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Acosta's argument is twofold: she establishes the importance of Genesis within utopian thinking, in particular the influential models of Milton and Rousseau
and she demonstrates that the power of these models can be explained neither by traditional religious paradigms nor by those of religion or philosophy. In establishing the relationship between biblical criticism and republican utopias, Acosta makes a solid case that important utopian visions are better understood against the background of Genesis interpretation. This study opens a new perspective on theories of secularization, and as such will interest scholars of religious studies, intellectual history, and philosophy as well as of literary studies.