© 1999

Idol Temples and Crafty Priests

The Origins of Enlightenment Anticlericalism

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. S. J. Barnett
    Pages 22-45
  3. S. J. Barnett
    Pages 46-64
  4. S. J. Barnett
    Pages 65-86
  5. S. J. Barnett
    Pages 87-104
  6. S. J. Barnett
    Pages 129-151
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 161-197

About this book


Barnett traces the Christian critique of the Church and its history in Protestant (English) and Catholic (Italian) thought from the Reformation to the Enlightenment. More than one hundred and fifty years of bitter polemic between the two great confessions and their religious dissidents produced an unprecedented, comparative historical and sociological anticlericalism. In the last decades of the seventeenth century, English dissenting thought was pregnant with a devastating critique of the church, which came to be termed the 'Deist' view of Church history: by 1700 the cornerstone of high 'Enlightenment anticlerical thought' was in ascent.


Age of Enlightenment bibliography church church history comparative critique English enlightenment history history of literature Italy politics reformation revolution seventeenth century

About the authors

S. J. BARNETT is Lecturer in History of Ideas, University of Kingston-upon-Thames

Bibliographic information