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Infidel feminismSecularism, religion and women's emancipation, England 1830–1914$
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Laura Schwartz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085826

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085826.001.0001

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Counter-conversion: Freethinking feminists and the renunciation of religion

Counter-conversion: Freethinking feminists and the renunciation of religion

(p.73) 2 Counter-conversion: Freethinking feminists and the renunciation of religion
Infidel feminism

Laura Schwartz

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the ‘counter-conversions’ of women from religion to Freethought. It uses their personal narratives to ask wider questions about the relationship between Christianity and the Secularist movement, and about how people might understand the religious and irreligious beliefs of women in the past from a feminist perspective. Many renounced religion for a variety of reasons: inaccuracies found in the Bible that prevented them from accepting it as the Word of God; because supernatural dogmas could not be reconciled with modern scientific knowledge; and because they were repulsed by a God who could allow so much suffering to continue among His people. Counter-conversion also generated an entirely new way of looking at and relating to the world.

Keywords:   Freethought, feminism, Christianity, Secularist movement, counter-conversion

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