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Transcribe Bentham: A Collaborative Initiative

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Category:Box 139

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Box 139 contains the manuscript material upon which was based Bentham's 1823 publication, Not Paul, but Jesus (published under the pseudonym 'Gamaliel Smith'). Bentham had published two other works on religion - Church-of-Englandism and its Catechism Examined (1817, in his own name), and An Analysis of the Influence of Natural Religion on the Temporal Happiness of Mankind (1822, as Philip Beauchamp); the former was an attack on the Church of England, focusing on its role in education, while the latter argued that religious belief was not conducive to happiness.

Not Paul, but Jesus sees Bentham compare the teachings of Paul with those of Jesus, and argue that the religion of both men differed significantly. Bentham suggests that Jesus was a hedonist, while Paul was an ascetic who sought to gain control of the emerging Christian movement to gain the power, wealth and reputation he believed it would bring him. Bentham argued that it was owing to Paul that asceticism characterised the teachings of the Christian Church, and that there was nothing in the accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus to support it. Bentham notes, for example, that Jesus did not condemn at any point the sexual activities of the prostitute Mary Magdalene, and nor did he condemn homosexuality.

To read more about Bentham's religious writings, see chapter six of Philip Schofield, Bentham: A Guide for the Perplexed (London, 2009), and Stephen Engelmann (ed.), Jeremy Bentham: Selected Writings (Yale, 2011). You can also watch this video recording of UCL Institute for Global Health's symposium entitled 'The Pleasures of the Bed: Jeremy Bentham on Sex, Population and Happiness', which deals with some of this material.

Finally, three folios at the end of the box contain material relating to Bentham's Constitutional Code.

The material comprises:

  • Folios 1-211: Various drafts, marginalia, collectanea and other material relating to Not Paul, but Jesus (1813, 1815, 1817, 1818, 1819)
  • Folios 212-331: an examination of Paul's character, his 'true history', vision and exploits (1813, 1815, 1817, 1821)
  • Folios 332-444: Appendix to Not Paul, but Jesus (1816, 1817, 1818, 1823)
  • Folios 445-531: Contains chapters 10-21 of Not Paul, but Jesus, and a history of the Church from Jesus's Ascension to Paul's conversion (1817, 1819, 1823)
  • Folios 532-539: A summary of Not Paul, but Jesus comprising seven annotated proof sheets (1821)
  • Folios 540-542: a brief part of Bentham's Constitution Code (1821)

Folios from box 139 which have already been partially or fully transcribed are listed under the progress bar below.

Box 139 Progress: Transcription begun

Untranscribed: 0
In Progress: 2
Ready For Review: 5
Completed: 572
Total: 579

0Completed: 572(98.79%)579


JB/139/001/001 JB/139/002/001 JB/139/020/001 JB/139/021/001 JB/139/066/001‎ JB/139/067/001‎ JB/139/082/001 JB/139/084/001 JB/139/086/001 JB/139/116/001 JB/139/129/001 JB/139/130/001 JB/139/180/001 JB/139/188/001 JB/139/193/001 JB/139/194/002 JB/139/196/001 JB/139/201/001 JB/139/203/001 JB/139/209/001 JB/139/210/001 JB/139/221/001 JB/139/278/001 JB/139/279/001 JB/139/281/001 JB/139/288/001 JB/139/299/001 JB/139/327/001 JB/139/330/002 JB/139/375/001 JB/139/376/001 JB/139/389/001 JB/139/396/001 JB/139/429/001 JB/139/433/002 JB/139/461/001 JB/139/540/001 JB/139/531/001 JB/139/541/001 JB/139/542/001

Pages in category "Box 139"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 1,158 total.

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