Synopses & Reviews
The declining hold of the Church and its doctrines on European society represents a major shift in Western life and thought. Owen Chadwick's acclaimed lectures on the secularisation of the European mind trace this movement in the nineteenth century, identifying and exploring both the social and the intellectual aspects of this momentous change. The rise of technology, the growth of big cities and a cheap press take their place alongside evolutionary science and Marxism in this fascinating analysis of the erosion of the Church's power. Woven into its brilliant discussion are brief but very illuminating studies of familiar major thinkers, including Marx, Darwin, Mill and Comte.
"This interesting work is based on the author's Gifford Lectures for 1973—74. The central problem of the study is to account for the apparent decline of the hold of the Church and its doctrines on men's minds in the 19th century, The work is divided into two parts, 'the social problem' and 'the intellectual problem.' The first part is a discussion of liberalism, Marxism, worker attitudes, and the rise of anticlericalism. The second begins with a fascinating chapter on Voltaire in the 19th century, and is followed by separate chapters on science and religion, secular historicism, humanistic ethics, and the sense of providence. There are some noticeable blank spots in a study that aims, as this one does, at a comprehensive survey of the phenomenon, but few studies are ever definitive. This essay is thought provoking and a stimulating contribution to a genuine historical problem." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"We are provided not only with food but with a feast for thought." Otto Scott's Compass
Owen Chadwick's acclaimed lectures on the secularisation of the European mind trace the declining hold of the Church and its doctrines on European society in the nineteenth century.
Owen Chadwick's lectures on the secularization of the European mind trace the declining hold of the Church and its doctrines on European society in the 19th century.
The roles of the rise of technology, the growth of big cities and a cheap press, as well as the philosophies of evolutionary science and Marxism, are explored in an acclaimed analysis of the nineteenth century erosion of the Church's power.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-279) and index.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction; Part I. The Social Problem: 2. On liberalism; 3. Karl Marx; 4. The attitude of the worker; 5. The rise of anticlericalism; Part II. The Intellectual Problem: 6. Voltaire in the nineteenth century; 7. Science and religion; 8. History and the secular; 9. The moral nature of man; 10. On a sense of providence; Notes to the text; Index.