The myths of modernity
Author: S.J. Barnett

This book offers a critical survey of religious change and its causes in eighteenth-century Europe, and constitutes a challenge to the accepted views in traditional Enlightenment studies. Focusing on Enlightenment Italy, France and England, it illustrates how the canonical view of eighteenth-century religious change has in reality been constructed upon scant evidence and assumption, in particular the idea that the thought of the enlightened led to modernity. For, despite a lack of evidence, one of the fundamental assumptions of Enlightenment studies has been the assertion that there was a vibrant Deist movement which formed the “intellectual solvent” of the eighteenth century. The central claim of this book is that the immense ideological appeal of the traditional birth-of-modernity myth has meant that the actual lack of Deists has been glossed over, and a quite misleading historical view has become entrenched.

Jewish emancipation and the Jewish question
Robert Fine and Philip Spencer

1 Struggles within Enlightenment: Jewish emancipation and the Jewish question The principle of modern states has enormous strength and depth because it allows the principle of subjectivity to attain fulfilment in the self-sufficient extreme of personal particularity while at the same time bringing it back to substantial unity and so preserving this unity in the principle of subjectivity itself

in Antisemitism and the left
S.J. Barnett

The myth of Enlightenment deism 1 The myth of Enlightenment deism The myth of the deist movement The first hint of deism in the historical record is to be found in sixteenth-century Lyon. In 1563 Pierre Viret, a close colleague of the Protestant reformer Calvin, wrote the Instruction Chrétienne, in which he described various freethinkers who needed to be combated. Amongst them Viret mentioned those ‘qui s’appelent déistes, d’un mot tout nouveau’ (‘who call themselves deists, a completely new word’) and his description of them heavily emphasized their lack of

in The Enlightenment and religion
Justin Champion

Conclusion Conclusion . Writing enlightenment I n the early days of 1712 Prince Eugene of Savoy undertook a key diplomatic mission to London to reinforce the commitment of Robert Harley’s ministry to the alliance against France in the negotiations over peace at Utrecht.1 With the Tories in the ascendancy, Eugene’s reputation as a stalwart defender of ‘our common liberty’ across Europe projected him as a defender of Whig principles. Long awaited by the Whig elites of London and Hanover, Eugene’s military prowess had endowed him with a powerful public

in Republican learning
Sabine Doering-Manteuffel and Stephan Bachter

10 Beyond the witch trials The dissemination of magical knowledge The dissemination of magical knowledge in Enlightenment Germany The supernatural and the development of print culture Sabine Doering-Manteuffel The so-called Age of Enlightenment has traditionally been portrayed as a phase of European history during which new philosophies came into existence concerning people’s ability to determine their own fate through reason. This era saw the development of future-oriented conceptions of state and society as well as new ideas about mankind’s ability to

in Beyond the witch trials
Open Access (free)
James Baldwin and Malcolm X
Mikko Tuhkanen

Taking its cue from recent scholarly work on the concept of time in African American literature, this essay argues that, while both James Baldwin and Malcolm X refuse gradualism and insist on “the now” as the moment of civil rights’ fulfillment, Baldwin also remains troubled by the narrowness assumed by a life, politics, or ethics limited to the present moment. In his engagement with Malcolm’s life and legacy—most notably in One Day, When I Was Lost, his screen adaptation of Malcolm’s autobiography—he works toward a temporal mode that would be both punctual and expansive. What he proposes as the operative time of chronoethics is an “untimely now”: he seeks to replace Malcolm’s unyielding punctuality with a different nowness, one that rejects both calls for “patience,” endemic to any politics that rests on the Enlightenment notion of “perfectibility,” and the breathless urgency that prevents the subject from seeing anything beyond the oppressive system he wants overthrown. Both thinkers find the promise of such untimeliness in their sojourns beyond the United States.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

with entitlement would permit the continuation of inequality, with blame apportioned to the poor for their own plight. Indeed, since the entitlement model (as a re-scripting of earlier enlightenment assumptions on the progressive contours of a meaningful life) sought an effective break with colonial history and its lasting effects among the world of peoples, so this bourgeois construct proved capable of moralising the power of political economy and putting development workers at the forefront of the fight to deal with unnecessary suffering in zones of abandonment and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
José Luís Fiori

about-turn, responding in accordance with ‘Babel syndrome’. Challenged on its own terms, the US disavows its moral universalism within the inter-state system and desists from the old enlightenment project of conversion of all the peoples of the world to Western reason and ethics. At the same time, it gives up its role as guardian of international ethics and arbiter of all the world’s conflicts. This does not mean that it stops projecting the superiority of its national values, but, acting as a nation of ‘chosen people’, it opts for the unilateral

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles
Rony Brauman

-established normative framework – the distinction between combatants and non-combatants was theorised by Enlightenment philosophers and legal experts (Grotius, Rousseau and Vatel, most notably). The safeguards granted to prisoners of war by the 1929 Convention were already a part of the 1785 Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Prussia and the United States, and long before the humanitarian conventions were formalised as such, the treatment of POWs had become a key political issue with the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Histories of England, 1600–1780
Author: Ben Dew

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, historians of England pioneered a series of new approaches to the history of economic policy. Commerce, finance and statecraft charts the development of these forms of writing and explores the role they played in the period's economic, political and historiographical thought. Through doing so, the book makes a significant intervention in the study of historiography, and provides an original account of early-modern and Enlightenment history. A broad selection of historical writing is discussed, ranging from the work of Francis Bacon and William Camden in the Jacobean era, through a series of accounts shaped by the English Civil War and the party-political conflicts that followed it, to the eighteenth-century's major account of British history: David Hume's History of England. Particular attention is paid to the historiographical context in which historians worked and the various ways they copied, adapted and contested one another's narratives. Such an approach enables the study to demonstrate that historical writing was the site of a wide-ranging, politically charged debate concerning the relationship that existed – and should have existed – between government and commerce at various moments in England’s past.