Chapter

Catholic, Secular, and Jewish Perceptions

Geoffrey Cantor

in Religion and the Great Exhibition of 1851

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596676
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725685 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596676.003.0007
Catholic, Secular, and Jewish Perceptions

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This chapter shows how the social and political concerns of Catholics, secularists, and Jews influenced their perceptions of the Exhibition. Just as some Protestants perceived the Exhibition as a plot by the Papacy, Catholics were prone to criticize the Exhibition as part of an avowed strategy by Protestants to undermine Catholicism. The Exhibition was similarly criticized by the more radical freethinkers and secularists as a capitalist enterprise that perpetuated the oppression of the working classes. However, the Owenites welcomed it as an opportunity to spread their own socialist philosophy. By contrast, the Anglo‐Jewish community evoked the success of Jewish exhibitors in order to refute the view held by many Christians that Jews were inferior.

Keywords: capitalist; Catholics; freethinkers; Great Exhibition; Jews; Owenites; secularists; working classes

Chapter.  9991 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Christianity

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