Rise and Fall of Theological Enlightenment
520 pages
English

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520 pages
English
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In The Rise and Fall of Theological Enlightenment, Jeffrey D. Burson analyzes the history of the French Enlightenment and its relationship to the French Revolution by casting it as a diverse constellation of Theological Enlightenment discourses, compromised between about 1730 and 1762 by high-stakes cultural and political controversies involving the royal court, the government, and the Catholic Church.

Burson places the Abbé Jean-Martin de Prades at the center of the storm. In 1749, Prades was working on his doctorate in theology at the University of Paris. An ambitious young theologian, Prades, like his teachers at the Sorbonne and like many lay and clerical apologists in mid-eighteenth-century France, had been deeply inspired by the spirit of the Enlightenment. Burson reinterprets the Jesuit Enlightenment and its influence on French society, arguing that Jesuits had pioneered ways of synthesizing Locke, Malebranche, and Newton in light of the expansion of the public sphere. Hoping to defend Catholic theology against the Radical Enlightenment by adapting these Jesuit Enlightenment discourses with natural history and Enlightenment theological debates, Prades inadvertently sparked a public scandal that galvanized members of the royal court and the Parlement of Paris, Jansenists, Jesuits, and philosophes, alike—all of whom refashioned the person and work of Prades to suit their own ends. Ultimately, the controversy polarized the cultural politics of pre-Revolutionary France into two camps, that of a self-consciously secular Enlightenment and that of a staunchly opposed Counter-Enlightenment.

Prades's history provides Burson with a lens through which to reevaluate the intersections of theology and Enlightenment philosophy, of French politics and the French Catholic church, and of conservatives, moderates, and radicals on all sides in order to provide us with a newly-capacious Enlightenment historiography.


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Publié par
Date de parution 30 avril 2010
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780268075798
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 9 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,2750€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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The Rise and Fall of THEOLOGICAL ENLIGHTENMENT
The Rise and Fall of THEOLOGICAL ENLIGHTENMENT
Jean-Martin de Prades and Ideological Polarization in Eighteenth-Century France
J E F F R E Y D. B U R S O N
Foreword by Dale Van Kley
University of Notre Dame Press Notre Dame, Indiana
Copyright © 2010 by University of Notre Dame Press Notre Dame, Indiana 46556 www.undpress.nd.edu All Rights Reserved
Published฀in฀the฀United฀States฀of฀America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Burson, Jeffrey D. The rise and fall of theological enlightenment : Jean-Martin de Prades and Ideological Polarization in Eighteenth-Century France / Jeffrey D. Burson; foreword by Dale Van Kley. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13:฀978-0-268-02220-4฀(pbk.) ISBN-10:฀0-268-02220-8฀(pbk.) ISBN-13:฀978-0-268-07579-8฀(web฀pdf) 1. Prades, Jean-Martin de. 2. Catholic Church and philosophy France —History —18th century. 3. Enlightenment —France. 4. Catholic Church —France —History —18th century. 5. France — Church history —18th century. I. Title. BX1529.B88 2010 282'.4409033 — dc22 2010007653
The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources.
For My Loving and Talented Parents and Sister, Dave, Connie, and Christie
Contents
Foreword Dale Van Kley
Acknowledgments
            Perspectives on Enlightenment, Religion, and the Abbé de Prades: Toward a New Historiography of Theological Enlightenment
PA R T I
       The Creation of the Jesuit Synthesis: Locke, Malebranche, and the Flowering of Theological Enlightenment
       The Radicalizing Enlightenment and the Maturation of Theological Enlightenment to 1750
PA R T I I
       Bringing up the Theological Enlightenment: Life, Leisure, Philosophy, and Culture at the University of Paris and the Seminaries, ca. 1730 –1755
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Contents
       Theological Enlightenment at the Sorbonne, 1729 –1752
       The Center Falters: Turmoil and the Burgeoning Fracture of Theological and Radical Enlightenments
PA R T I I I
       Prades and the Crucible of Religious Polarization in Eighteenth-Century France
       The Abortive Theological Enlightenment Synthesis of Prades I
       The Abortive Theological Enlightenment Synthesis of Prades II: From Natural Religion to the Necessity and Historicity of Catholicism
       The Scandal at the Sorbonne and the Condemnation
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239
         The Nadir of Theological Enlightenment: Religious Polarization of the Eighteenth-Century Public Sphere in the Aftermath of the Prades Aair275
        Prades and the Long Denouement in Prussia, 1752 –1782
Appendix: Authenticity of the Prades Thesis andApologie
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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435
471
Foreword
Dale Van Kley
“What is Enlightenment?” famously asked Emmanuel Kant, professor of philosophy at Königsberg, toward the end of a century of enlightenment in 1784. Among the most familiar quotations of the eighteenth century was his reply that “enlightenment” consisted in “man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity.” To “Dare to Think” (Sapere Aude!),” or to “have the courage to use your own intelligence!” he thought, was or at least should have been the “motto of the Enlightenment.” Almost as familiar is his opinion in the same essay that if the eighteenth century could not yet be said to be an “en-lightened age,” it was at least an “age of enlightenment” and that the most obvious signs of “enlightenment” were people finding themselves in a po-1 sition “to use their own minds securely,” especially in matters of religion.” Although Kant’s pietistic Lutheran upbringing inoculated him against the impious tone of the Encyclopedic enlightenment in France, his own antidogmatic conviction that religion should remain “within the limits of reason alone” situates his position on the subject of reason as applied to religion securely within the confines of what is taken to be enlightened 2 thought. But was there ever such a thing as “the Enlightenment” in the singular? Often overlooked in Kant’s famous essay is the singularity of hisAufklä-rung,or Enlightenment, which most Europeans had spoken of in the plu-ral as “lights,”“lumières,” “lumi,” “luces,”and the like until then. Influential in this as in so many other ways, Kant’s memorable definition of the singu-lar GermanAufklärungin place of the heretofore more frequent “lights” figures among the origins of the concept of a singular “Enlightenment” in 3 English.
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