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Selected Works

2008

Blasphemy

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Full-Text Articles in European History

The Blasphemies Of Thomas Aikenhead: Boundaries Of Belief On The Eve Of The Enlightenment, Michael Graham Aug 2008

The Blasphemies Of Thomas Aikenhead: Boundaries Of Belief On The Eve Of The Enlightenment, Michael Graham

Michael F. Graham

This is the first modern book-length study of the case of Thomas Aikenhead, the sometime University of Edinburgh student who in 1697 earned the unfortunate distinction of being the last person executed for blasphemy in Britain. Taking a micro-historical approach, Michael Graham uses the Aikenhead case to open a window into the world of Edinburgh, Scotland and Britain in its transition from the confessional era of the Reformation and the covenants, which placed high emphasis on the defence of orthodox belief, to the polite, literary world of the Enlightenment, of which Edinburgh would become a major centre. Graham traces the ...