Thinking and believing

Brian Sudlow

in Catholic Literature and Secularisation in France and England, 1880-1914

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780719083112
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703137 | DOI:
Thinking and believing

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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The secularisation of mentalities in France and England was denoted by the shift towards a more anthropocentric conceptualisation of humanity and by the way in which certain secular discourses came to dominate the public mind. This chapter addresses how the French and English Catholic writers seek to undermine what Owen Chadwick famously called the secularisation of the European mind. The chapter considers the critique of naturalistic readings of the material world, of mechanisation, scientism and the secularising influence of German thought. Such critiques exemplify the need they felt of being buffered against secular mentalities at large. It examines the views of intellectual and anti-intellectual Catholic writers about the proper methodology with which to attack secular thought. This study shifts through the ways in which they asserted meaning in the cosmos by re-establishing links between the material and the spiritual domains.

Keywords: secularisation of mentalities; anthropocentric conceptualization; material world; scientism; anti-intellectual Catholic writers; intellectual Catholic writers; secular discourse

Chapter.  9339 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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