Individual and societal secularisation in France and England
in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
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This chapter attempts to synthesise some of the most common accounts of the history of secularisation in France and England during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It provides an understanding of the nature of individual and societal secularisation in England and France, and assesses, in spite of the vast differences, what correlations can be drawn between the two countries. The study of the secularisation of mentalities examines the pluralisation of worldviews, which came about through individualism and technological consciousness. Trends in secular thinking revolutionised comprehension of the world, affected the dominant religious traditions and multiplied the alternative accounts of human destiny. It addresses the secularisation of societal activities and institutions that examine the ways in which English and French society moved away from their erstwhile religious dispensation. The chapter aims to identify the shifting patterns of secular thought and organisation that prevailed in spite of religious revivalism.

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