Literature, Religion, and the Evolution of Culture, 1660-1780

Literature, Religion, and the Evolution of Culture, 1660-1780

by Howard D. Weinbrot


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421405162
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 05/17/2013
Pages: 392
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Howard D. Weinbrot is the Ricardo Quintana Professor Emeritus in the Department of English and the William F. Vilas Research Professor Emeritus in the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is the author of several books, including Menippean Satire Reconsidered: From Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction. The Groundwork of Change 1

Eighteenth-Century Evolutionary Theory 2

Practical Awareness 3

The Chapters and a Definition 11

A Note on Notes 16

Part I Threats to the Species: Madness, Discontent, and the Danger of Dissolution

Chapter 1 Causation and Contexts of Hatred: Savage Beasts Mortal and Deadly 23

Conjuring Up Reasons: Original Sin, Fragile Connections, Church and State 27

Aristocratic Historiography: Advocacy and Resistance 32

Metaphorical Enhancements: Floods, Propagation, Legions, and Dutch Treats 36

Chapter 2 Madness, Extirpation, and Defoe's Shortest Way with the Dissenters 55

Madness 55

Root and Branch 57

Defoe's Shortest Way, Sacheverell's Political Union, and Religious Conflict 66

The Shortest Way: The Bible and Other Clues beyond the Obvious 73

Response and Judgment 80

Defoe as a Character of His Own Creation 84

Part II Taking the Cure and Improving the Species: Sermons, Compulsion, and Methodists

Chapter 3 The Thirtieth of January Sermon: From Extermination to Inclusion 105

The Thirtieth of January Sermon and Royalist Law 105

The High Church Response and the Beginning of Change 109

Higher Church and Moderate Responses to the High Church Response 116

Raising the Decibels in a Lowered Church 119

State, Not Church 123

God's Hand, William's Hand, and the Divine Right of Government 127

Retrospective 132

Chapter 4 "Compel Them to Come In," Luke 14:23: From Persecution to Persuasion; Against Augustinian Compulsion 144

Revocation of the Edict of Nantes: Response and Rage 146

Contexts Changed and Augustine Charged 156

Happy Had His Works Not Been Preserved 159

Persuade Them to Come In 165

Adopt Men From All the Nations of the Earth: Equiano's Conversion 168

Chapter 5 Methodism: From Antagonist to Relation 181

The Spreading Fog 182

Reforming the Reformation? Reforming Reform? 188

Grudging Acceptance 200

Humphry Clinker: Joining the Family 207

Part III Evolutionary Reversion: The Gordon Riots, Return to Rage, and Reinventing a Cure

Chapter 6 Déjà Vu All Over Again? The Gordon Riots; Bedlam Revisited, Restoration of Order, and a Trial on Trial 237

Repeal, No Popery, and the Gordon Riots: Destruction and the Puritan Redivivus 238

Renovating the Language of Cultural Regress 243

Church, State, and Political Causation 249

Strategies of Defense and Alternative Responses 257

"What Is to Depose the Sword?": The Return to Order; Debate, Arrest, Trial, and Consequences 261

The Trial of Lord George Gordon for Treason, 1781 268

Chapter 7 A Very Near Thing: State Terrorism, the Fury of the Aggrieved, and Incompatibility with the Safety of Millions 289

A River Too Far 291

The Trials of Lord George Gordon, 1786-1787, and Excommunication 294

The Trials of Lord George Gordon, 1786-1787: Libeling France and Britain 298

Aftermath: Flight, Conversion, and Sentence 310

True Colors: Robert Watson's Life of Lord George Gordon 315

Chapter 8 Coping, Repairing, and Dickens' Barnaby Rudge 330

How to Cope? The World after the Gordon Riots 330

Dickens' Barnaby Rudge: To Point a Moral but Not Adorn a Tale; The Victorian Retrospective and Punishment by Neglect 332

Conclusion, Summary, Implications 343

A Brief Summary of a Long Book 343

Illustrating Evolution 346

Index 357

What People are Saying About This

Robert D. Hume

"This is a deeply learned, provocative, readable book that will be an ornament to The Johns Hopkins University Press. It is a commandingly impressive book by one of the principal scholars in an established field."

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