Genealogies of Indifference? New Theoretical Thoughts on the History and Creation of Narratives Surrounding Christianity, Secularism and Indifference

  • David NashEmail author


This chapter investigates some of the antecedents of religious indifference through the prism of the religious radicals who initiated the creation of Secularism in Britain. Looking at the difference between the theoretical positions of some individuals, and the practicality of organising antireligious movements, we are enabled to see a mismatch between the desire to stimulate hostility to religion, or to achieve a state of indifference. Both situations, and their implications, made such radicals aware of the important choices at their disposal. The lineage of indifferent positions created by this choice is then investigated in relation to the author’s recent theoretical suggestions about the importance of religious narratives. If we can readily identify religious and secular narratives, is it now possible to identify indifference narratives. If it is possible to do so what precisely are these indifference narratives, and how should they be viewed on a continuum between the religious and the secular? Are they a legitimate third alternative, or merely a space occupied in a snapshot moment between choosing the religious or the secular?


Secularism Indifference Holyoake Britain Secular Movement Popular History of Ideas Atheism Agnosticism 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History, Religion and PhilosophyOxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK

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