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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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Infidel feminism: feminism in the Freethought movement

Infidel feminism: feminism in the Freethought movement

(p.129) 4 Infidel feminism: feminism in the Freethought movement
Infidel feminism

Laura Schwartz

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the tensions surrounding the place of ‘woman’ in Freethought ideology. It discusses ‘infidel feminism’ and Freethought support for woman's rights alongside its more problematic definitions of ‘woman’ and her relationship to religion. At stake in these debates were fundamental questions about the compatibility of religion with women's rights, the possibility of re-interpreting ancient texts according to ‘modern’ values, the impact of the rise of science and rationalism on the role of women, and from what authority feminists derived their claims for equality.

Keywords:   Secularist movement, infidel feminism, Freethought ideology, women's rights

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