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3 George Grote and Natural Religion

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Chapter Summary

In Family Fortunes: Men and Women in the English Middle Class 1780-1850, Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall, explore the difficult process of bringing the usually concealed private lives of families into the public gaze. Within the ideology of respectability and duty that dominated George Grote's life, the lot fell to women, mothers, wives and daughters to manage the families fortunes, both present and posthumously. George had several optional responses to religion as well as to his circumstances. Like his father he could have just become a non-practicing nonbeliever, otherwise engaging with conventions for the sake of propriety and business. Theological arguments for the existence of God on the grounds of faith and revelation are excluded in favour of an account of what can be observed, measured, tested, evidenced, inferred from and judged by ordinary human faculties - and this Grote calls, Natural Religion.

Keywords: Catherine Hall; George Grote; God; Leonore Davidoff; natural religion



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