Taken together, these two insightful and nuanced books prove once more that the image of the eighteenth century being crafted by the work of many scholars, to whom we can now add Lifschitz and the contributors to the volume, is not your parents' Enlightenment
Church leaders, whether quarreling factions within the Catholic Enlightenment or traditionalist opponents, naturally turned to government to enforce their views.
Third, infighting within the Catholic Enlightenment drastically impeded its engagement with its secular counterpart.
Fourth, the French Revolution sounded the death knell for the Catholic Enlightenment.
On inspection, the postmodern critique of enlightenment turned out to represent a radicalization of the enlightenment quest for individual freedom through the criticism of unjust and unreasonable authority.
In contrast to the Aristotelian tradition's austere moral virtues, the British Enlightenment elaborated "the 'social virtues'--compassion, benevolence, sympathy--which, the British philosophers believed, naturally, instinctively, habitually bound people to each other.
According to Himmelfarb, the Third Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713) set the tone for the British Enlightenment with his three-volume Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times (1711), which (along with Locke's Second Treatise ) was one of the best-selling works of the eighteenth century.
Not all the major figures in the British Enlightenment were moral philosophers, yet most followed Shaftesbury in giving pride of place to the social virtues.
In short, the philosophical, theological, and sociocultural permeability of the first half of the eighteenth century makes it difficult to distinguish Radical Enlightenment from Moderate Enlightenment from Counter-Enlightenment until the 1750s.
No less reductionist is the redefinition of Enlightenment as a variety of eighteenth-century courtly styles and institutions, (9) whose revolutionary impact is linked solely with changes to reading taste, histories of the book, and broadening networks of sociocultural exchange.
I am certainly not suggesting that the church suddenly awoke after 1752-1758 and said, "Behold, we have a materialist, anti-Catholic Enlightenment on our hands
On the other hand, the galvanizing of a self-conscious, almost missionary ideology for the philosophes is fundamentally what distinguishes the self-conscious Enlightenment of the period after the late 1750s from its equally self-conscious ideological opposition--the Counter-Enlightenment, most masterfully addressed by Darrin McMahon's Enemies of the Enlightenment.
Although English radicalism gave rise to the Enlightenment, England itself never actually participated in that great eighteenth-century transformation.
Pocock's inquiry into Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and the Enlightenment began, he tells us, in 1976 while at a conference in Rome.
Far more than an intellectual biography of Gibbon or an examination of the sources of The Decline and Fall, Pocock's grand study seeks nothing less than to reconfigure the Enlightenment and to reassess the origins and meanings of modernity.