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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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. ix-xviii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xix-xxiv
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  1. Introduction Perspectives on Enlightenment, Religion, and the Abb
  2. pp. 1-30
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  1. PART I
  2. p. 31
  1. 1. The Creation of the Jesuit Synthesis: Locke, Malebranche, and the Flowering of Theological Enlightenment
  2. pp. 33-54
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  1. 2. The Radicalizing Enlightenment and the Maturation of Theological Enlightenment to 1750
  2. pp. 55-76
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  1. PART II
  2. pp. 102-103
  1. 3. Bringing up the Theological Enlightenment: Life, Leisure, Philosophy, and Culture at the University of Paris and the Seminaries, ca. 1730–1755
  2. pp. 79-101
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  1. 4. Theological Enlightenment at the Sorbonne,1729–1752
  2. pp. 102-135
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  1. 5. The Center Falters: Turmoil and the Burgeoning Fracture of Theological and Radical Enlightenments
  2. pp. 136-162
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  1. PART III
  2. p. 163
  1. 6. Prades and the Crucible of Religious Polarization in Eighteenth-Century France
  2. pp. 165-177
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  1. 7. The Abortive Theological Enlightenment Synthesis of Prades I
  2. pp. 178-198
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  1. 8. The Abortive Theological Enlightenment Synthesis of Prades II: From Natural Religion to the Necessity and Historicity of Catholicism
  2. pp. 199-238
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  1. 9. The Scandal at the Sorbonne and the Condemnation
  2. pp. 239-274
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  1. 10. The Nadir of Theological Enlightenment: Religious Polarization of the Eighteenth-Century Public Sphere in the Aftermath of the Prades Affair
  2. pp. 275-309
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  1. Epilogue: Prades and the Long Denouement in Prussia,1752–1782
  2. pp. 310-324
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  1. Appendix: Authenticity of the Prades Thesis and Apologie
  2. pp. 325-329
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 330-434
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 435-470
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 471-494
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780268075798
Related ISBN
9780268022204
MARC Record
OCLC
794700559
Pages
520
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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