Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO): Religion, Spirituality, Reform and Society

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Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Religion, Spirituality, Reform and Society examines the influence of both faith and skepticism on the shaping of many aspects of society -- politics, law, economics, and social and radical reform movements. In the nineteenth century, the intellectual work of Comte, Marx, Weber, Darwin, Freud, and others unleashed secularizing impulses that gave rise to both new humanist religious projects and new faith-based social reform movements. Christian socialists devoted themselves to working class cooperative associations and utopian community organization, while established denominations took on work for the poor with a new determination. The heightened interest in the perfection of man, the power of science, and the confidence in social progress exhibited in Comte's Positivism and Marx's materialism also produced a reaction. Alongside Comte's positivist "religion of humanity," utopian collectives, and settlement houses, grew a new fascination with alternative spiritual and mystical practices.

This archive will provide essential documentary materials that explore religious and philosophical movements in reaction to the dramatic changes in culture and society wrought by the industrial revolution and modernity. Topics covered include positivism and anti-positivism, freethinking, the co-operative movement, alternative Christianities, and the application of the social principles of Christianity to everyday life by a variety of denominations.

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Additional Product Information


  • Fully searchable, full-image archive of manuscripts and monographs that explore the intersection of religion and society in the 19th Century.
  • Helps scholars gain understanding of the influence religion had in shaping Western culture.
  • Provides essential documentary evidence that explore the corresponding influence that social forces had on religious attitudes.
  • Multidisciplinary in nature, covering a range of social science fields.

Table of Contents

Sample topics/subject/research areas for the U.K., Europe and the rest of the World: Hegelian philosophy, Kantian philosophy, Comte and his philosophy, Tractarianism, Oxford Movement, Chartism, social and labor reform, social welfare and the poor; poor relief (many of these organizations were faith-based and some radical),Theism and Anti-Theism, Transcendentalism, spiritualism, Theosophy, utopian socialism, religious collectivism, relations between church and state, mysticism, etc.

Sample topics/subject/research areas for the U.S. and Canada: Comte and his philosophy, American Tractarianism and Pusey Movement (North American version of the Oxford Movement), social and labor reform, social welfare and the poor; poor relief (many of these organizations were faith-based and some radical), Free Thought/Thinking, Materialism, Congregationalism, Theism and Anti-Theism, Transcendentalism, spiritualism, etc.