Having recognized the existence of sinister interest in the legal and political establishments, Bentham extended his investigation to the ecclesiastical establishment. He had always argued that theology should not have any influence over morals and legislation, but now recognized that religious belief was used by the priesthood to promote their own sinister interest. The Anglican Church was merely another instrument of oppression in the hands of rulers. Bentham was particularly critical of the role of the Church in education, both in its establishment of schools for the poor and in its domination of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He insisted that the provision of education should not be linked to the profession of religious belief, and called for the ‘euthanasia’ of the Church, whereby, as livings and other offices became vacant, they would be abolished.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.