Enlightenment and Secularism is a collection of twenty eight essays that seek to understand the connection between the European Enlightenment and the emergence of secular societies, as well as the character or nature of those societies. The contributors are drawn from a variety of disciplines including History, Sociology, Political Science, and Literature. Most of the essays focus on a single text from the Enlightenment, borrowing or secularizing the format of a sermon on a text, and are designed to be of ...
Enlightenment and Secularism is a collection of twenty eight essays that seek to understand the connection between the European Enlightenment and the emergence of secular societies, as well as the character or nature of those societies. The contributors are drawn from a variety of disciplines including History, Sociology, Political Science, and Literature. Most of the essays focus on a single text from the Enlightenment, borrowing or secularizing the format of a sermon on a text, and are designed to be of particular use to those teaching and studying the history of the Enlightenment within a liberal arts curriculum.
Some recent scholarship on the Enlightenment has placed so much emphasis on differences from country to country, between high and low, and between radical and moderate, that we risk not seeing the forest for the trees. This volume gives all the attention one could want to diversity by featuring careful attention on particular writings by writers from different countries, including critics of the Enlightenment as well as fervent supporters. At the same time, it shows a unity of concern within this diversity by treating a single set of political, economic, religious and social issues revolving around the question of secularism and religion. As a whole, the book gives us a rich account of thought in the Enlightenment. In addition, many of the individual essays are important and original contributions to scholarship on a single thinker or book.
Christopher Nadon is Associate Professor in the Government Department at Claremont McKenna College. He is author of Xenophon’s Prince: Republic and Empire in the Cyropaedia, and articles on the separation of church and state in the early modern era.
University of Houston
University of Chicago
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Chapter 1: Christopher Lynch, "Reason, Authority, and the People in Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy."
Chapter 2: Christopher Nadon, "Paolo Sarpi and the Venetian Interdict."
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Chapter 3: Rafael Major, "The Dawn of Secularism in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice."
Chapter 4: Svetozar Minkov, "The Problem of Natural Piety: Bacon on the Prospects of the Secularization Project."
Chapter 5: Robert Faulkner, "Bacon’s New Atlantis: From Faith in God to Faith in Progress."
Chapter 6: Henry Clark, "Dutch Commercial Republicanism in the Story of Secularization: Pieter De la Court’s Political Maxims of the State of Holland."
Chapter 7: Nasser Behnegar, "Locke, Capitalism, and the Bible."
Chapter 8: Ryan Hanley, "Hume’s Critique and Defense of Religion."
Chapter 9: Andre Wakefield, "The Theological Roots of Secular Modernism.”
Chapter 10: Benjamin Storey, "Montaigne, Secularism, and the Enlightenment."
Chapter 11: Paul Rahe, "Blaise Pascal, Pierre Nicole, and the Origins of Liberal Sociology."
Chapter 12: Dean DiSpalatro, "Godfathers and Spiritual Warriors: The Political Philosophy of Pierre Bayle."
Chapter 13: Johnson Kent Wright, "Voltaire and the Lettres philosophiques."
Chapter 14: Andrea Radasanu, "Montesquieu and the Spirit of Secularism: Books 24 and 25 of The Spirit of the Laws."
Chapter 15: John Scott, "Between Religious Fanaticism and Philosophical Fanaticism:
Rousseau’s 'Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar.'"'
Chapter 16: Alice Behnegar, "Tocqueville’s Puzzling Secularism."
Chapter 17: Brian J. Glenn, "American Mutual Assistance Practices in the Age of the Enlightenment."
Chapter 18: Jeremy Bailey, "Nature and Nature’s God in Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia."
Chapter 19: George Thomas, "Secularism and the Logic of American Constitutionalism."
Chapter 20: Ralph Lerner, "The World through Ben's Bifocals."
Chapter 21: Friederike von Schwerin-High, "Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Religious Pluralism in Nathan the Wise and The Fragments Controversy."
Chapter 22: Allan Arkush, "Setting the Stage for Secularization: Theocracy and Liberalism in Moses Mendelssohn’s Jerusalem."
Chapter 23: David Janssens, "Canine Conundrum: The Pantheism Controversy and the Crisis of Secularism."
Chapter 24: Jeffery L. High, "Friedrich Schiller, Secular Virtue, and 'The Gods of Ancient Greece.'"
Chapter 25: Fred E. Bauman, "Aesthetic Education in Mozart’s Magic Flute."
Chapter 26: Susan Meld Shell, "Kant’s Secular Religion: Philosophical Theodicy and The Book of Job."
Chapter 27: Mark Blitz, "Hegel and Secularism."
Chapter 28: David Biale, "Freud’s Moses: The Enlightenment Bible of a Godless Jew."