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Secular UtilitarianismSocial Science and the Critique of Religion in the Thought of Jeremy Bentham$
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James E. Crimmins

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198277415

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198277415.001.0001

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The Lancasterian Controversy and Religious Education

The Lancasterian Controversy and Religious Education

(p.165) 5 The Lancasterian Controversy and Religious Education
Secular Utilitarianism

James E. Crimmins

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that Bentham's ideas on systematic education did not precede the ‘schools for all’ controversy, but rather developed as a consequence of his interest in this issue. Far from being in the vanguard of the struggle for a national system of education, Bentham came to focus on the matter at a time when it was already a hotly disputed question. Like James Mill, he was convinced that the Church had only established the National Society in order to thwart the efforts of Lancaster and others to establish nonsectarian schools. To Bentham this was just another attempt to keep the people in subservience, blind to the corruption so rife within a society dominated by the ‘alliance’.

Keywords:   National Society, systematic education, nonsectarian schools, schools for all, Lancaster, Mill

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