Although the Aesthetes and Decadents usually hold to anti-Romantic emphases upon original sin, fallen man, and corrupt or hostile nature that eventually led many to Christianity, their work while they were part of the movement is generally irreligious or even self-consciously blasphemous. Unlike Swinburne, they do not so much launch blasphemous attacks upon religious belief or the religious establishment as use religious ideas for literary or artistic effect. Or they simply ignore religion, praising evil and moral corruption.

Surprisingly, later in their careers a good many of the participants in the movement abandoned its moral nihilism for forms of belief demanding great discipline, commitment, and self-sacrifice: Roman Catholicism or Socialism!


Aesthetes & Decadents

Last modified 16 October 2003