The old enemies: Catholic and Protestant in nineteenth-century English culture,
Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 368pp.
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Divisions between Catholics and Protestants have been a feature of English history since the Reformation. Even into the industrial nineteenth century, age-old theological disagreements were the cause of religious and cultural conflicts. The Old Enemies asks why these ancient divisions were so deep, why they continued into the nineteenth century and how novelists and poets, theologians and preachers, historians and essayists reinterpreted the religious debates. Michael Wheeler, a leading authority on the literature and theology of the period, explains how each side misunderstood the other's deeply held beliefs about history, authority, doctrine and spirituality, and, conversely, how these theological conflicts were a source of inspiration and creativity in the arts. This wide-ranging, well-illustrated study sheds much new light on nineteenth-century history, literature and religion.
• A wide-ranging interdisciplinary overview of the Catholic-Protestant conflict in Victorian England • Examines in depth how nineteenth-century writers were inspired by religious controversies • Author is a leading scholar in the field of literature and religion in the period
1. Introduction: 'Papal aggression'; Part I. Bloody Histories: 2. On the origin of churches; 3. England drawn and quartered; 4. Jacobite claims and London mobs; Part II. Creeds and Crises: 5. The fortress of Christianity; 6. Out of the war of tongues; 7. Authority on the rocks; Part III. Cultural Spaces: 8. Maiden and mother; 9. Liberalism and dogma; 10. Painful epiphanies; Bibliography; Index.
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