What changes in attitude about religion fueled the Gothic movement?

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The Gothic movement in literature is associated with death, doom, the macabre, supernatural beings, and a characteristically gloomy and often foreboding atmosphere . The religious debate centered around the existence of God during this period was perceived as in direct conflict with scientific progress, particularly Darwinism and the establishment of...

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The Gothic movement in literature is associated with death, doom, the macabre, supernatural beings, and a characteristically gloomy and often foreboding atmosphere. The religious debate centered around the existence of God during this period was perceived as in direct conflict with scientific progress, particularly Darwinism and the establishment of psychology in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Gothic authors, particularly Christian authors, expressed this perceived existentialist crisis with either the presence or absence of religion in their literary works, or a strong contrast between the supernatural and the divine.

For instance, in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, the protagonist, Jane, remains steadfast in her faith despite the supposed malevolent spirit that haunts Thornfield mansion (this turns out to be Rochester's psychotic wife locked in the attic, but still). In Bram Stoker's Dracula, Dr. Van Helsing frequently invokes God, seeking divine aid against the vampire for whom the novel is named.

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In the 19th century scientific progress was quite evident in the discovery of fossils, Darwinism, and psychological new paradigms that questioned God's central importance in everyday life. This became known as the "death of God". As a result of this, more questions arose about life after death. Did our insistence in scientific progress KILL god, and if so, are we damn forever for doing so?

Art and Literature became affected by the psychological and moral preocupations of the times. Elements of the paranormal were consistently mentioned in many works, mentioning the darkness of the soul, the inevitability of fate, damnation, mystery, nostalgia and agony as common Gothic characteristics. In the Arts, many kept strong hold in their religious believes and we see the very hyperbolic statues of suffering Saints, martyrs, and of Jesus himself in extremely furnished Cathedrals.

This is a way in which both concepts effected each other.

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