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The debate over the Immaculate Conception
Carol Engelhardt Herringer

Conflict over the Immaculate Conception was one part of the debate about theology among Victorian Christians; it was also an aspect of the conversation about the nature of woman. Roman Catholics, who were required to believe in the Immaculate Conception, defined a woman who was unchanging in her sinlessness, while Protestants asserted that sinfulness was integral to each human being. This key moment in Victorian religious history, which has been largely overlooked, shows how English Christians reacted to a religious dogma with no direct scriptural evidence. This controversial topic was the one most likely to encourage broad participation from non-Anglican Protestants. Roman Catholics had a generally positive response, especially after some initial hesitation, but Protestants resoundingly rejected it. Advanced Anglicans were ambivalent: many believed the Virgin Mary to be without sin but were hesitant to declare dogmatic a belief with no scriptural basis. This debate also helps illuminate attitudes of Victorian Christians about the relationship between sexual intercourse, the body, and sin.

in Victorians and the Virgin Mary
A conceptual history 1200–1900

This collection explores how concepts of intellectual or learning disability evolved from a range of influences, gradually developing from earlier and decidedly distinct concepts, including ‘idiocy’ and ‘folly’, which were themselves generated by very specific social and intellectual environments. With essays extending across legal, educational, literary, religious, philosophical, and psychiatric histories, this collection maintains a rigorous distinction between historical and contemporary concepts in demonstrating how intellectual disability and related notions were products of the prevailing social, cultural, and intellectual environments in which they took form, and themselves performed important functions within these environments. Focusing on British and European material from the middle ages to the late nineteenth century, this collection asks ‘How and why did these concepts form?’ ‘How did they connect with one another?’ and ‘What historical circumstances contributed to building these connections?’ While the emphasis is on conceptual history or a history of ideas, these essays also address the consequences of these defining forces for the people who found themselves enclosed by the shifting definitional field.


This book recounts the little-known history of the mixed-race children born to black American servicemen and white British women during the Second World War. Of the three million American soldiers stationed in Britain from 1942 to 1945, about 8 per cent (240,000) were African-American; the latter’s relationships with British women resulted in the birth of an estimated 2,000 babies. The African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry their white girlfriends. Up to half of the mothers of these babies, faced with the stigma of illegitimacy and a mixed-race child, gave their children up for adoption. The outcome for these children tended to be long-term residency in children’s homes, sometimes followed by fostering and occasionally adoption, but adoption societies frequently would not take on ‘coloured’ children, who were thought to be ‘too hard to place’. There has been minimal study of these children and the difficulties they faced, such as racism in a (then) very white Britain, lack of family or a clear identity. Accessibly written and illustrated with numerous photographs, this book presents the stories of over forty of these children. While some of the accounts of early childhood are heart-breaking, there are also many uplifting narratives of finding American fathers and gaining a sense of self and of heritage.

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Encountering Irigaray
Morny Joy

the principal motivation that has informed my writing of these studies on Irigaray. The questions that intrigue me as a philosopher of religion concern Irigaray’s challenge to traditional religious dogmas and practices. I have selected facets of Irigaray’s oeuvre that have not been treated in great detail elsewhere. It is the theme of love, specifically a love that is divine, that resonates in Irigaray’s ethical and spiritual work. This focus takes it beyond the principally psychoanalytic and secular interests that have been the centre of most of the past attention

in Divine love
Atheism and polygenesis
Nathan G. Alexander

ideas that demonstrated the inferiority of non-white people in an arena free from religious dogma.50 Hunt’s racial ideas were strongly influenced by Robert Knox, a promising Edinburgh anatomy lecturer who was disgraced by unknowingly accepting bodies of murder victims for his anatomy classes. Knox initially enjoyed 37 Race in a Godless World a thriving career, but after the scandal – though officially exonerated of any wrongdoing – he became unemployable.51 This gave him free rein to publish his controversial racial views since he no longer had to worry about

in Race in a Godless World
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The Veda as an alternative to the Bible
Dorothy Figueira

. It is to be remembered that the Romantics held that the simplicity of religious dogmas defined the original state of man and its corollaries that monotheism was anterior to polytheism and primitive revelation had progressively degenerated. Once a people has unfolded its spirit to its fullest expression – from the Romantic point of view – it has fulfilled its role in history and only ‘repetition’ (revivals), stagnation and decay could follow. Müller's conclusions concerning the Veda recapitulated this central Romantic thesis. Moreover, Romantic

in Chosen peoples
Gregorio Alonso

, just a decade before the declaration of papal infallibility by the First Vatican Council, the Spanish priest acknowledged that it was legitimate for the Pope to deal with all matters related to religious dogma. However, he argued that Pius IX could not be considered infallible ‘hablando de matemáticas, de política o de filosofía’ (speaking on mathematics, politics or philosophy).28 Aguayo also drew a clear line between the Pope and the King of Rome; while the latter could claim legitimate and exclusive rights in a particular sense, he reminded readers that these came

in Spain in the nineteenth century
Rosemary O’Day

4035 The debate.qxd:- 9/12/13 08:36 Page 8 1 Historiography contemporary to the English Reformation, 1525–70 Introduction On the face of it, it might seem that the Reformation, of its nature, rejected history. And so in a sense it did, or at least the force of recent precedent. After all, the new religion involved a break with that recent past – denial of tradition as an authority for religious dogma, practice and doctrine; a denial of papal authority. But it is no less true that the English Reformation used history – an interpretation of the past – to

in The Debate on the English Reformation
The re-shaping of idiocy in the seventeenth-century church
C.F. Goodey

-group undergo an almost one hundred percent blood transfusion from one era to the next. The mind sciences, once the preserve of theology, are implicated in this. The same scientific psychiatry that might see its ancestors’ categorisation and elimination of twelfth-century heretics as a phobic reinforcement of the era’s religious dogmas is also responsible for the categorisation and elimination of Exclusion from the eucharist 81 twenty-first century ‘intellectual’ disability as a reinforcement of our own era’s cognitive dogmas. Psychology and the formalisation of gossip

in Intellectual disability
Alfred and Victorian morality
Joanne Parker

that golden wealth Profusely given, rapaciously received, . . . With the stark penury, the utter want, The outcast wretchedness, in contrast strong He places: and at the sordid luxury, The unfeeling avarice, the recklessness Of all this useless, cruel magnificence, Fain could have wept.126 On the other hand, Besant (known as a man with ‘no love of priests and religious dogma’) simply refuted the notion that Rome had exercised any lasting impact upon the young Alfred, arguing that ‘An attempt has been made to connect Alfred’s love of literature and the arts together

in ‘England’s darling’