Peripheral Wonders: Nature, Knowledge, and Enlightenment in the Eighteenth-Century Orinoco

Peripheral Wonders: Nature, Knowledge, and Enlightenment in the Eighteenth-Century Orinoco

by Margaret R. Ewalt
     
 

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This book expands traditional conceptions of the Enlightenment by examining the roles of wonder and Jesuit missionary conceptions of the Enlightenment by examining the century in a production of knowledge that serves both intellectual and religious functions. Ewalt analyzes a variety of classical and sacred rhetorical techniques for vivid persuasion that illuminate

Overview

This book expands traditional conceptions of the Enlightenment by examining the roles of wonder and Jesuit missionary conceptions of the Enlightenment by examining the century in a production of knowledge that serves both intellectual and religious functions. Ewalt analyzes a variety of classical and sacred rhetorical techniques for vivid persuasion that illuminate the simultaneously spiritual and scientific discourse employed by Joseph Gumilla in El Orinoco ilustrado (1741, 45), a text that concretizes an eclectic, Catholic Enlightenment that unites sentiment and reason, allows for emotion within scientific inquiry, and employs the strategy of wonder to accumulate, enumerate, and disseminate knowledge. Ewalt's work complements and extends studies proposing new and more inclusive Enlightenment models that challenge secular prejudices and reconsiders the assumption of European centrality by taking into account the Americas and other peripheral areas where modernity was redefined rather.

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin Of Spanish Studies
Peripheral Wonders is an acutely observed and carefully argued book that combines close textual analysis with a broader historical perspective . . . . Ewalt's reappraisal of Gumilla's work complements a growing body of scholarship that challenges traditional understandings of Enlightenment. It makes a persuasive case for reconsidering the role of the Jesuits in this movement and it contributes to current debates on the role of the periphery and indigenous people in the creation of European knowledge.'
— Helen Cowie, University of Warwick
Bulletin of Spanish Studies - Helen Cowie
'Peripheral Wonders is an acutely observed and carefully argued book that combines close textual analysis with a broader historical perspective . . . . Ewalt's reappraisal of Gumilla's work complements a growing body of scholarship that challenges traditional understandings of Enlightenment. It makes a persuasive case for reconsidering the role of the Jesuits in this movement and it contributes to current debates on the role of the periphery and indigenous people in the creation of European knowledge.'

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611482904
Publisher:
Bucknell University Press
Publication date:
12/01/2008
Series:
Bucknell Studies in Eighteenth Century Literature and Culture Series
Pages:
258
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Margaret R. Ewalt is associate professor of Spanish at Wake Forest University.

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