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Religion, politics and the past in post-revolutionary England

Reformation without end reinterprets the English Reformation. No one in eighteenth-century England thought that they lived during ‘the Enlightenment’. Instead, they thought that they still faced the religious, intellectual and political problems unleashed by the Reformation, which began in the sixteenth century. They faced those problems, though, in the aftermath of two bloody seventeenth-century political and religious revolutions.

This book is about the ways the eighteenth-century English debated the causes and consequences of those seventeenth-century revolutions. Those living in post-revolutionary England conceived themselves as living in the midst of the very thing which they thought had caused the revolutions: the Reformation. The reasons for and the legacy of the Reformation remained hotly debated in post-revolutionary England because the religious and political issues it had generated remained unresolved and that irresolution threatened more civil unrest. For this reason, most that got published during the eighteenth century concerned religion. This book looks closely at the careers of four of the eighteenth century’s most important polemical divines, Daniel Waterland, Conyers Middleton, Zachary Grey and William Warburton. It relies on a wide range of manuscript sources, including annotated books and unpublished drafts, to show how eighteenth-century authors crafted and pitched their works.

Primitivism and the primitive Church
Robert G. Ingram

This chapter illustrates how the history of the early Christian church was not an abstruse subject during the eighteenth century but a topical one. For the primitive church remained the standard for both orthodoxy and orthopraxis well into the eighteenth century. This chapter demonstrates how that was the case by focusing especially on two pieces by Zachary Grey — his Examination of the fourteenth chapter of Sir Isaac Newton’s observations upon the prophecies of Daniel (1736) and his Short history of the Donatists (1741). Grey’s engagement with Netwon’s work on prophecy centred osn Newton’s treatment of saints and of God’s nature. In writing about these subjects, Newton had aimed to show that the post-fourth-century church was infested with theological impurities; Grey’s rejoinder aimed to show that the eighteenth-century Church of England understood both the saints and God’s nature in a primitively pure way. Grey’s treatment of the ancient Donatist heresy similarly related to contemporary concerns. For he tried to show that Methodism was not novel but, instead, a revival of an ancient heretical sect which had almost rent asunder the fourth-century North African church.

in Reformation without end
Benjamin Hoadly and the Eucharist
Robert G. Ingram

This chapter concerns the ways in which the Christian God effected men’s salvation. It reconstructs the Eucharistic debates between Waterland and Benjamin Hoadly. It locates those debates within wider debates during the 1730s about whether or not to repeal the Test and Corporation Acts. It shows how those sacramental debates got refracted through the memory of the seventeenth century which had produced the Test and Corporation Acts. Finally, it demonstrates why Waterland thought that when responding to Hoadly he was merely reiterating Thomas Cranmer’s Reformation-era sacramental theology, which itself had reiterated the pure sacramental theology of the primitive church.

in Reformation without end
Heterodoxy and the politics of patronage
Robert G. Ingram

This chapter highlights the ways that eighteenth-century orthodox clergy tried to coerce or punish their fellow clergy whom they judged heterodox. It opens with a consideration of Middleton’s unsuccessful attempts to secure plum ecclesiastical preferments with the assistance of Sir Robert Walpole’s ally, John Lord Hervey. It then anatomizes the arguments in the heterodox works that Hervey convinced Middleton not to publish in order to better his chances for preferment. Middleton would return to these unpublished manuscripts during the 1740s when he wrote about miracles. The chapter concludes by detailing Middleton’s failed effort during the late 1730s and early 1740s to redeem himself in the eyes of the orthodox by writing about Cicero. The process of bringing his life of Cicero to press also casts light onto the business of publishing with which Middleton and all other polemical divines had to deal.

in Reformation without end
Prodigies, miracles and providence
Robert G. Ingram

This chapter is about God’s providential management of his creation. The chapter examines the origins of Warburton’s Julian (1751). Warburton’s study of the fourth-century failed rebuild the Temple was part of a sustained attempt to demonstrate his orthodox bona fides in the wake of his Divine Legation of Moses. This chapter opens with an examination of the Weekly Miscellany’s attack on Warburton during the late 1730s for having insufficiently criticized Middleton in the Divine Legation of Moses. Afterwards, Warburton’s orthodox episcopal allies advised him publicly to distance himself from Conyers Middleton, which led to the unraveling of their friendship. The chapter turns next to anatomize Julian’s arguments. It concludes by illuminating how Warburton distinguished between miracles (like the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple rebuilding project in 363 AD) and prodigies (like the London and Lisbon earthquakes of the 1750s), while seeing both as tools of God’s providential management of his creation. Warburton contributed to a public discussion of providence for reasons that were also deeply personal. In that discussion, he employed Newtonian natural philosophy to interpret both natural and human history. In Warburton’s hands, it was employed for orthodox ends, but in sometimes deeply idiosyncratic ways.

in Reformation without end
Robert G. Ingram

Part I (chapters 2-5) focus on Daniel Waterland. This introductory chapter to Part I offers a sense of eighteenth-century orthodoxy’s doctrinal content and its modes of argument. It does so by sketching the lineaments of Daniel Waterland’s theological approach. It begins by considering Waterland’s 1710 Advice to a young student, a compulsory educational manual for eighteenth-century Magdalene College students. The bulk of the chapter anatomizes the arguments in a set of archidiaconal visitation charges. His message in them was clear: truth is constant; some doctrines are fundamental to Christianity; and those fundamentals are to be found in the primitive sources of the Christian past rightly interpreted. This chapter establishes which truths the eighteenth-century orthodox thought were constant and how they could be recovered in their original purity from the primitive Christian past.

in Reformation without end
Robert G. Ingram

This introductory chapter uses the Thomas Woolston and Thomas Rundle controversies of the 1720s and 1730s to introduce the book’s historiographical framework. This chapter argues that the eighteenth-century English saw themselves as living within the Reformation, which is why religion predominated the era’s print culture. The English Reformation spurred a long conversation, one which was fundamentally about what constituted truth. Eighteenth-century polemical divinity grappled both with what constituted truth and with the consequences of divisions over what constituted truth. For this reason, some during the eighteenth century feared that they lived in an unending Reformation.

in Reformation without end
Abstract only
Hanneke Canters and Grace M. Jantzen

Luce Irigaray's project is to make the case for sexually different subjects in philosophy, in psychoanalytic theory, and in Western culture generally. The logic of fluidity is indispensable to Irigaray's project as a whole, and nowhere more so than in Elemental Passions. Irigaray's use of the Greeks as reference points must be taken seriously, even though she prefers allusions and associations of ideas rather than direct reference or quotation. Even if logical systems have often been used as technologies of control, it remains the case that most people do want to think clearly and do not want to be deceived. In particular, it would be perverse to draw the conclusion that logic is of no interest to feminists, and even more perverse to fall into the patriarchal trap of ascribing unemotional rationality to man and irrational emotions to women.

in Forever fluid
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A reading of Luce Irigaray’s Elemental Passions

The recognition of a female subject is relatively recent in Western philosophy, through Western intellectual history, it has been assumed to be normatively male. This book provides the first English commentary on Luce Irigaray's poetic text, Elemental Passions, setting it within its context within continental thought. It explores Irigaray's images and intentions, developing the gender drama that takes place within her book, and draws the reader into the conversation in the text between 'I-woman' and 'you-man'. In Irigaray's philosophy of sexual difference love is of ultimate significance for the development and mutual relationship of two subjects. The book explains how the lack of a subject position for women is related to the emergence of rigid binaries, and catches a hint of how subversive attention to fluidity is to the masculinist pattern. This emphasis on desire and sexual difference obviously intersects with the psychoanalytic theories of S. Freud and J. Lacan, theories which had enormous impact on French philosophers of the time. Irigaray has used vivid imagery from the very beginning of her writings. A few of her images, in particular that of the lips, have become famous in feminist writings. The development of mutually affirming sexual subjects, different but not oppositional, and thereby the destabilizing of traditional binary categories of oppositional logic, is simultaneously highly innovative and has far-reaching consequences. The book presents a critique of Irigaray's methods and contentions to critical scrutiny, revisiting the idea of fluidity in relation to logic.

Context and style of Elemental Passions
Hanneke Canters and Grace M. Jantzen

Elemental Passions makes few concessions to the reader. Both in style and content it is elusive, open to various interpretations. The performative nature of the text is reinforced by elusive, poetic language which renders any interpretation even more tentative. The style of Elemental Passions reflects the fluidity and the motion of its female subject. Themes such as identity and difference in man's appropriation of woman, the philosophical categories of time and space, death and birth, and the formation of subjects through the love between man and woman occur repeatedly throughout Elemental Passions. They are revisited only partly in order to move events between man and woman or the argument about subjectivity forward; their more important function is to create awareness and understanding in the reader.

in Forever fluid