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Author: Brian Sudlow

This book is a comparative study of the French and English Catholic literary revivals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These parallel but mostly independent movements include writers such as Charles Péguy, Paul Claudel, J. K. Huysmans, Gerard Manley Hopkins, G. K. Chesterton and Lionel Johnson. Rejecting critical approaches that tend to treat Catholic writings as exotic marginalia, this book makes extensive use of secularisation theory to confront these Catholic writings with the preoccupations of secularism and modernity. It compares individual and societal secularisation in France and England and examines how French and English Catholic writers understood and contested secular mores, ideologies and praxis, in the individual, societal and religious domains. The book also addresses the extent to which some Catholic writers succumbed to the seduction of secular instincts, even paradoxically in themes which are considered to be emblematic of the Catholic literature.

Theology, politics, and Newtonian public science

This book explores at length the French and English Catholic literary revivals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These parallel but mostly independent movements include writers such as Charles Péguy, Paul Claudel, J. K. Huysmans, Gerard Manley Hopkins, G. K. Chesterton and Lionel Johnson. Rejecting critical approaches that tend to treat Catholic writings as exotic marginalia, the book makes extensive use of secularisation theory to confront these Catholic writings with the preoccupations of secularism and modernity. It compares individual and societal secularisation in France and England and examines how French and English Catholic writers understood and contested secular mores, ideologies and praxis, in the individual, societal and religious domains. The book also addresses the extent to which some Catholic writers succumbed to the seduction of secular instincts, even paradoxically in themes that are considered to be emblematic of Catholic literature. Its breadth will make it a useful guide for students wishing to become familiar with a wide range of such writings in France and England during this period.

Atheism, Race, and Civilization, 1850–1914

Race in a godless world is the first historical analysis of the racial views of atheists and freethinkers. It centers on Britain and the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century, a time when a popular atheist movement emerged and skepticism about the truth of Christianity became widespread, and when scientific racism developed and Western countries colonized much of the globe. The book covers racial and evolutionary science, imperialism in Africa and Asia, slavery and segregation in the United States, debates over immigration, and racial prejudice in theory and practice. The book’s central argument is that there was a constant tension throughout the period between, on the one hand, white atheists’ general acceptance that white, western civilization represented the pinnacle of human progress, and, on the other, their knowledge that these civilizations were so closely intertwined with Christianity. This led to a profound ambivalence about issues of racial and civilizational superiority. At times, white atheists assented to scientific racism and hierarchical conceptions of civilization; at others, they denounced racial prejudice and spoke favourably of non-white, non-western civilizations. As secularization continues and atheists move from the periphery to the mainstream, the book concludes by asking whether this pattern of ambivalence will continue in the future.

K. Healan Gaston

arrival of a new age, even as it portrayed the era just ending in specific, controversial ways. Few of its users, moreover, were shy about their normative ambition to bring a post-secular world into being. This chapter illustrates those dynamics by examining a number of key moments in the early development of post-secular discourse, while keeping an eye on what they tell us about contemporary preoccupations with the category. The earliest post-secular constructions, like the broader discourse of ‘secularism’ itself

in Post-everything
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Laura Schwartz

themselves ‘infidels’ – reclaiming a title initially employed as a term of abuse by their Christian opponents. Such a name implied a refusal of faith and a betrayal of God’s law – acts which Freethinking feminists believed to be essential to ending the subjugation of their sex. 2 For them, religion, particularly Christianity, was the primary cause of women’s oppression. The question of ‘religion’ versus ‘secularism’ and which offers a

in Infidel feminism
Radical religion, secularism and the hymn
Kate Bowan and Paul A. Pickering

ways: most Owenites were in fact Chartists, but not all Chartists were Owenites. As both movements declined many Chartists and Owenites looking for new articulations of radical thought gravitated toward secularism. Consequently, secularism, a more popular branch of freethought, was closely associated with political radicalism and gained a significant working-class membership. Unsurprisingly, many of its key

in Sounds of liberty
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David Hardiman

relatively transient form of this historical process, for modernity was associated above all with the ‘transition from a religious to a secular culture’. 18 From Max Weber onwards, sociologists have declared that secularism is the inevitable outcome of the process set in motion by the Enlightenment and its accompanying revolutions. In fact, it was just one important strand to modernity. Championed

in Missionaries and their medicine
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‘This is your hour’
John Carter Wood

shaped by various (not exclusively British) traditions and defined against ‘secularism’; and a public (intellectual) context marked by certain forms of action and authority. British Histories of ecumenical thought have often focused on its transnational elements. This approach can be enlightening; however, it is important to attend to the specificities of the national contexts in which most Christian groups and individuals lived the far greater parts of their lives and formed their worldviews. Rather

in This is your hour
Tanya Cheadle

Clapperton has necessarily precluded any elucidation of the connections between her life and work. This chapter remedies these elisions, for the first time tracing the familial and friendship networks that were vital in the formation of her views on sex. More particularly, it argues that it was her association with secularism, with individuals such as George Arthur Gaskell, James Cranbrook, Sarah Hennell and Charles Bray, and with organisations including the Malthusian League, which facilitated the germination of her transgressive ideas, freethought providing at once a

in Sexual progressives
David Arnold

agency. But in many respects the history of smallpox and vaccination in India is expressive of a colonial situation in which the administration was culturally and politically remote from the lives of its subjects. Belief in a smallpox deity provided an alternative, religious, explanation for the incidence of the disease and prescribed ritual observances that ran counter to western medical secularism. In

in Imperial medicine and indigenous societies