First Faculty Advisor
Dr. Nicholas Mason
First Faculty Reader
Dr. Peter Leman
Dr. John Talbot
free speech, censorship, English literature, Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses, blasphemy, secularization
Free speech is currently a hotly debated topic in the world of arts. This thesis traces the history and abolition of blasphemy law in England in light of its relationship with censorship in English literature. I examine the Rushdie Affair and its legacy, particularly in comparison to the Gay News trial. Building on previous scholarship, I examine the arguments that hate speech laws serve as a replacement for blasphemy law. I conclude with the suggestion that hate speech laws be amended to include a clause specifying that works of artistic merit cannot be prosecuted under such laws, mirroring the language of a similar exception under obscenity law.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Brobbey, Alixa, "Censorship and the Satanic Verses: Policing Blasphemy in a Secular World" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 179.