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 illegal everywhere. The word itself first entered the vernacular languages soon after the Reformation, but it was not until the 18th century that the first systematic defences of unbelief began to appear in print. Its history in the intervening two centuries is significant but hitherto obscure.
|Print publication date: 1992||Print ISBN-13: 9780198227366|
|Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011||DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198227366.001.0001|