Blasphemy in the Christian World: A History

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OUP Oxford, Jul 12, 2007 - History - 288 pages
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David Nash's new study focuses on the development of blasphemy in the Christian world. Tracing the subject from the Middle Ages to the present, he outlines the history of blasphemy as a concept, from a species of heresy to modern understandings of it as a crime against the sacred and individual religious identity. Investigating its appearance in speech, literature, popular publishing and the cinema, he disinters the likely motives and agendas of blasphemers themselves, as well as offering a glimpse of blasphemy's victims. In particular, he seeks to understand why this seemingly medieval offence has reappeared to become a distinctly modern presence in the West.

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About the author (2007)


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.

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