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Blasphemy in the Christian World

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Table of Contents

1. The past invades the present - Blasphemy in the contemporary World ; 2. Blasphemy in Words and Pictures - Part One 1500-1800 ; 3. Blasphemy in Words and Pictures - Part Two 1800-2000 ; 4. Who Were the Blasphemers? ; 5. Controlling the Profane ; 6. Responses to Blasphemy: Victims and Communities ; 7. Last Temptations and Visions of Ecstasy: Blasphemy and Film ; 8. Conclusion

About the Author

David Nash is Reader in History at Oxford Brookes University. He has previously published on the secular and republican movements in England, specialising in the history of blasphemy, and appearing extensively in the media both Britain and America to speak on this subject. He has held visiting professorships in Utrecht and Buffalo, and is a permanent Visiting Research Fellow of the Center for Inquiry (Amherst, New York). In 2003 he was invited to give both verbal and written evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on religious offences.


David Nash is the world's foremost commentator on the history of blasphemy. This astute, readable survey of the illuminating ironies of the subject deserves to become a classic. He ably and colourfully demonstrates the cynical and sincere use made of the notion of blasphemy by the very bad and the well-meaning. He points up the crucial political lessons to be learned, but never rams them down the reader's throat. This book will fascinate all interested in the uneasy relationship between state authority and individual freedom. * Charles Foster, Contemporary Review * [An] impressive book... a rewarding work of history. * Jonathan Wright, Catholic Herald * Nash's book...represents the definitive reference volume for the history of blasphemy in the West. * Elizabeth Horodowich The English Historical Review * The book is lucid and with both depth and width. * Jim Herrick, The Freethinker * Discursive and thought-provoking book. * Jonathan Sumption, Literary Review * An exciting and erudite study. * The Universe * An important and scholarly analysis of an issue that is not going to go away. * Dr Bradley, Church Times * Dr Nash's study offers a comparative and critical analysis of his subject on draws on a considerable range of evidence. * G. M Ditchfield, History, * Blasphemy in the Christian World offers additional persuasive evidence for religion's continued relevance by showing how the rediscovery of seemingly archaic blasphemy laws in Europe and and the America's challenges traditions of free speech and expression. * Gregory Halfond, The Historian *

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