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God and Progress

Format: Academic Monograph
Media: Hardback
PublisherCode: 9780198837725
Publisher: OUP Oxford

God and Progress provides a new interpretation of intellectual life in nineteenth-century Britain, by recovering the dynamic Victorian relationship between historical thought and religious debate. It argues that the rise of ideas of historical progress transformed religious culture, whilst theological controversy profoundly shaped how Victorians understood the past. Imaginatively drawing on a wide range of published and archival material; placing Britain in European context; and considering an unusually large cast of figures who have never previously been juxtaposed, it demonstrates that most Victorian thinkers believed progress to be driven by religious forces: a position that came under increasing challenge from a radically secular counter-culture.

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