© 2002

Jane Austen and Religion

Salvation and Society in Georgian England

  • Authors

Part of the Cross-Currents in Religion and Culture book series (CCRC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Michael Giffin
    Pages 1-36
  3. Michael Giffin
    Pages 37-62
  4. Michael Giffin
    Pages 63-91
  5. Michael Giffin
    Pages 92-125
  6. Michael Giffin
    Pages 126-148
  7. Michael Giffin
    Pages 149-176
  8. Michael Giffin
    Pages 177-204
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 205-222

About this book


Jane Austen is often thought of as a secular author, because religion seems absent from her novels, because she satirises her clerical characters, and because history and literacy criticism - and the literary sensibility of the twenty-first century reader - is overwhelmingly secular. Michael Giffin offers a reading of Austen's published novels against the background of a 'long eighteenth century' that stretched from the Restoration to the end of the Georgian period. He demonstrates that Austen is a neoclassical author of the Enlightenment who writes through the twin prisms of British Empiricism and Georgian Anglicanism. His focus is on how Austen's novels mirror a belief in natural law and natural order; and how they reflect John Locke's theory of knowledge through reason, revelation and reflection on experience. His reading suggests there is a thread of neoclassical philosophy and theology running through and between each of Austen's novels, which is best understood in its cultural context.


bibliography economy England Jane Austen religion sensibility society

About the authors

MICHAEL GIFFIN is postgraduate course author and supervisor in Literature and Theology at the Sydney College of Divinity. As an author he has published three books of literary criticism as well as several journal articles in Literature and Theology. As an Anglican priest Michael has ministered in parishes, psychiatric hospitals, aged care facilities, hospices, universities and schools and is currently licensed to officiate as a priest within the Diocese of Sydney.

Bibliographic information


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