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.
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 religiousdogmas 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
4035 The debate.qxd:-
Historiography contemporary to the
English Reformation, 1525–70
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 religiousdogma, 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
maternal and that this characteristic gave
them an influence over the public sphere.
Chapters 2 and 3 demonstrate the coherence of Catholics and Protestants respectively. The Catholic unity was challenged, however, by the
declaration of the Immaculate Conception in 1854. Chapter 4 examines
the English reception of the Immaculate Conception, which was the only
new Marian dogma in this period. This key moment in Victorian religious
history, which has been largely overlooked, shows how English Christians reacted to a religiousdogma with no direct scriptural evidence. This
‘satanic’ character of
the Jews using the very authority of Christianity, the Bible, as proof.
The central purpose of the Katechismuswahrheiten was therefore to
explain such phrases and to justify the relationship between
Christianity and Judaism. Its main argument intended to instruct the
reader that ‘Christianity has never been a Jewish religion’.56 It was a
deliberate and intelligent fusion of Rosenberg’s racial outlook and
Catholic religiousdogma: the faithful were called on to recognise
Rosenberg’s errors in his own terminology, while the choice of the
It is to be remembered that the Romantics held that the simplicity of religiousdogmas 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.