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Race in a Godless World: Atheism, Race, and Civilization, 1850-1914

Race in a Godless World: Atheism, Race, and Civilization, 1850-1914

by Nathan Alexander

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Is modern racism a product of secularisation and the decline of Christian universalism? The debate has raged for decades, but up to now, the actual racial views of historical atheists and freethinkers have never been subjected to a systematic analysis. Race in a Godless World sets out to correct the oversight. It centres on Britain and the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century, a time when popular atheist movements were emerging and scepticism about the truth of Christianity was becoming widespread. Covering racial and evolutionary science, imperialism, slavery and racial prejudice in theory and practice, it provides a much-needed account of the complex and sometimes contradictory ideas espoused by the transatlantic community of atheists and freethinkers. It also reflects on the social dimension of irreligiousness, exploring how working-class atheists’ experiences of exclusion could make them sympathetic to other marginalised groups.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526142399
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 09/16/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Nathan G. Alexander is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt, Germany

Table of Contents

Introduction: the tangled histories of Christianity, secularization, and race 1 Were Adam and Eve our first parents? Atheism and polygenesis 2 Brute men: race and society in evolution 3 A London Zulu: savagery and civilisation 4 The wise men of the east: India, China, and Japan 5 The best friends the negro ever had: African Americans and white atheists 6 The curse of race prejudice: rethinking race at the turn of the century Epilogue: what next for racism in a godless world? Notes Bibliography Index

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