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This book attempts to defend the use of the term 'English Enlightenment' by using late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Cambridge as an illustration of the widespread diffusion of some of the chief characteristics of the Enlightenment within the Church of England and the English 'Establishment' more generally. It also seeks to provide a social context for the dissemination of such ideas by indicating how the political and ecclesiastical consequences of such events as the Restoration, the Glorious Revolution and the French Revolution helped either to facilitate or to impede that linkage between Anglicanism and science which is sometimes referred to as 'the holy alliance'. In summary, the book argues that in the period 1660-88 there was little political or ecclesiastical encouragement for such an alliance while the period 1688-1760 was, by contrast, its heyday.
Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. The 'Holy Alliance' in Gestation, 1660-88: 1. Restoration, religion and reaction; 2. Cambridge and the latitude-men; 3. Restoration Cambridge and the 'new philosophy'; Part II. The 'Holy Alliance' Proclaimed, 1689-1768: 4. The creation and consolidation of whig Cambridge; 5. The clash of creeds; 6. Newtonian natural philosophy established; Part III. The 'Holy Alliance' Questioned, 1769-1800: 7. The eclipse of whig Cambridge; 8. The revival of revealed theology; 9. Mathematics ascendant; Epilogue; Bibliography; Index.