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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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Preachers of truth: women's activism in the Secularist movement

Preachers of truth: women's activism in the Secularist movement

(p.101) 3 Preachers of truth: women's activism in the Secularist movement
Infidel feminism

Laura Schwartz

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the journeys of the women in studies from Christianity into the organised Freethought movement and examines their attempts to carve out a ‘public’ role as prominent lecturers, journalists and authors. It positions the struggle of Freethinking feminists to access male-dominated intellectual and religious domains in relation to wider attempts by women to intervene in the public sphere. The chapter argues that the Freethinking emphasis on freedom of discussion opened the way for women to participate in conversations on science and reason while simultaneously marginalising the ‘feminine’ from this discourse.

Keywords:   Christianity, Freethought movement, Freethinking feminists, freedom of discussion

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