[Research] Gender, Feminism and the Formation of British Secularism

In this post, Laura Schwartz challenges taken-for-granted binaries between religious and the secularsept_2015-june_2016_076
from historical and gender perspectives. She argues, ‘the “Woman Question” – the question of which was a better system for women – was by no means a by-product of debates between Christians and Secularists but constitutive of and absolutely fundamental to modern definitions of religion and secularism that emerged from them’.

My 2013 book, Infidel Feminism, has been largely received as an intervention into the history of feminism, pointing to a previously unexplored strand of ‘Freethinking feminism’ which existed in Britain throughout the 19th century, and arguing that anti-religious or secular ideas were fundamental to the development of first wave feminist thought. I intended the book as a response to, and partly a reaction against, the ‘religious turn’ in gender and feminist history of the last 20 years or so, which (in quite rightly pointing to the importance of religion as one of the ‘founding impulses’ of modern feminism) has now so dominated the field that many of my students today assume that religion is essentially complementary to feminism, and find it difficult to articulate why it might ever have been seen as an obstacle to women’s rights in Britain.

But Infidel Feminism, was also intended as an intervention into scholarship on secularism, to say something new about the category of the secular as a whole and to take forward debates on the secularisation thesis and ‘post-secularity’. Charles Taylor’s book A Secular Age (2007) has proven pivotal in this scholarship, though much of attention it has received as been critical as well as positive. Without wanting to endorse the whole of his agenda, I was particularly interested in Taylor’s critique of narratives that portray secularisation as nothing more than a “subtraction story”, as an absence of religion. Responding to this call, I attempted to approach secularism as a substantive rather than a negative category, to analyse the positive content of that particular form of secularism that emerged in 19th century Britain (and to some extent across the Anglophone world). What values did it embody? And what kind of identities did it generate? This was obviously crucial to a historical study that focused, as mine did, on the National Secular Society and wider milieu of self-proclaimed Secularists and Freethinkers, actively engaged in constructing a secular public sphere. Secularism, for them, was not merely an absence of religion, but powerful intellectual and ethical framework structuring every aspect of their lives which compelled them to think counter to the majority of Victorian society.

Where did the ideas for Infidel Feminism come from?

I began my project at the University of Oxford, where I participated in the religious history seminar which was run by many of those scholars engaged in the redefinition and expansion of the category of ‘religion’ in histories of modern Britain (most notably the authors of Garnet et al.’s Redefining Christian Britain). These scholars expanded the definitional parameters of ‘religion’ to encompass personal beliefs, linguistic structures and modes of identity. They have identified religion with a variety of phenomena beyond those traditionally associated with ecclesiastical institutions and doctrinal belief-systems, leading some historians to argue that ‘transformation’ rather than ‘decline’ ought to be the key organising factor when thinking about religion in modern society. And of course this group of scholars at Oxford were building upon and responding to Callum Brown’s highly influential concept of ‘discursive Christianity’ which defined religion not as an institution, or even a set of beliefs, but as a ‘dominant discourse’ which ‘infused public culture and was adopted by individuals, whether churchgoers or not, informing their own identities’. I was also reading, when starting out my research project, a related set of debates by historians, such as Alex Owen, who were revealing the extent to which modernity, far from being wholly secularised, has in fact continued to be permeated with ‘enchantment’, with religious and magical beliefs co-existing with and sometimes complementing scientific and rational modes of thought that were previously thought to define modernity and, in the sociologist Max Weber’s terms, signify the end of enchantment.

Rejecting secularisation as “subtraction” story

All of this scholarship was crucial in confronting the orthodox secularisation thesis, and in opening up many new and important avenues for understanding the workings of religion in 20th century Britain. But it was not terribly informative for me as someone wanting to trace not the continued influence of religion in an age of modernity, but rather the emergence of the distinctive category of the secular in this period. For better or for worse (perhaps because of the historical moment in which it emerged – the end of the 20th century with the re-emergence of religion as a powerful force on the global stage), the effect of this historical scholarship has tended to be to obscure the secular rather than to offer more meaningful understandings of it. My feeling, from attending panels on secularism at various modern British history conferences is that sometimes more zealous advocates of an expansive and discursive definition of religion, wrongly conceive of it as an all-encompassing intellectual and linguistic framework which structures the thoughts of believers and non-believers alike, causing the secular sphere to effectively disappear, an turning the ‘religious’ or the ‘sacred’ into such capacious categories that they too lose any descriptive purchase.

So that was my problem, and some of my concerns – what did I try to do differently? Firstly, I tried to take seriously the reasons that individual Freethinkers and Secularists gave for renouncing Christianity and embracing a Secular view of the world. It was tempting, in light of much of the recent scholarship on the porosity of boundaries between the religious and the secular, to read Freethinkers’ accounts of their loss of faith as simply inverted evangelical conversion narratives. (Indeed this is what Edward Royle, the pre-eminent historian of the British Secularist movement, has tended to conclude when he defines Secularism as an inversion of Victorian evangelical Christianity). Certainly, Christian metaphors and narrative structures were overtly present in the writings and autobiographies of self-proclaimed 19th century Secularists, yet to simply conclude that they were deluded in their belief that they had left the much-hated religions of their youth behind, would have been to deny the reality they themselves experienced. It was hard to stop being a Christian in 19th century Britain, one risked not only alienation from one’s family and community but also – for women especially – accusations of sexual impropriety. So to treat these historical subjects simply as inverted Christians would have been to do them an injustice. Instead, I wanted to convey a sense of the fundamental transformation they felt they had undergone, as well as the antagonism they felt towards Christianity. I therefore chose the term ‘counter-conversion’ to capture this. And I focused in the book on outlining the new ethical vision that Secularists promoted – one that was committed to complete moral and bodily autonomy, freedom of speech, abhorrence of enforced ignorance and an unflinching commitment to the democratic dissemination of knowledge.

The ‘Woman Question’ and the formation of modern concepts of religion and secularism

A crucial aspect of (to quote Charles Taylor) these ‘new inventions, newly constructed self-understandings and related practices’ was Secularists’ response to the ‘Woman Question’ – which can be briefly summarised as a rejection of God-given gender roles, and thus the sacred bonds of marriage which entailed support for the right to divorce and various (albeit fraught) articulations of greater sexual freedom for both men and women; the inclusion of women in secular societies on a more or less equal basis, an affirmation of women’s right to speak in public and act as intellectual leaders; and a rejection of certain forms of ‘imperial feminism’ whereby, unlike large portions of the women’s movement at this time, Secularists refused to valorise the treatment of women in the Christian West as superior to that in the Muslim or Hindu world.

Yet this form of Secularism was itself highly gendered, sometimes posing problems for feminism in its celebration of science and reason (masculine characterisations) versus superstition and religious enthusiasm (feminised attributes). The central argument of the book is that the ‘Woman Question’ – the question of which was a better system for women – was by no means a by-product of debates between Christians and Secularists but constitutive of and absolutely fundamental to modern definitions of religion and secularism that emerged from them.

But what of the highly apparent continuation and/or vestiges of religious language, metaphors and intellectual frameworks deployed by these self-proclaimed Secularists and Freethinkers? Ultimately, although this remains a tension in the book, I was able to accept the significance of Christianity to modern Western forms of secularism, without having to collapse one category into the other, precisely because I was no longer working within the parameters of the orthodox secularisation thesis and its assumption that, in modern society, religion would necessarily give way to a secular world. Aided by some of the scholars of religion that I discussed above, who had rejected secularism as an inevitable process, and an abstract and universal concept, I was able to examine more closely a particular form of 19th century British secularism that was historically constituted and geographically specific. Of course, then, in 19th century Britain – a society dominated by Serious Christianity at the level of the state, civil society and personal identity – the form of secularism that emerged was strongly influenced by the form of religion it reacted against, in particular evangelical Protestantism. But to argue that religion and secularism in this context existed in an antagonistic and symbiotic relationship (as I did) is not to say that they are one and the same thing, nor to deny the existence and influence of ethical, intellectual and political traditions that were overtly and distinctively Secularist in their make-up. What this points to, in terms of future areas of research, is the need to distinguish between different kinds of secularism which emerged in different places at different times, and to assess them (especially in terms of their gender and race politics) according to the particularities of their content rather than some pre-determined and assumed definition of what secularism really is.

Laura Schwartz is Associate Prof of Modern British History at the University of Warwick. She has published widely on the history of British first wave feminism. Her most recent work on the history of gender, religious and anti religious thought is an article entitled ‘”Enchanted Modernity”, Anglicanism and the Occult in Early 20th-century Oxford: Annie Moberly and Eleanor Jordain’s “Adventure” Revisited’, forthcoming in Cultural and Social History.



[Research] The Mind’s Revolt: The Lessons of Protestant Freethought for the Study of New Atheism

In this article, Liam Jerrold Fraser explains how an examination of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English freethought can help us to understand contemporary New Atheism. By using a historical case study, Fraser hopes to push back against viewing atheism as either a purely political or purely intellectual phenomenon and instead suggests that only a multi-disciplinary study can fully make sense of atheism.liam-fraser

It is a common belief in many Western societies that politics and religion should be separate, and that religion should play little or no role in the governance of modern states. This belief, in turn, can support two other assumptions: first, that it is possible to have religious beliefs whose significance is purely intellectual, and which possess no political meaning; and second, that the absence or rejection of religious language, symbols, and narratives in political life implies neutrality or indifference toward the intellectual cogency of religious belief. These beliefs can affect the methodologies we use, as is seen in different approaches toward New Atheism. On the one hand are a range of polemical works that seek to defend or refute the intellectual plausibility of its core arguments, with little consideration of its social and political significance. On the other hand are works by Schulzke, Kettell, and McAnulla, which have sought to move beyond this intellectual and polemical approach by conceptualising New Atheism as a primarily political movement (Schulzke, 2013; Kettell, 2013; McAnulla, 2014; LeDrew, 2016).

In contrast to these overly intellectual or political methods, historians of Protestant freethought such as Budd, Reventlow, and Champion have long noted the inter-dependent relationship between atheism, theology, and political protest (Budd, 1977; Reventlow, 1984; Champion, 1992). Although largely forgotten today, the Protestant freethinkers of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries question many popular assumptions about the boundaries between politics and religion, as they fought political and social battles with theology, and challenged Christianity not with ‘Enlightenment’ or ‘science’ but with Protestant Christianity’s own teachings. My own research on Protestant freethought suggests that this period – perhaps unexpectedly – holds three definitional and methodological principles that are potentially useful for the study of present-day New Atheism: one, that atheism is a social and political phenomenon whose expression is frequently intellectual; two, that its intellectual expression involves the use of theological categories; and three, for these reasons, atheism must be studied in its social, political, and theological aspects.

The political and social background to the first flowering of anti-Christian thought in Britain is the chaos of the English Civil War (1642-1651) and its aftermath. The Civil War had witnessed an explosion in religious heterodoxy, as a multiplicity of sects, reading the Bible for themselves, rejected traditional doctrine and conventional morality, and adopted beliefs and practices considered immoral and even treasonous. In order to curtail this hermeneutical, moral, and political pluralism, and defend against the persistent threat of Roman Catholicism, figures such as John Locke altered English Protestant thought in two ways. First, against Protestant enthusiasts who claimed to possess private revelation, Locke set reason as the judge of revelation, rather than presupposing revelation as the basis of all theological thought. This meant that revelation was to be assessed and investigated just like anything else. Second, against Roman Catholicism, Locke divorced the reading of Scripture from its interpretive context within confessions, creeds, and the liturgy of the Church, and argued that there was an objective meaning to Scriptural texts that could be discerned by any person, irrespective of the theological tradition in which they were raised (Locke 1695; 1999; 2012). These theological changes were accompanied by a second consequence of the Civil War – the Great Ejection. This saw hundreds of nonconformist clergy and their congregations ejected from the Church of England, and a series of laws known as the Clarendon Code enacted, which severely limited the civil and political rights of non-Anglicans.

It was the combination of these two theological and political factors that would lead to the first flowering of anti-Christian freethought in England. In order to illustrate this, I will briefly survey two representative figures from this period.

The first is John Toland (1670-1722). Toland adopted Locke’s epistemology almost wholesale, but differed from him in his willingness to use reason not simply to verify that Scripture is revelation, but to question whether Scripture is revelation at all. To believe something contrary to reason simply because it is found in Scripture, argues Toland, is to give license to every absurdity. Moreover, to claim that any doctrine is above reason, and hence ‘mysterious’, is to play into the hands of priests, who use mysteries to cement their own religious power. In arguing this, Toland explicitly places himself within the line of the Protestant Reformers, arguing that he can no more be blamed for encouraging religious doubt than Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli can be, for they too opposed the prevailing religious authorities of their day (Toland, 1696; 1997).

The second of our representative figures is Anthony Collins (1676-1729). Like Toland, Collins also adopted Locke’s epistemology, yet took its implications much further. The continuing possibility of a reversal of legal toleration for nonconformists led Collins to marshal older puritan arguments against the “Popish trappings” of the Church of England to push for a new rationalist agenda against Church authority. The Twentieth Article of the Thirty-Nine Articles gave the Church of England the authority ‘to decree rites or ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith’. Collins argues that, if authority is the basis of the Church’s power, then there should have been no Reformation, for the Roman Catholic Church also claims such authority for itself (Collins, 1710; 1770). In addition to this direct attack upon Church authority came an indirect one based on the new biblical hermeneutics. A literal reading of biblical prophecies such as Isaiah 7:14 shows that Christ cannot be the prophet’s intended object. Yet if the prophecy fails to be fulfilled in Christ then Jesus, his apostles, and the Church of England are shown to be wrong, and their religious authority crumbles (Collins, 1737).

English freethought, then, drew its intellectual structure from ambiguities within prevailing forms of Protestant theology, and its social and political motivation from the persecution of nonconformists. Due to the theological and political factors in play, the arguments of Toland and Collins – and many other freethinkers – display a range of ambiguous features. First, they employ Protestant arguments to advance an anti-Christian, rationalist worldview. Second, while they are couched as theology, their object is clearly the political one of undermining the authority of the Church of England and the Establishment it supported.

The ambiguity of this period means that no single methodology, whether historical, political, or theological, is sufficient to account for it, and this necessitates the adoption of alternative methodological principles. First, this period suggests that anti-Christian thought is a social and political phenomenon which commonly manifests itself in the intellectual critique of religion; two, that its intellectual expression involves the use of theology; and three, for these reasons, atheism must be studied in its social, political, and theological aspects.

While derived from the study of eighteenth-century freethought, I believe these principles are also useful for the study of present-day New Atheism, offering helpful corrections to the work of a number of commentators. The first principle corrects polemical works of all stripes that treat New Atheism as a primarily intellectual issue, as well as works by the likes of Schulzke, Kettell, McAnulla, and LeDrew that treat it as a primarily political phenomenon. The second principle corrects writers such as Julian Baggini, Sam Harris, and AC Grayling, who argue that there is no dependence of atheism upon the religion it rejects [Baggini, 2003; Harris, 2007; Grayling, 2013]. On the contrary, there is no motivation, structure, vocabulary, or audience for atheism unless it has a positive religious content to critique, negate, and invert. The third and final principle offers assurance to those who are wary of engaging in theology, which, rather unfortunately, has the reputation of being something of a non-subject. On the contrary, the history of Protestant freethought suggests that there is no way to properly understand anti-Christian movements such as New Atheism without considering the theology that generates and structures them.

The strength of these principles arises from their acceptance of existing disciplinary boundaries, yet also from their ability to integrate different methodologies into a multi-disciplinary approach that captures the complex intellectual and political nature of anti-Christian movements. And for a phenomenon as contentious and complex as New Atheism, that is no bad thing.


Baggini, J., 2003. Atheism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Budd, S., 1977. Varieties of Unbelief. London: Heinemann.

Champion, J.A.I, 1992. The Pillars of Priestcraft Shaken. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Collins, A., 1737. Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion. London.

Collins, A., 1770. Priestcraft in Perfection. London: B. Bragg.

Grayling, A.C., 2013. The God Argument. London: Bloomsbury.

Harris, S., 2007. Letter to a Christian Nation. London: Bantam Press.

Kettell, S., 2013. ‘Faithless: The Politics of New Atheism’. Secularism and Nonreligion, 2, pp.61–72.

LeDrew, S., 2016. The Evolution of Atheism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Locke, J., 1695, 1999. The Reasonableness of Christianity, by John Locke. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Locke, J., 1695, 2012. Vindications of the Reasonableness of Christianity. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

McAnulla, M. 2014. ‘Secular Fundamentalists? Characterising the New Atheist Approach to Secularism, Religion and Politics’. British Politics, 9, pp. 124–145.

Reventlow, H.G., 1984. The Authority of the Bible and the Rise of the Modern World. London: SCM Press.

Schulzke, M., 2013. ‘The Politics of New Atheism’. Politics and Religion, 6(4), pp. 778-799.

Toland, J., 1696, 1997. Christianity not Mysterious. Dublin; Lilliput Press.

Liam Jerrold Fraser recently completed a doctorate at the University of Edinburgh, where he examined the Protestant origins of British and American atheism, and the way in which this Protestant heritage informs the theological assumptions of contemporary New Atheists. He serves on the ministry team at Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh.

[Research] Leaving the French Church, 1870-1940

In this article, Nickolas Conrad explains the importance of uncovering the previously ignored voices of French freethinkers and ex-clergy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This will, Conrad suggests, help to shed light on a critical transitionary period in French history and on some of the wider factors contributing to secularization in France.photo-nickolas-conrad

In early twentieth century France, André Bourrier, a former Catholic priest who converted to Protestantism, claimed that the Catholic Church found itself at the focal point of a seismic religious crisis. Bourrier passionately believed that with the start of his journal Le Chretien francais in 1897 he had exposed what was “an exodus en masse” from the Catholic clergy. He said that the increasing resignation of priests was “the veritable signal within the ranks of the clergy” (p. 46). To Bourrier, breaking with Catholicism had become a notable cultural phenomenon. The French called the clergy who broke from the Church the évadés, “those who escaped.” At the same time, irreligious sentiments had grown to such an extent that militant anticlerical groups formed. Some called themselves freethinkers. A freethinker, usually a man and politically to the left, rejected the authority of institutionalized religion, sought to remove religion from the public sphere, and often thought religion should be buried as an archaic relic of a backward past. The évadés and freethinkers were a visible sign of the growing number of deconversions from Catholicism that contributed to France becoming one of the most secular countries in the West.

In studying the religious conflict at this time, French historians have largely neglected the testimonies of the évadés and freethinkers during Third Republic France (1870-1940). The personal accounts of évadés and freethinkers suggest that unbelief grew due to contingent political and religious crises within Catholicism. From the view of those on the ground, France did not experience slow secularization but an energizing shock. Believers wanted to see the Church reconciled with liberalism, modern knowledge, and progressive moral values. The Church’s failure to meet these challenges bolstered its opponents.

Historians have noted the irreligious accounts of French philosophers and writers; however, the story of unbelief outside of a small group of intelligentsia remains opaque. Only recently after the publication of Jacqueline Lalouette’s book La Libre-Pensée en France 1848-1940 (1997) has unbelief among the working and middle classes been addressed. She thoroughly documents the role of freethinkers in France that follows the work of Albert Bayet and Pierre Leveque. However, Lalouette, Bayet, and Leveque give a limited analysis of the reasons for the rupture with the Church. Lalouette briefly notes that freethinkers were born into freethought families, revolted intellectually, or morally rejected the idea of God (such as after experiencing the horrors of World War One).

To examine the personal accounts of the évadés and freethinkers who left Catholicism is to look at deconversion testimonies. The social scientist H. Streib (2009) defined deconversion as:

[…] a disengagement from a religious tradition which, in retrospect, is considered absolutist and authoritarian. It is an exploration of spiritual or secular alternatives, and is a change that is likely to be associated with transformation in terms of faith development. (p. 218)

Studying deconversion narratives has several challenges. Most significantly, the sources are limited; the testimonies are few and far between, especially for the lower classes. Plus, the personal accounts lack alternative accounts from contemporaries that would verify their claims. Deconversion narratives also have to be taken with skepticism. Historians have been aware of the fictive and artificial nature of narratives that fall within a few literary tropes since the work of Hayden White. Most deconversion testimonies from évadés and freethinkers fit a narrative structure of transformative crisis that resulted in enlightenment and then spiritual rupture.

Difficulties aside, the testimonies of the évadés and freethinkers provide perspective on the growth of unbelief in France. Their testimonies bring to light three significant points of crisis: moral dissonance, political conservativism, and doctrinal reform. Catholicism was morally rejected on the account of the problem of evil in the world and perceived moral transgressions. This coincides with the conclusions of Susan Budd, who analyzed freethinkers in nineteenth-century England. She argued that the general break with Christianity among the working class was primarily moral rather than intellectual and that “scientific and theological thinking seems largely irrelevant” (p. 125). There is some consensus on this point. Owen Chadwick (1975) and D.G. Charlton (1963) agree with the emphasis on moral rupture; they claim that moral discord played a primary role for both elites and non-elites during the nineteenth century. Ralph Gibson (1989) similarly argues that French people rejected the unhappy, sterile, self-denying Christian morality preached after the Catholic Reformation.

Second, the political, anti-republican conservatism of the Church inspired revolt and resistance. Freethinkers in France differed from those of England because they were deeply involved in a political struggle against the Catholic Church. Secular republicans competed with the Catholics for the souls of the faithful and the minds of the citizens (Rémond 1999). The political contest in France fed the flames of both belief and unbelief as shown in Gugelot’s work La conversion des intellectuels au catholicisme en France 1885-1935 (1998). Since 1880, momentum lay with the republicans who had united socialists, radicals, and moderates around aggressive anticlericalism. By 1905, France had made primary and secondary education free, secular, and compulsory; separated the Church and the State; and closed down numerous religious associations that put thousands of nuns and monks into the streets. The anticlericals triumphed in France.

Third, people abandoned Catholicism for being incompatible with contemporary research and science. Rejection of the Bible stood at the heart of unbelief in the nineteenth century. Catholics who sought to reconcile Catholicism with the new rationalist methods were called Modernists. The historian C.J.T. Talar (2012) defined modernism as an engagement about the credibility of revelation and the pillars of the Christian faith. The modernists held that the Bible and Catholic traditions should be interpreted through existing documents and the critical, historical method. They sought to understand Christianity with a modern historic consciousness that relativized divine truth and exposed dogma as human initiative (Talar 2012). In 1907, Pope Pius X condemned them publicly with the encyclical Pascendi due to their heterodoxy and their desire for reform.

Studying the deconversion testimonies of the évadés and freethinkers puts their voice back into the historical record. They believed they were living through a great spiritual crisis and transition. The Church could have found a way to embrace change. Instead, the Catholic hierarchy resisted reform, pushing many believers into a tenuous spirituality or unbelief and direct cultural conflict.

Nickolas Conrad is a Ph.D. candidate in Modern European History at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently in the last stages of his dissertation. Trained as a French historian and having recently spent two and half years living in Paris, he is interested in the intellectual and cultural history of unbelief in modern France.


Bayet, Albert. Histoire de la libre-pensée. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1959.

Bourrier, André. Ceux qui s’en vont, 1895-1904. Paris: Librairie du Chrétien Franc̦ais, 1905.

Budd, Susan. “The Loss of Faith. Reasons for Unbelief among Members of the Secular Movement in England, 1850-1950.” Past & Present, no. 36 (1967): 106–25.

Chadwick, Owen. The Secularization of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century: The Gifford Lectures in the University of Edinburgh for 1973-4. Cambridge [England]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975.

Charlton, D. G. Secular Religions in France, 1815-1870. London; New York: Published for the University of Hull by the Oxford University Press, 1963.

Gibson, Ralph. A Social History of French Catholicism, 1789-1914. London; New York: Routledge, 1989.

Gugelot, Frédéric. La conversion des intellectuels au catholicisme en France, 1885-1935. Paris: CNRS Editions, 1998.

Lalouette, Jacqueline. La Libre pensée en France: 1848-1940. Paris: Albin Michel, 1997.

Lévêque, Pierre. “Libre Pensée et Socialisme (1889-1939) Quelques Points de Repère.” Le Mouvement Social, no. 57 (1966): 101–41.

Rémond, René. L’anticléricalisme en France: de 1815 à nos jours. Paris: Fayard, 1999.

Streib, Heinz et al. Deconversion: Qualitative and Quantitative Results from Cross-Cultural Research in Germany and the United States of America. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009, 218.

Turmel, Joseph, and C. J. T Talar. Martyr to the Truth: The Autobiography of Joseph Turmel. Eugene, Or.: Pickwick Publications, 2012.

White, Hayden. Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism. Reprint edition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986.


New Book Series: Histories of the Sacred and the Secular, 1700 – 2000

Histories of the Sacred and the Secular, 1700 – 2000. Edited by David Nash, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Histories of the Sacred and the Secular (pdf flyer)

Histories of the Sacred and the Secular 1700 – 2000 reflects the awakened and expanding
profile of the history of religion within the academy in recent years. Intending to publish
exciting new and high quality work on the history of religion and belief since 1700, the series
actively encourages the production of interdisciplinary proposals and the use of innovative
methodologies. We welcome book proposals on the history of Atheism, Secularism,
Humanism and unbelief/secularity and encourage research agendas in this area alongside
those in religious belief, as well as proposals covering subjects in Britain, Europe, the United
States and Oceania. Histories of the Sacred and the Secular 1700 – 2000 aims to reflect both
the work of new scholars entering the field, alongside the work of established scholars.

Editorial Board

Professor Callum Brown, Dundee University, UK
Professor William Gibson, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Dr Carole Cusack, Sydney University, Australia
Professor Beverley Clack, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Drs Bert Gasenbeek, University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, Netherlands
Professor Paul Harvey, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA

for more details of the series or guidelines on
submitting a proposal contact the general Editor:

Professor David Nash