Description : Challenging the common assumption that religious heterodoxy was a prelude to the secularisation of thought, this volume explores the variety of relations between heterodox theology, political thought, moral and natural philosophy and historical writing in both Protestant and Catholic Europe from 1600 to the Enlightenment.
Description : The period between the late Renaissance and the early Enlightenment has long been regarded as the zenith of the "republic of letters," a pan-European community of like-minded scholars and intellectuals who fostered critical approaches to the study of the Bible and other ancient texts, while renouncing the brutal religio-political disputes that were tearing their continent apart at the same time. Criticism and Confession offers an unprecedentedly comprehensive challenge to this account. Throughout this period, all forms of biblical scholarship were intended to contribute to theological debates, rather than defusing or transcending them, and meaningful collaboration between scholars of different confessions was an exception, rather than the norm. "Neutrality" was a fiction that obscured the ways in which scholarship served the interests of ecclesiastical and political institutions. Scholarly practices varied from one confessional context to another, and the progress of 'criticism' was never straightforward. The study demonstrates this by placing scholarly works in dialogue with works of dogmatic theology, and comparing examples from multiple confessional and national contexts. It offers major revisionist treatments of canonical figures in the history of scholarship, such as Joseph Scaliger, Isaac Casaubon, John Selden, Hugo Grotius, and Louis Cappel, based on unstudied archival as well as printed sources; and it places those figures alongside their more marginal, overlooked counterparts. It also contextualizes scholarly correspondence and other forms of intellectual exchange by considering them alongside the records of political and ecclesiastical bodies. Throughout, the study combines the methods of the history of scholarship with techniques drawn from other fields, including literary, political, and religious history. As well as presenting a new history of seventeenth-century biblical criticism, it also critiques modern scholarly assumptions about the relationships between erudition, humanistic culture, political activism, and religious identity.
Description : This book uses a previously overlooked Neo-Latin treatise, Cicero Illustratus, to provide insight into the status and function of the Ciceronian tradition at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and consequently to more broadly illuminate the fate of that tradition in the early Enlightenment. Cicero Illustratus itself is the first subject for inquiry, mined for what its deliberately erudite and colorfully polemical passages of scholarly stratagems reveal about Ciceronian scholarship and the motives for exploring it within the context of early Enlightenment thought. It also includes an analysis of the role played by the Ciceronian tradition in the broader political and radical movements that existed in the Enlightenment, with particular attention paid to Cicero’s unexpectedly prominent position in major political and philosophical Republican and Erastian works. The subject of this book together with the conclusions reached will provide scholars and students with crucial new material relating to the classical tradition, the history of scholarship, and the intellectual history of the early Enlightenment.
Description : Arguably the leading British historian of his generation, Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914–2003) is most celebrated and admired as the author of essays. This volume brings together some of the most original and radical writings of his career—many hitherto inaccessible, one never before published, all demonstrating his piercing intellect, urbane wit, and gift for elegant, vivid narrative. This collection focuses on the writing and understanding of history in the eighteenth century and on the great historians and the intellectual context that inspired or provoked their writings. It combines incisive discussion of such figures as Gibbon, Hume, and Carlyle with broad sweeps of analysis and explication. Essays on the Scottish Enlightenment and the Romantic movement are balanced by intimate portraits of lesser-known historians whose significance Trevor-Roper took particular delight in revealing.
Description : Henry Stubbe (1632–1676) was an extraordinary English scholar who challenged his contemporaries by writing about Islam as a monotheistic revelation in continuity with Judaism and Christianity. His major work, The Originall & Progress of Mahometanism, was the first English text to document the Prophet Muhammad's life positively, celebrate the Qur'an as a divine revelation, and praise the Muslim toleration of Christians, undermining a long legacy of European prejudice and hostility. Nabil Matar, a leading scholar of Islamic-British relations, standardizes Stubbe's text and situates it within England's theological and intellectual climate in the seventeenth century. He shows how, to draw a historical portrait of Muhammad, Stubbe embraced travelogues, Latin commentaries, studies on Jewish customs and Scripture, and, most important, Arabic chronicles, many written by medieval Christian Arabs who had lived in the midst of the Islamic polity. No European writer before or for a long time after Stubbe produced anything similar to what he wrote about Muhammad the "great Prophet," Ali the "gallant" advocate, and the "standing miracle" of the Qur'an. Stubbe's book therefore makes a unique contribution to the study of the representation of Islam in Western thought.
Description : In Unity in Diversity, Randall J. Pederson critiques current trends in the study of Puritanism, and proposes a different path for defining Puritanism, centered on unitas and diversitas, by looking at John Downame, Francis Rous, and Tobias Crisp.