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Arena : eternal vanguard of progress, 1889-1909


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Martin, John Winton 1983 , 'Arena : eternal vanguard of progress, 1889-1909', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis is about Arena, a journal of religion, reform
and new fiction published in Boston and, for a time, New York
between 1889 and 1909. The hypothesis of the study is that Arena
kept alive the utopian and trancendentalist ideas of America's
ante-bellum reformers. These were reinterpreted in the light of
the new ideologies that developed after the Civil War - the Social
Gospel, social Darwinism and the theories of utopia of Henry George
and Edward Bellamy. Transcendentalism and utopianism were thus
transformed providing Arena with . an ideology, part old and part
new, with which to meet the challenges of a new industrial and
urban age.
The thesis is in six parts: an introductory chapter, four
central chapters and a concluding one. The introduction, in
addition to stating the argument of the thesis, contains a.
critical review of the works of those who have already written
studies of Arena. Two of these are unpublished theses from
American universities. The only copies of these, in Australia, are
held in the University of Tasmania Library. The central chapters
of this study assume a knowledge of the thesis summaries provided
in the introduction. The first of the central chapters examines Arena's
nurturing of the growth of the new social Christianity, a Christianity
based largely on transcendentalism, New Thought and the
new Biblical Criticism. The chapter reveals how Arena's enthusiasm
for practical Christianity was determined by a concern with reform
- a concern with antecedents in the ante-bellum period Chapter
two examines the fusion of social Christianity
with the ideals of Henry George and Edward Bellamy - with the single
tax and nationalism. This chapter also examines the application of Arena's new and many faceted ideology to the problems posed by
America's urban poor, her post reconstruction negroes and her
new immigrants. These particular reform agitations are selected
because they touch most of Arena's concerns at some point.
Arena's attitudes to the woman question is discussed in
the third and longest chapter. Here there are sections on the
suffrage, women in clubs, sexual attitudes to women, the purity
crusade and the freer divorce agitation.
The fourth chapter - shows how a concern for individualism
-Arena's legacy from transcendentalism - was so transformed by
the review that it was eventually capable of being portrayed as
compatible with co-operative forms of government. This Chapter
concerns Arena's search for its own political utopia.
The conclusion reviews Arena's role as a muckraking
magazine. It suggests that the review helped bridge the interval
between ante-bellum reform and progressivism.

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Martin, John Winton
Keywords: Arena (Journal), Utopias, Social problems
Copyright Holders: The Author
Additional Information:

Thesis (M.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1984. Bibliography: leaf 203-208

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