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Enlightenment and Modernity: The English Deists and Reform

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Enlightenment and Modernity: The English Deists and Reform by Hudson,Wayne, 9781851966356
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  • ISBN: 9781851966356 | 1851966358
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 6/1/2009
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The writers known as the English deists were not simply religious controversialists, but agents of reform who contributed to the emergence of modernity. The existing literature claims that these writers advocated a failed ideology which itself declined after 1730. Hudson, however, argues for an evolution of their ideas into a more modern form, one less indebted to classical antiquity and the Renaissance. He further claims that these writers promoted political, social and cultural reforms over a wide area.Indeed, so far from merely writing minor pamphlets, they provoked shifts of public philosophy and practice of European significance. Old, accepted ideas about the English deists are challenged and overturned. Using a context-based approach to understand the social and intellectual tensions of those involved as well as examining the wider historical setting, Hudson provides a contemporary reinterpretation of the English deists and raises important methodological questions about the way we view and study the Enlightenment.

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