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|In the novels
Written by Katharine T
(2/4/2003 2:44 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Latitudinarian Attitudes, penned by Jack Cerf
] It would be fairer to say, I think, that the Latitudinarian view was that every man's view of revealed religion is acceptable if it leads him to act in accordance with the generally understood and accepted standards of Christian (and Jewish) morality.
This is illuminating for me, as it helps me to understand better the attitude towards religion and morality which has always puzzled me. It is in some ways similar to the attitude of 21st century USA, as you said, but in some ways very different. In JA's novels there is such a great emphasis on worthy character as revealed through good behavior, and almost no mention of religion as such, in the early novels at least. I notice that social virtues are especially important, virtues dealing with interaction between people. Thus selfishness, vanity, greed, thoughtlessness cause the most damage and JA condemns them through characters like Maria Bertram or Fanny Dashwood. In contrast, the established and understood rules of civility and honor are upheld in the likes of the reformed Mr. Darcy, etc.
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