishing some of the most important parameter of religious life, such as parish demographics, the economics of parish life, the social and national background of priests, and the world of Catholic sacrament and feastdays, this book contextualizes for the first time the contentious social and cultural relationship between religion and society in nineteenth-century Vienna.
In the nineteenth century, parish priests confronted tumultuous social changes such as industrialization and urbanization, which eroded clerical influence in Austria. Priests did not react well to this development and by the 1880s turned to party political activity in defense of their position within Austrian society. Eventually, many of the parish priests were mobilized into Karl Lueger's Christian Social movement. Parish priests, a very important and influential group in Austria, were therefore changed from servants of the state into political activists.