Chapter 13 of the Vindication contains several of Wollstonecraft's most pointed commentaries on religion.
Earlier in the book, she has mentioned the rituals in the Established Church that she regards as "relics of popery." In her view, the instructors at colleges and public schools (i.e., what Americans refer to as private schools) are adherents of this superficial, ritualized aspect of religion. The young men who attend these institutions are corrupted in some sense by the hypocrisy of the teachers. This, in turn, bolsters the entire social dynamic in which women are disenfranchised and mistreated. It's unclear at this point whether Wollstonecraft is criticizing merely the trappings of religion (as dissenters from the Established Church had long done) or is criticizing religion itself.
In chapter 13, she asserts that many women, especially, have been preyed upon by men who claim to have the ability to tell the future and to work miracles. In her view, this practice is a direct...
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