From anti-popery and anti-puritanism to orientalism
in Making the British empire, 1660–1800
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This chapter demonstrates the importance of recognising the connection between two well known issues – anti-popery/anti-puritanism and orientalism – both of which are understood as tools of ‘othering’ that helped to shape national identity. It demonstrates how responses to the religions of Islamic empires involved claims about popery and puritanism, and how this led to the construction of a discourse of oriental priestcraft and tyranny. It thus argues that later orientalism originated not in Enlightenment philosophy but in late Renaissance and post-Reformation historical culture. As such, it informs our understanding of the relationship between the Reformation and the Enlightenment, as well as between domestic and imperial history.

Editor: Jason Peacey


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