The article below treats George Eliot’s translations of both Strauss’s Life of Jesus and Feuerbach’s Essence of Christianity.
In Victorian narratives of a crisis of faith (both factual and fictive), German biblical criticism, or higher criticism – most importantly Strauss’s Life of Jesus – is usually cited as one of its two main causes, the other being scientific knowledge. Further causes cited are ethical qualms about Old Testament morality and about Christian doctrines, such as atonement, and disillusionment with worldly or hypocritical clergy, such as we meet in Anthony Trollope’s Barchester Towers (1857) where the cosmopolitan young Bertie Stanhope wickedly shocks the chancellor by announcing to an assembly of conservative clergymen that Englishmen could learn from German
Citation: Argyle, Gisela. "Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 November 2010 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5148, accessed 06 December 2023.]