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The Edinburgh Companion to Fin de Siècle Literature, Culture and the Arts$
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Josephine M. Guy

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408912

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408912.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 02 April 2020

Secularism and Secularisation at the Fin de Siècle

Secularism and Secularisation at the Fin de Siècle

Chapter:
(p.124) 6 Secularism and Secularisation at the Fin de Siècle
Source:
The Edinburgh Companion to Fin de Siècle Literature, Culture and the Arts
Author(s):

Sara Lyons

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408912.003.0007

This chapter provides a general overview of the meanings of secularism at the end of the century, distinguishing between the declining fortunes of the organised Secularist Movement and the elasticity, at the time, of the general term ‘secularism’. It is argued that secularism should be understood not as a disbelief in God or as an attack on religion, but more as a prioritising of ‘this-worldly’ concerns. It then shows how novels infused with pessimism used theological motifs, and how some poetry of the period constructed a language of secular affirmation and new quasi-religious forms of immanence.

Keywords:   Secularism, Secularist Movement, Theology, Pessimism, Secular Affirmation

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