The Soul of Doubt: The Religious Roots of Unbelief from Luther to Marx by Dominic ErdozainThe Soul of Doubt: The Religious Roots of Unbelief from Luther to Marx by Dominic Erdozain

The Soul of Doubt: The Religious Roots of Unbelief from Luther to Marx

byDominic Erdozain

Hardcover | October 14, 2015

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It is widely assumed that science is the enemy of religious faith. The idea is so pervasive that entire industries of religious apologetics converge around the challenge of Darwin, evolution, and the "secular worldview." This book challenges such assumptions by proposing a different cause ofunbelief in the West: the Christian conscience. Tracing a history of doubt and unbelief from the Reformation to the age of Darwin and Karl Marx, Dominic Erdozain argues that the most powerful solvents of religious orthodoxy have been concepts of moral equity and personal freedom generated byChristianity itself. Revealing links between the radical Reformation and early modern philosophers such as Baruch Spinoza and Pierre Bayle, Erdozain demonstrates that the dynamism of the Enlightenment, including the very concept of "natural reason" espoused by philosophers such as Voltaire, was rooted in Christianethics and spirituality. The final chapters explore similar themes in the era of Darwin and Marx, showing how moral revolt preceded and transcended the challenges of evolution and "scientific materialism" in the unseating of religious belief. The picture that emerges is not of a secular challenge toreligious faith, but a series of theological insurrections against divisive accounts of Christian orthodoxy.
Dominic Erdozain is a visiting scholar at Emory University. His first book The Problem of Pleasure: Sport, Recreation and the Crisis of Victorian Religion was published in 2010.
Title:The Soul of Doubt: The Religious Roots of Unbelief from Luther to MarxFormat:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 9.29 × 6.3 × 1.18 inPublished:October 14, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199844615

ISBN - 13:9780199844616


Table of Contents

AbbreviationsIntroduction: Desecularizing Doubt1. The Prophets Armed: Luther and the Making and Breaking of Conscience2. 'To kill a man is not to defend a doctrine. It is to kill a man': The Wars of Religion and the Virtues of Doubt3. The Metaphysics of Mercy: Calvin and Spinoza4. In Search of a Father: Voltaire's Christian Enlightenment5. 'A damnable doctrine': Darwin and the Soul of Victorian Doubt6. The God that Failed: Feuerbach, Marx, and the Politics of SalvationConclusion: In Augustine's Shadow

Editorial Reviews

"This wide-ranging book offers a compelling account of the Christian roots of secularism. It skillfully blends intellectual history with the 'raw fuel' of human, historically-located lived experience, a force that Erdozain terms 'conscience.' The text sparkles with thought-provoking analogiesand metaphors, and it establishes Erdozain's reputation as one of the most accomplished scholars of religion writing about the post-Reformation world." --Frances Knight, Associate Professor in the History of Modern Christianity, the University of Nottingham, UK