The Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, also called the Age of Reason, was so named for an intellectual movement that shook the foundations of Western civilization. In championing radical ideas such as individual liberty and an empirical appraisal of the universe through rational inquiry and natural experience, Enlightenment philosophers in Europe and America planted the seeds for modern liberalism, cultural humanism, science and technology, and laissez-faire Capitalism This volume brings together works from this era, with more than 100 selections from a range of sources. It includes examples by Kant, Diderot, Voltaire, Newton, Rousseau, Locke, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, and Paine that demonstrate the pervasive impact of Enlightenment views on philosophy and epistemology as well as on political, social, and economic institutions.
Spirituality is a difficult subject in the modern world. Everywhere, from popular media to the university, from the bookshelf to the dinner table, religions are derided or marginalised and public figures, such as Richard Dawkins, set upon anyone who admits to a belief in God. It seems that science and religion are fundamentally at odds and that a mutual respect is unacceptable to either in their parallel pursuit of 'truth'. Yet the majority of Enlightenment authors engaged with both science and spirituality and did not lose their faith. Today we tend to see these authors as not having applied full scientific rigour to their religious beliefs, but are we correct in dismissing this aspect of their lives so easily' In Secularism, Mike King examines the elements of religion, philosophy and science which have contributed to an almost total disavowal of spirituality by contemporary western intellectuals. He engages with a wide range of thinkers, including Pythagoras, Marx, Spinoza, Darwin and Nietzsche, and incorporates detailed studies of a variety of 'spiritual' leaders, some of whom readers are unlikely to have considered in this way before, to uncover why the western world no longer has any interest in devotion or accords it any respect. img src=../images/bullet.gif The first of two volumes on this fascinating and timely subject. img src=../images/bullet.gif A startling critique of western culture and its dismissal of 'faith'. img src=../images/bullet.gif A scintillating and insightful read for academic and lay person alike.
American National Identity, the War of 1898, and the Rise of American Imperialism
Author: Paul T. McCartney
Publisher: LSU Press
In Power and Progress, Paul T. McCartney presents a provocative case study of the Spanish-American War, exposing newfound dimensions to the relationship between American nationalism and U.S. foreign policy. Two significant but distinct foreign-policy issues are at the center of McCartney's analysis: the declaration of war against Spain in 1898 and the annexation of the Philippine Islands as part of the war's peace treaty. According to McCartney, Americans were very explicitly and self-consciously expanding their nation's sense of mission in making these two foreign-policy decisions. They drew upon a cultural identity forged from racist, religious, and liberal-democratic characteristics to guide the United States into the uncharted waters of international prominence. What America did abroad they emphatically framed in terms of what they believed America to be. Foreign policy, McCartney argues, provided a concrete focus for this sense of mission on the world stage and played a marked role in shaping the contours and substance of American nationalism itself. Power and Progress provides the first intensive look at how the idea of American mission has influenced the conduct of U.S. foreign policy, lending fresh insight into a transformative moment in the development of both U.S. foreign policy and national identity. It contributes measurably to our understanding of the cultural sources of American foreign policy and thus serves as a partial corrective to studies that overemphasize economic motives.
While scholars of traditional imperial history see the formation of the larger British Atlantic world as a consequence of competing European powers' efforts at nation-building, Atlantic historians see the transatlantic empire shaped more by the motives of a wide variety of subnational groups. Elizabeth Mancke and Carole Shammas have compiled a volume that reflects these different viewpoints concerning the transatlantic experience during Britain's rise to world dominance between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the book's opening chapters, contributors consider the effect of transatlantic emigration, discussing European and African migration and slave trade; the enslavement of Native American peoples; and the ways individuals adapted their national and religious identities in a world of expanding cultural influences. The second section addresses the roles played by trade, religion, ethnicity, and class in linking the Atlantic borders, with essays examining how mariners circulated political and religious news along with trade goods; how British common law supplanted the diverse legal systems of the early colonies; and how Protestant leaders in the colonies challenged the theological assumptions of their European contemporaries. The chapters in the final section address the increasingly complicated legal relationships between the British sovereign and colonial charterholders; the simultaneous establishment of a British colonial government in East Florida and the Royal Gardens of Kew; the popularity of imperial landscape art in eighteenth-century Britain; and the British roots of Pennsylvania Quakers. The Creation of the British Atlantic World provides insight into the competing forces that forged the Atlantic world as well as the reciprocal relationships between the growing British Empire and the individuals, groups, and subnations within that empire.
Individualism: The Cultural Logic of Modernity is an edited collection of sixteen essays on the idea of the modern sovereign individual in the western cultural tradition. Reconsidering the eighteenth-century realist novel, twentieth-century modernism, and underappreciated topics on individualism and literature, this volume provocatively revises and enriches our understanding of individualism as the generative premise of modernity itself.
For generations the traditional focus for those wishing to understand the roots of the modern world has been France on the eve of the Revolution. Porter certainly acknowledges France's importance, but here makes an overwhelming case for consideringBritain the true home of modernity - a country driven by an exuberance, diversity and power of invention comparable only to twentieth-century America. Porter immerses the reader in a society which, recovering from the horrors of the Civil War and decisively reinvigorated by the revolution of 1688, had emerged as something new and extraordinary - a society unlike any other in the world.
This book tackles an obvious yet profound problem of modern political life: the disorientation of intellectuals and activists on the left. As the study of political history and theory has been usurped by cultural criticism, a confusion over the origins