By Wayne Hudson, Diego Lucci
Given the critical function performed by way of faith in early-modern Britain, it's possibly amazing that historians haven't constantly paid shut awareness to the transferring and nuanced subtleties of phrases utilized in non secular controversies. during this assortment specific cognizance is focussed upon of the main contentious of those phrases: 'atheism' and 'deism', phrases that experience formed major elements of the scholarship at the Enlightenment. This quantity argues that during the 17th and eighteenth century atheism and deism concerned wonderful differences that experience now not continuously been preserved by way of later students. the unique deployment and utilization of those phrases have been frequently extra advanced than a lot of the old scholarship indicates. certainly, in a lot of the literature static definitions are frequently taken without any consideration, leading to depictions of the prior developed upon anachronistic assumptions. delivering reassessments of the old figures so much linked to 'atheism' and 'deism' in early glossy Britain, this assortment opens the topic up for debate and exhibits how the recent historiography of deism alterations our realizing of heterodox non secular identities in Britain from 1650 to 1800. It problematises the older view that people have been atheist or deists in a simple experience and in its place explores the plurality and suppleness of spiritual identities in this interval. Drawing at the newest scholarship, the quantity enriches the controversy approximately heterodoxy, supplying new views on more than a few admired figures and offering an outline of significant alterations within the box.
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Additional resources for Atheism and Deism Revalued: Heterodox Religious Identities in Britain 1650-1800
Kors, Atheism in France, 1650–1729: Volume I: The Orthodox Sources of Disbelief (Princeton, 1990). C. Hood.
Nor should atheism and deism be understood in confessional terms, unless the context supports such an interpretation, as it does at times in eighteenthcentury America or in post-revolutionary France. What atheism or deism amount to in a specific context remains to be determined case by case. This does not mean that structural analysis is unnecessary. Obviously the detailed contextual study of a particular thinker should not conceal the fact that some ideas are difficult to combine with others, or the truth that some intellectual positions are unstable and lead on to others, although again care is needed not to confuse probability in these matters with how the movement of ideas in a particular thinker went.
Here Asian examples are useful, even though there is an obvious danger of reading Western distinctions into texts in which they are lacking, because these examples force us to think the logical extension of the term ‘atheism’ in culturally unfamiliar ways. 276–97. 3–16. 279–92. 7 For contemporary French philosophical atheism, see Christopher Watkin, Difficult Atheism: Post-Theological Thinking in Alain Badiou, Jean-Luc Nancy and Quentin Meillassoux (Edinburgh, 2011). 8 Much of the existing literature, for example, implies that heterodoxy was the result of the emergence of the modern natural sciences without studying any actual natural science.
Atheism and Deism Revalued: Heterodox Religious Identities in Britain 1650-1800 by Wayne Hudson, Diego Lucci