Naturalism, Naturalism in literature
German naturalism flourished in a time when Christianity as a whole was under attack. The philosophies of positivism and materialism, both of which challenged beliefs held by traditional Christianity, had a great impact on naturalist thinking. Charles Darwin's theories also extended beyond the discipline of natural sciences to reach the philosophical, religious, and literary realm. While some tried to reform the Christian church, others attempted to find a connection to God independent of organized religion. Others became indifferent while some became hostile toward Christianity. Each attitude found expression in German naturalism.
Rogers, R. Max
"The Anti-Christian Background of German Literary Naturalism,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 5
, Article 8.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol5/iss3/8