An Imaginative Whig: Reassessing the Life and Thought of Edmund Burke

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This collection of essays shifts the focus of scholarly debate away from the themes that have traditionally dominated the study of Edmund Burke. In the past, largely ideology-based or highly textual studies have tended to paint Burke as a “prophet” or “precursor” of movements as diverse as conservatism, political pragmatism, and romanticism. In contrast, these essays address prominent issues in contemporary society—multiculturalism, the impact of postmodern and relativist methodologies, the boundaries of state-church relationships, and religious tolerance in modern societies—by emphasizing Burke’s earlier career and writings and focusing on his position on historiography, moral philosophy, jurisprudence, aesthetics, and philosophical skepticism.
The essays in this collection, written by some of today’s most renowned Burke scholars, will radically challenge our deeply rooted assumptions about Burke, his thought, and his place in the history of Western political philosophy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In 1997, on the 200th anniversary of Edmund Burke's death, there was a memorial service for him, presided over by the then Speaker of the House of Commons under a Labour government. She declared, 'Burke was right. He was right about America, he was right about Ireland, he was right about India, and he was right about France.' She was excoriated for saying that, but her words and the reaction to them show that Burke is still very much alive and worth reading about, particularly in a book based on solid scholarly research, as this one is."—Francis Canavan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826215574
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

 About the Editor

Ian Crowe holds degrees from St. Catherine's College, Oxford, and the University of Bristol. He is the editor of The Enduring Edmund Burke (1997) and Director of the Edmund Burke Society of America. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : the Whig imagination of Edmund Burke 1
Burke and religion 19
Burke and the argument from human nature 37
Burke's conservatism 59
Edmund Burke's Reflections on the revolution in America (1777) : or, how did the American revolution relate to the French? 71
Burke's first encounter with Richard Price : the Chathamites and North America 93
Burke, India, and orientalism 127
The law, the nun, and Edmund Burke 158
Burke and the conundrum of international human rights 175
Edmund Burke and the Thomistic foundations of natural law 203
Odyssey of a Burke revivalist : an intellectual biography of Peter J. Stanlis 228
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