The Religion of Humanity, first expounded by the founder of Positivism, Auguste Comte, focused the minds of a wide range of prominent Victorians on the possibility of replacing Christianity with an alternative religion based on scientific principles and humanist values. This new book traces the impact of Comte's 'religion' on Victorian Britain, showing how its ideas were championed by John Stuart Mill and George Henry Lewes before being institutionalised by Richard Congreve and Frederic Harrison, the leaders of the two main centres of Positivist worship. Widely discussed by scientists, philosophers, and theologians, it also attracted the attention of numerous literary figures, including Matthew Arnold, Walter Pater, and Leslie Stephen, achieving its widest circulation through the works of George Eliot, Thomas Hardy and George Gissing. A wide-ranging and interdisciplinary contribution to the history of ideas, this book sheds light on a significant but hitherto neglected strand of Victorian thought.
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(216mm x 140mm x 18mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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