Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.526633
Title: Mysticism, reason and the shape of early Enlightenment Scotland
Author: Jenkins, Paul D.
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2010
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Abstract:
The study investigates the late seventeenth century origins of the Scottish Enlightenment, and it offers a timely reassessment of both the coherence and concept of the 'early Enlightenment'. Traditionally maligned as the most contemptible chapter in the nation's history, seventeenth-century Scotland has, until very recently, been noted only for its religious fanaticism, political corruption, and intellectual sterility. Most recent work on Scotland during this period represents a revisionist effort to do belated justice to the history of Scotland at that time by stressing its pivotal importance to the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment. While these studies are important and have shed much light on this long misunderstood period, they tend to evaluate it in a progressivist fashion, based on the extent to which it successfully anticipated or contributed to the rational achievements and secularized outlook of the eighteenth century. The aims of this project are twofold: to painstakingly re-contextualise the controversies of the period; and to critique and move to the foreground important questions of tone and the progressivist focus, or orientation of studies of early Enlightenment Scotland. It does this by closely examining two of the trends most commonly linked to the rise of European Enlightenment: (1) the declining significance of demonic agency and the crime of witchcraft, as well as its isomorphic cousin, heresy; and (2) the corresponding rise of scepticism, rationalism and toleration. According to these two measures of Enlightenment, it is argued, Scotland's early transition from a traditional 'persecuting society' to a tolerant 'enlightened' one was not as decisive or as progressive as most revisionist historians claim. Drawing upon evidence from Scotland, England and Continental Europe this study opens new, much needed, lines of debate regarding the late seventeenth-century roots of the Scottish Enlightenment, by demonstrating the important, sophisticated roles conservative and mystical religious opinion played in shaping the intellectual character of early Enlightenment Scotland.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.526633  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain
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