Of Victorian Interest

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Of Victorian Interest

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Event: Promises of Religion (10/14/22) – Virtual Roundtable

Promises of Religion

Zoom Series 2022-23: Victorian Promises

The Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States (VISAWUS)

Held online via Zoom

Friday, October 14, 2022

10:00am Pacific Time

The long nineteenth century is often seen as a period when religion was in decline, challenged by scientific advance and rapid urbanization. Following the recent “religious turn” in the humanities, the roundtable presenters interrogate the so-called secularization thesis by showing how new religious movements, occult trends, and even orthodox Christianity embraced scientific and social change. Conversely, new faiths like Spiritualism and Theosophy posed questions of interest to scientists and psychical researchers. Even late in the nineteenth century, world-weary Victorians saw promise and possibilities in religious faith. Taken together, these papers show that religion – itself a varied and internally unstable domain – remained in dynamic dialogue with a variety of scientific movements throughout this period, a process through which both religion and science were transformed.

“‘The Devil is in the Details’: Oscar Wilde and Marie Corelli on Science and Religion.”

Anne Stiles, Saint Louis University

“False Promises: Christian Science, Placebo, and the Defense of Modern Medicine.”

L. Ashley Squires, Avila University

“‘Genuinely human’: The Higher Criticism and the Sexual Body.”

Joy Dixon, University of British Columbia

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