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Histories of the Sacred and Secular, 1700-2000

Nineteenth-Century British Secularism

Science, Religion and Literature

Authors: Rectenwald, M.

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  • ISBN 978-1-137-46389-0
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About this book

Nineteenth-Century British Secularism offers a new paradigm for understanding secularization in the nineteenth century. It addresses the crisis in the secularization thesis by foregrounding a nineteenth-century development called 'Secularism' – the particular movement and creed founded by George Jacob Holyoake from 1851 to 1852. Nineteenth-Century British Secularism rethinks and reevaluates the significance of Holyoake's Secularism, regarding it as a historic moment of modernity and granting it centrality as both a herald and exemplar for a new understanding of modern secularity. In addition to Secularism proper, the book treats several other moments of secular emergence in the nineteenth century, including Thomas Carlyle's 'natural supernaturalism', Richard Carlile's anti-theist science advocacy, Charles Lyell's uniformity principle in geology, Francis Newman's naturalized religion or 'primitive Christianity', and George Eliot's secularism and post-secularism.

About the authors

Michael Rectenwald is Professor of Global Liberal Studies at New York University, USA. He is editor of Global Secularisms in A Post-Secular Age (2015) and Academic Writing, Real World Topics (2015). He has published essays on secularism in The British Journal for the History of Science, The International Philosophical Quarterly, and George Eliot in Context.

Reviews

“Michael Rectenwald’s Nineteenth-Century British Secularism is an impressively lucid, balanced, and wide-ranging engagement with the implications of recent challenges to both modern secularism and the secularisation thesis for our understanding of Victorian literature and culture. Placing the often-overlooked organised Secularist movement at the centre of the narrative enables Rectenwald to advance us beyond critical clichés about Victorian doubt and a ‘crisis of faith’ and to do justice to the prescience and complexity of Victorian thinking about the concepts of secularism and secularisation.” (Sara Lyons, Lecturer in Victorian Literature, University of Kent, UK and author of Algernon Swinburne and Walter Pater: Victorian Aestheticism, Doubt and Secularisation (2015))

Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • Introduction: Secularity or the Post-Secular Condition

    Rectenwald, Michael

    Pages 1-15

  • Carlyle and Carlile: Late Romantic Skepticism and Early Radical Freethought

    Rectenwald, Michael

    Pages 16-44

  • Principles of Geology: A Secular Fissure in Scientific Knowledge

    Rectenwald, Michael

    Pages 45-70

  • Holyoake and Secularism: The Emergence of ‘Positive’ Freethought

    Rectenwald, Michael

    Pages 71-106

  • Secularizing Science: Secularism and the Emergence of Scientific Naturalism

    Rectenwald, Michael

    Pages 107-134

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-46389-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $100.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-46388-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Nineteenth-Century British Secularism
Book Subtitle
Science, Religion and Literature
Authors
Series Title
Histories of the Sacred and Secular, 1700-2000
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-46389-0
DOI
10.1057/9781137463890
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-46388-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VI, 257
Topics