Chapter

The fragments of secular society

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719083112.003.0005
The fragments of secular society

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This chapter discusses the ways in which French and English Catholic writers perceive and portray secular society's potential for individualistic fission. This is viewed as a result of the Reformation or the Revolution of 1789 and is encouraged and epitomised by particular groups, notably Jews and Freemasons. The chapter also explores the secularising trends identified by French and English Catholic authors in several important areas of societal life, including politics, economics and education where State centripetalism or State arbitration of individualism had become the modi operandi. These models of contractual society unwittingly establish secular parodies of the Church, both in their assumptions concerning the autonomous individual and with regard to their solution for life in society. Politics and economics are simply not estranged from religion but also unfold in a world invested with divinely ordered meanings and purposes.

Keywords: secular society; individualism; State centripetalism; contractual society; Reformation; State arbitration; secularising trends

Chapter.  11133 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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