Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Religion, Society, Spirituality, and Reform
Religion, Society, Spirituality, and Reform examines the influence of both faith and skepticism on the shaping of many aspects of society—-politics, law, economics, and social and radical reform movements. In the 19th century, the intellectual work of Comte, Marx, Weber, Darwin, Freud, and others unleashed secularizing impulses that gave rise to both new humanist religious projects and new faith-based social reform movements. The heightened interest in the perfection of man, the power of science, and the confidence in social progress also had an impact. Alongside Comte’s positivist “religion of humanity,” utopian collectives, and settlement houses, there grew a new fascination with alternative spiritual and mystical practices.