This book deals with the early history of the process that advanced atheism, agnosticism, and religious unbelief. This chapter discusses the coverage of the book and provides a brief background of the individuals who overtly rejected religious faith from 1520 to 1780. That period saw the fears that unbelief and irreligion were on the rise, as well as sustained and systematic attacks on Christianity mounted by many philosophers, building on the intellectual changes of the seventeenth century and the Enlightenment. Alongside the problems posed by the study of unbelief, it notes its relationship to the process of secularization that has taken place since the Reformation. The multifaceted character of unbelief and the varied nature of the sources in the early modern period suggest that there is no single history of atheism.
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.