Is modern racism a product of secularisation and the decline of
Christian universalism? The debate has raged for decades, but up to
now, the actual racial views of historical atheists and
freethinkers have never been subjected to a systematic analysis.
Race in a Godless World sets out to correct the oversight. It
centres on Britain and the United States in the second half of the
nineteenth century, a time when popular atheist movements were
emerging and scepticism about the truth of Christianity was
becoming widespread. Covering racial and evolutionary science,
imperialism, slavery and racial prejudice in theory and practice,
it provides a much-needed account of the complex and sometimes
contradictory ideas espoused by the transatlantic community of
atheists and freethinkers. It also reflects on the social dimension
of irreligiousness, exploring how working-class atheists'
experiences of exclusion could make them sympathetic to other
marginalised groups. -- .
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