Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment
The rise of atheism and unbelief is a key feature in the development of the modern world, yet it is a topic which has been little explored by historians. This book presents a series of studies of irreligious ideas in various parts of Europe during the two centuries following the Reformation. Atheism was everywhere illegal in this period. The word itself first entered the vernacular languages soon after the Reformation, but it was not until the eighteenth century that the first systematic defences of unbelief began to appear in print. Its history in the intervening years is significant but problematic and hitherto obscure. The leading scholars who have contributed to this volume offer a range of approaches and draw on a wide variety of sources to produce a scholarly, original, and fascinating book. Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment will be essential reading for all concerned with the religious, intellectual, and social history of early modern Europe.
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