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John Stuart Mill – A Secular Life - Oxford Scholarship Online
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John Stuart Mill: A Secular Life

Timothy Larsen


John Stuart Mill observed in his Autobiography that he was a rare case in nineteenth-century Britain because he had not lost his religion but never had any. He was a freethinker from beginning to end. What is not often realized, however, is that Mill’s life was nevertheless impinged upon by religion at every turn. This is true both of the close relationships that shaped him and of his own thoughts. Mill was a religious sceptic, but not the kind of person which that term usually conjures up. The unexpected prominence of spirituality is not only there in Mill’s late, startling essay, ‘Theism’, i ... More

Keywords: John Stuart Mill, religious scepticism, secularism, Christianity, Harriet Taylor Mill, Helen Taylor, Religion of Humanity, Utilitarianism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780198753155
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198753155.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Timothy Larsen, author
McManis Professor of Christian Thought, Wheaton College and Honorary Research Professor at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David