God in the Enlightenment

ISBN : 9780190267087

William J. Bulman; Robert G. Ingram
336 ページ
156 x 235 mm

We have long been taught that the Enlightenment was an attempt to free the world from the clutches of Christian civilization and make it safe for philosophy. The lesson has been well learned--in today's culture wars, both liberals and their conservative enemies, inside and outside the academy, rest their claims about the present on the notion that the Enlightenment was a secularist movement of philosophically-driven emancipation. Historians have had doubts about the accuracy of this portrait for some time, but they have never managed to furnish a viable alternative to it--for themselves, for scholars interested in matters of church and state, or for the public at large. In this book, William J. Bulman and Robert Ingram bring together recent scholarship from distinguished experts in history, theology, and literature to make clear that God not only survived the Enlightenment, but thrived within it as well. The Enlightenment was not a radical break from the past in which Europeans jettisoned their intellectual and institutional inheritance. It was, to be sure, a moment of great change, but one in which the characteristic convictions and traditions of the Renaissance and Reformation were perpetuated to the point of transformation, in the wake of the Wars of Religion and during the early phases of globalization. Its primary imperatives were not freedom and irreligion but peace and prosperity. As a result, it could be Christian, communitarian, or authoritarian as easily as it could be atheist, individualist, or libertarian. Honing in on the intellectual crisis of late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries while moving everywhere from Spinoza to Kant and from India to Peru, God in the Enlightenment offers a spectral view of the age of lights.


Editors and Contributors
Introduction: Enlightenment for the Culture Wars
William J. Bulman
1: Godless Politics: Hobbes and Public Religion
Justin Champion
2: Reason and Utility in French Religious Apologetics
Anton Matytsin
3: Bernabe Cobo's Re-creation of an Authentic America in Colonial Peru
Claudia Brosseder
4: From Christian Apologetics to Deism: Libertine Readings of Hinduism, 1600-1730
Joan-Pau Rubies
5: The Platonic Captivity of Primitive Christianity and the Enlightening of Augustine
Paul C.H. Lim
6: God's Word in the Dutch Republic
Jetze Touber
7: Suffering Job: Christianity Beyond Metaphysics
Jonathan Sheehan
8: The Reformation Origins of the Enlightenment's God
Brad S. Gregory
9: 'God' and 'the Enlightenment': The Divine Attributes and the Question of Categories in British Discourse
J. C. D. Clark
10: Medicine, Theology, and the Problem of Germany's Pietist Ecstatics
H. C. Erik Midelfort
11: Richard Bentley's Paradise Lost and the Ghost of Spinoza
Sarah Ellenzweig
Conclusion: The Varieties of Enlightened Experience
Dale K. Van Kley


William J. Bulman is Assistant Professor of History at Lehigh University. Robert G. Ingram is Associate Professor of History and Director of the George Washington Forum on American Ideas, Politics, and Institutions at Ohio University.