Histories Of Heresy In The 17th And 18th Centuries

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Histories of heresy published in the early modern period laid the foundation for our attitudes toward difference, deviance, and defiance of orthodoxies. We cannot understand modern notions of tolerance without understanding the mentalities that led to persecution, and how they changed. Many of these mentalities were forged and reforged in polemics against and histories of heresy. This is the first volume to analyze and compare a broad range of histories of heresy written in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its chapters show how authors could mean to justify persecution of heretics, or oppose it. Readers could read these volumes in accord with or against the intentions of their authors. The cumulative effect is a better understanding of the complex and contentious history of the historiography of heresy in this period, and a sense for its lasting effects.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...fourteen stimulating essays...of interest to scholars and graduate students working in early modern intellectual history."--Andrew C. Thompson, History: Reviews of New Books

Laursen (political science, U. of California, Riverside) introduces 14 papers exploring why histories of heresies were written in the 17th and 18th centuries and how this diverse subgenre influenced understanding of the term "heresy." These histories either attacked or supported tolerance toward such alleged Christian heresies or "enthusiasms" as magic, Catharism, and Montanism, or the Jewish heresies of Spinozism and Sabbatianism (all defined in the glossary). Other essays discuss defensive writings of heretics and defenders such as Hobbes, and a counter-history of the Trinity as heresy. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312294045
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/1/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

John Christian Laursen is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside and Editor of Religious Toleration: "The Variety of Rites" from Cyrus to Defoe.

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Table of Contents

Part One: Outraged Orthodoxy--The Hard Line
• Introduction
• “We are in strange hands, and things have come to a strange passe”: Argument and Rhetoric against Heresy in Thomas Edwards’s Gangraena (1646)--Sammy Basu
• Francis Lee and the French Prophets: The History of Montanism (1709)--Stacey Searl-Chapin
Part Two: Self-Defense and Calls for Toleration
• Gabriel Naudé’s Apology for Great Men Suspected of Magic: Variations in Editions from 1625 to 1715--Maryanne Horowitz
• Hobbes on Heresy--Martyn P. Thompson
• Between History and Politics: Limborch’s Historia Inquisitionis--Luisa Simonutti
• The Public Context of Heresy: Maimbourg, Bayle, and Le Clerc--Sally Jenkinson
Part Three: Radical Heretics on the Offensive
• Histories of Heresy in the Clandestine Philosophical Manuscripts--Antony McKenna
• The Trinity as Heresy: Socinian Counter-Histories of Simon Magus, Orpheus, and Cerinthus--Martin Mulsow
• Two Jewish Heresies: Spinozism and Sabbatianism--Richard Popkin
Part Four: A Plague on Many Houses--Joining Hands Against Enthusiasm
• Heinrich Corrodi’s Critical History of Chiliasm--Simone Zurbuchen
• Gibbon and the History of Heresy--John G. A. Pocock
Part Five:Enlightened Orthodoxy
• The Enlightened Orthodoxy of the Abbé Pluquet--Patrick Coleman
• Heresy in the Encyclopédie d’Yverdon--Clorinda Donato
• The Abbé Nicolas-Sylvestre Bergier and the History of Heresy --Kathleen Hardesty Doig

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