and within opposing Churches and begun to question whether war and persecution should really be a feature of religion. Although Christianity certainly underwent change in this period, no antichristian religion or atheist groundswell arose to challenge it. This is, of course, not to say that atheism did not exist, but if it did, it remained a private matter and texts written by atheists quickly gained infamy by the fact of their rarity, and the same can be said of deism. The problem is that the Enlightenment is famous for its challenge to the Church, and the absence

in The Enlightenment and religion
A case study in the construction of a myth

, independent religious dissidents and deists could all excoriate established Church hierarchies in a similar manner. So much so, in fact, that their critiques of Christianity could, to the unwary observer, seem quite similar. The result is that some Dissenters and other religious dissidents have been turned into deists.9 Robert Howard’s History of Religion (1694) provides an instructive example. In this work the Whig Member of Parliament (MP) Howard (1626–98) illustrates how the Church was corrupted almost from the beginning by priestcraft. But, like other Protestants, he

in The Enlightenment and religion
Open Access (free)
The revolt of democratic Christianity and the rise of public opinion

The Enlightenment and religion 4 France: the revolt of democratic Christianity and the rise of public opinion This chapter focuses on the emergence of religious toleration in France and the degree to which it was brought about by broad politico-religious struggle rather than by the philosophes.1 The discussion will, therefore, not provide the usual Enlightenment studies degree of focus upon the philosophes. Much of the research necessary for a revision of the role of the philosophes in France has been accumulating for several decades, but there has not yet been

in The Enlightenment and religion

. Some, however, were not entirely so, and were in good part the result of a matrix of personal, economic and politico-religious 11 The Enlightenment and religion circumstances and exigencies that prompted some observers to exaggerate threats to Christianity. The results are beyond doubt. The deism scare proved to be one of the great and enduring European propaganda coups, the results of which, in academic terms, are still with us today. Historians, wishing to locate the origins of secular modernity in the Enlightenment, have perpetuated the notion of a secularizing

in The Enlightenment and religion

critical of certain proofs of Christianity – such as the Bayle’s Dictionnaire historique et critique – as therefore antichristian, written from a radical Christian perspective only in order to avoid censure. This was a bold fiction of the philosophes, but one which has been repeated by a series of writers into the mid twentieth century. We know that all the evidence – and there is a lot of it – firmly indicates that Bayle remained a Calvinist. The view of him as a sceptic or philosophe has persisted (amongst some even into the present) because it also neatly coincided

in The Enlightenment and religion
Perspectives on civilisation in Latin America

characteristically American and resulted from a creative fusion of Western Marxism and indigenous traditions (Schutte, 1993: 18–​71). Not only was Marxism localised in an inter-​civilisational environment, the ontological hostility it harboured at the height of Stalinism to indigenous traditions and to Christianity was discarded. Mariátegui’s Peruvian Marxism attracted revolutionaries deterred by the hostility shown by pro-​Soviet Marxism to Christianity and seeking escape from the suffocating orthodoxy of Stalinism. His philosophy 157 Engagement in the cross-currents of history

in Debating civilisations

details, the story of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 .8 Titus and Vespasian, Roman leaders and recent converts to Christianity (conversions accomplished through miraculous cures and the Passion twice told), embark upon a crusade against the Jews of Jerusalem to avenge Christ’s death. The Romans lay siege to the city and after a tremendous battle in which many Jews are slain, the Jews retreat within the city walls and the Romans assail the town. The poem relates the diverse details of both Roman and Jewish actions during the two-year siege, including detailed

in Pulp fictions of medieval England

are expected to undertake. 2 And in the conviction that ‘there was no book on India which associated the progress of missions with the history, the literature, the customs, and the mythology of its people, and which combined a general view of this interesting field, with the advancement of the truth’, William Campbell penned his thoughts on the prospects for Christianity. 3 Here his geographical

in The other empire

Evangelical imperialist ideas, as she strongly believed that Britons had a mission to win converts to Christianity across the globe. Butler envisioned a Christian utopia in which ‘race prejudice’ and other social evils, such as war, would be history: 166 feminist responses to the anglo-boer war We all wish for peace; every reasonable person desires it . . . But what Peace? It is the Peace of God . . . We do not and cannot desire the peace which some of those are calling for who dare not face the open book of present day judgment, or who do not wish to read its lessons

in ‘The truest form of patriotism’
Anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiments

clarity but leaves open the question of why Islam and Muslims have emerged as targets of hostility. Given the rhetorical and symbolic reference to Christianity and the crusades, as well as the use of the St George’s flag by the EDL, the final section of this chapter opens by exploring the contention that such hostility is rooted in a clash of religious views. Finding widespread indifference to Christianity, beyond its use as a general signifier of ‘our’ way of life, the discussion seeks other answers. Drawing on Ezekiel’s (2002: 54) insight that ‘thoughts and feelings

in Loud and proud