The increasing secularization of political thought between the mid-seventeenth and mid-nineteenth centuries has often been noted, but rarely described in detail. The contributors to this volume consider the significance of the relationship between religious beliefs, dogma and secular ideas in British political philosophy from Thomas Hobbes to J.S. Mill.
During this period, Britain experienced the advance of natural science, the spread of education and other social improvements, and reforms in the political realm. These changes forced religion to account for itself and to justify its existence, both as a social institution and as a collection of fundamental articles of belief about the world and its operations. This book, originally published in 1990, conveys the crucial importance of the association between religion, secularization and political thought.
Table of Contents
Introduction James E. Crimmins 1. The Religious and the Secular in the Work of Thomas Hobbes S.A. State 2. John Locke: Socinian or Natural Law Theorist? David Wootton 3. The Religious, the Secular and the Worldly: Scotland 1680-1800 Roger L. Emerson 4. Science and Secularization in Hume, Smith and Bentham Douglas G. Long 5. Edmund Burke and John Wesley: The Legacy of Locke Frederick Dreyer 6. Religion, Utlity and Politics: Bentham Versus Paley James E. Crimmins 7. From God to Man? F.D. Maurice and Changing Ideas of God and Man T.R. Sansom 8. J.S. Mill and the Religion of Humanity Richard Vernon