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atheism

Subject: Religion

The theory or belief that God does not exist. The word comes (in the late 16th century, via French) from Greek atheos, from a- ‘without’ + theos ‘god’.

New Right

New Right   Reference library

Desmond King

The Oxford Companion to American Politics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
1,269 words

...to the “liberal consensus”—the US counterpart of the European social democratic consensus—was organized through the pages of Buckley’s periodical, the editor’s right-wing credentials having been established in God and Man at Yale ( 1951 ), an attack on collectivism and atheism (coincidentally the concerns of New Right liberals and conservatives, respectively). Many of these ideas influenced the 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, whose resounding defeat by President Lyndon Johnson seemed to augur poorly for the Right. But the...

Diderot, Denis

Diderot, Denis (1713–84)   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
212 words

...age for secular rationalism and socially progressive ideas. The Encyclopédie issued a direct challenge to royal absolutism and the religious supremacy of the Catholic Church throughout Europe. Diderot's political ideas were rooted in his philosophical materialism and atheism, and an awareness of the link between political institutions and a society's underlying culture and socio‐economic characteristics: a view he shared with Montesquieu and Rousseau . Diderot desired to enhance conditions of human freedom, a goal which in his view required an...

Spinoza, Baruch

Spinoza, Baruch (1632–77)   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
191 words

...was born in Amsterdam, of Spanish‐Portuguese‐Jewish origin. His family had taken refuge there to escape persecution in Spain. His thirst for knowledge led him to study under Francis van den Enden, a freethinker. By 1656 his views were so unorthodox that he was accused of atheism and banned from the synagogue. He earned his living by grinding lenses, which put him in touch with developments in optics, and hence with the advances in mathematics of the time. Meanwhile he continued his reflections and wrote many philosophical works, especially on ethics. In...

Spinoza, Baruch

Spinoza, Baruch (1632–77)   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
191 words

...was born in Amsterdam, of Spanish‐Portuguese‐Jewish origin. His family had taken refuge there to escape persecution in Spain. His thirst for knowledge led him to study under Francis van den Enden, a freethinker. By 1656 his views were so unorthodox that he was accused of atheism and banned from the synagogue. He earned his living by grinding lenses, which put him in touch with developments in optics, and hence with the advances in mathematics of the time. Meanwhile he continued his reflections and wrote many philosophical works, especially on ethics. In...

Diderot, Denis

Diderot, Denis (1713–84)   Quick reference

Keith Taylor

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
212 words

...that age for secular rationalism and socially progressive ideas. The Encyclopédie issued a direct challenge to royal absolutism and the religious supremacy of the Catholic Church throughout Europe. Diderot’s political ideas were rooted in his philosophical materialism and atheism, and an awareness of the link between political institutions and a society’s underlying culture and socio‐economic characteristics: a view he shared with Montesquieu and Rousseau . Diderot desired to enhance conditions of human freedom, a goal which in his view required an...

Church and State

Church and State   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
417 words

...school whereas in the United States there were controversies about the display of religious texts on public property and expressions of belief by children in schools. In many cases these demands for religious expression were matched by more militant expressions of secularism and atheism. Generally, these controversies were more intense in secular republics than in those parts of the United Kingdom and Scandinavia which still had established churches. In the United Kingdom there was a general debate about ‘faith’ schools, raising the general question of the...

Church and State

Church and State   Quick reference

Lincoln Allison

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
417 words

...school whereas in the United States there were controversies about the display of religious texts on public property and expressions of belief by children in schools. In many cases these demands for religious expression were matched by more militant expressions of secularism and atheism. Generally, these controversies were more intense in secular republics than in those parts of the United Kingdom and Scandinavia which still had established churches. In the United Kingdom there was a general debate about ‘faith’ schools, raising the general question of the...

Enlightenment, French

Enlightenment, French   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
634 words

...but they all rejected authority as the basis for knowledge. Instead they accepted the rationalism developed in the previous century, whether in its deductive or empirical form. This did not automatically imply a rejection of religion, and various positions were held including atheism, deism, various forms of Protestantism, and even Catholicism. In practice, however, it meant rejecting the Church as the source of knowledge and therefore of the rules by which anyone should live. These could only be reached by the individual exercising his reason. The best...

Enlightenment, French

Enlightenment, French   Quick reference

Carl Slevin

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
634 words

...but they all rejected authority as the basis for knowledge. Instead they accepted the rationalism developed in the previous century, whether in its deductive or empirical form. This did not automatically imply a rejection of religion, and various positions were held including atheism, deism, various forms of Protestantism, and even Catholicism. In practice, however, it meant rejecting the Church as the source of knowledge and therefore of the rules by which anyone should live. These could only be reached by the individual exercising his reason. The best...

Smith, Adam

Smith, Adam (1723–90)   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
841 words

...as tutor to a young aristocrat enabled Smith to resign his chair in Glasgow and travel in France, where he met the physiocrats , before returning to Scotland to work for ten years on The Wealth of Nations ( 1776 : hereafter WN ). His revelation of the dying Hume's stoical atheism in 1776 ‘brought upon me ten times more abuse than the very violent attack I had made upon the whole commercial system of Great Britain’. In 1778 he became Commissioner of Customs for Scotland. This curious choice enabled him to see at first hand the distortions of trade and...

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