Robert R. Palmer wrote his first book, Catholics and Unbelievers in Eighteenth Century France, under the influence of his mentor at Cornell University, Carl L. Becker. Whereas Becker had claimed that the "enlightened" French philosophes were more indebted to Christianity than they recognized, Palmer argued that French Catholic apologists in the eighteenth century were also more "enlightened" than they knew. The two theses are complementary sides of Becker's wider point that beneath an intellectual debate in the public sphere there lay certain shared assumptions that make discussion possible, or what Alfred Whitehead had called a common "climate of opinion." Devoted to the subsequent historiography of Palmer's subject, this article argues that although research has since vindicated aspects of Palmer's portrait of French "enlightened" Jesuits, it has also altered Palmer's picture of French Jansenists as being globally unenlightened. This development in historiography enlarges Palmer's own notion of a "climate of opinion," while challenging the coherence of recent notions of a single "Catholic Enlightenment."
An Overdue Tribute
Dale K. Van Kley
Yasser K. R. Aman
The monstrous image created by William Blake in ‘The Tyger’ left the world wrapped in an apocalyptic vision that creates an epiphany of unknown Romantic potentials symbolised in ‘The Tyger’. The apocalyptic vision, deeply rooted in Christian religion, develops into an ominous harbinger of the destruction of the modern world portrayed in W.B. Yeats’ ‘The Second Coming’. The image of the beast marks the difference between two ages, one with strong potentials and the other with fear and resident evil unexplained. I argue that the apocalyptic theory in Christianity has an impact on the development of the image of the beast in both poems, an impact that highlights man’s retreat from Nature into the modern world which may fall apart because of beastly practices.
'Sportsex' in Victorian Britain
Thomas Hughes's idealised vision of life at Rugby public school is one of the best-known novels in the English language. It was regarded from the outset as a founding text of 'muscular Christianity'. Contrary to the intentions of its author, it helped to inaugurate the cult of 'manly' athleticism that swept through the English public schools in the second half of the nineteenth-century. I argue that the novel reveals tensions around gender and sexuality that were in play among public schoolboys during the second half of the nineteenth century. These tensions exploded into full public view in the trial of Oscar Wilde in 1895 and were instrumental in helping to establish a structure of homophobia within homosocial settings that has lasted through to the present day.
Keith Egan, Mathias Thaler, Anna Fedele, Maarit Forde, Tuomas Martikainen, Kim Knibbe, Maria M. Griera, Katerina Seraidari, José Mapril, Roger Canals, Diana Espirito Santo, Titus Hjelm, Vlad Naumescu, Vânia Zikán Cardoso, Mathieu Fribault, Rebecca Prentice, Ryan Schram, Jacqueline Ryle, Alexandre Surrallés, James S. Bielo, César Ceriani Cernadas, and Maïté Maskens
BENTLEY, Alex (ed.), The Edge of Reason? Science and Religion in Modern Society, 222 pp., foreword. London: Continuum, 2008. Paperback, £13.99. ISBN: 9781847062185.
BERGER, Peter, Grace DAVIE, and Effi e FOKAS, Religious America, Secular Europe? A Theme and Variations, 176 pp., bibliography, index. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008. Paperback, £16.99. ISBN: 978075466011.
LEVEY, Geoffrey Brahm and Tariq MODOOD (eds.), Secularism, Religion and Multicultural Citizenship, 274 pp., tables, bibliographical references, index. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008 Paperback, $31.99/£17.99. ISBN: 9780521695411.
FAVRET-SAADA, Jeanne, 2009, Désorceler, 169 pp., bibliographical references. Paris: Éditions de L’Olivier. Paperback, €18.50. ISBN: 9782879296395.
GUADELOUPE, Francio, Chanting Down the New Jerusalem: Calypso, Christianity, and Capitalism in the Caribbean, 255 pp., illustrations, notes, references, index. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. Hardback, $50.00/£34.95. ISBN: 9780520254886.
HACKETT, Rosalind (ed.), Proselytization Revisited: Rights Talk, Free Markets and Culture Wars, 480 pp. London: Equinox, 2008. Paperback, £18.99/$29.95. ISBN: 9781845532277.
JACKSON, Michael, The Palm at the End of the Mind: Relatedness, Religiosity and the Real, 256 pp., preface. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009. Paperback, $22.95. ISBN: 9780822343813.
KIRSCH, Thomas G., and Bertram TURNER (eds.), 2009, Permutations of Order: Religion and Law as Contested Sovereignties, 269 pp., bibliographical references, index. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate. Hardback, £55.00. ISBN: 9780754672593.
MAHIEU, Stéphanie and Vlad NAUMESCU (eds.), Churches In-Between. Greek Catholic Churches in Postsocialist Europe, 340 pp., bibliographical references, tables, index. Munster: Lit Verlag, 2008. Paperback, € 29.90. ISBN: 9783825899103.
MARRANCI, Gabriele, The Anthropology of Islam, 224 pp., introduction, conclusion, references. Oxford: Berg, 2008, Paperback, £13.38. ISBN: 9781845202859.
MEYER, Birgit (ed.), Aesthetic Formations: Media, Religion, and the Senses, 292 pp., illustrations, preface, bibliography, index. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Hardcover, $90. ISBN: 9780230605558.
PALMIÉ, Stephan (ed.), Africa of the Americas: Beyond the Search for Origins in the Study of Afro-Atlantic Religions, 388 pages, preface. Leiden: Brill, 2008, Volume 33 of Studies of Religion in Africa: Supplements to the Journal of Religion in Africa. Hardback, €88.00/US$ 126.00. ISBN: 9789004164727.
PETERSEN, Jesper Aagaard (ed.), Contemporary Religious Satanism: A Critical Anthology, xii + 277 pp., index. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2009. Hardback, £55.00. ISBN: 9780754652861.
PINE, Frances and João PINA-CABRAL (eds.), On the Margins of Religion. ix, 286 p., illus., bibliogrs. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2008. Hardback, $90.00/£45.00. ISBN: 9781845454098.
PINXTEN, Rik and Lisa DIKOMITIS (eds.), When God Comes to Town: Religious Traditions in Urban Contexts, 151 pp., figures, index. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2009, Volume 4 of Culture and Politics/Politics and Culture Series. Hardcover, $70.00/£45.00. ISBN: 9781845455545.
SARRÓ, Ramon, The Politics of Religious Change on the Upper Guinea Coast: Iconoclasm Done and Undone, xviii + 239 pp., maps, figures, glossary, bibliography, index. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press for the International African Institute, 2009. Hardback, £55. ISBN: 9780748635153.
SCHMIDT, Bettina E., Caribbean Diaspora in the USA: Diversity of Caribbean Religions in New York City, 208 pp., figures, bibliography, index. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008. Hardback, £55.00. ISBN: 9780754663652.
STEWART, Pamela J. and Andrew STRATHERN (eds.), Religious and Ritual Change: Cosmologies and Histories, 371 pp., preface, appendix, index. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2009. Paperback, $50. ISBN: 9781594605765.
TOMLINSON, Matt, In God’s Image: The Metaculture of Fijian Christianity, 263 pp., preface, index, references. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. Paperback, $21.95/£14.95. ISBN: 9780520257788.
TREMLETT, Paul-François, Lévi-Strauss on Religion: The Structuring Mind, 132 pp., bibliographical references, index. London: Equinox, 2008. Paperback, £14.99/$24.95. ISBN: 9781845532789.
VILAÇA, Aparecida and Robin M. WRIGHT (eds.), Native Christians: Modes and Effects of Christianity among Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, 266 pp., index, illustrations, maps, afterword. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008. Hardback, £55. ISBN: 9780754663553.
CANALS, Roger (dir.). 2008. The Many Faces of a Venezuelan Goddess. Paris: CNRS. 55 min., color.
MOTTIER, Damien (dir.). 2007. Prophète(s). France, Les Films de la Jetée. 46 minutes, color.
A persistent feature in Jesuit reports about the late Ming and early Qing was the notion that an enduring peace and concord pervaded the Chinese political system. Although the Jesuits did not invent this association, which was rooted in Greco-Roman historiography, the Jesuit encyclopaedist Antonio Possevino (1533–1611) was the first to link the ‘perpetual peace’ (perpetua pax) and ‘supreme concord’ (summa concordia) of the Chinese state to the Confucian intellectual tradition. As the Jesuits’ missionary strategy developed under the tutelage of Matteo Ricci (1552–1610), ‘public peace’ (pax publica) and ‘the calm of the Republic’ (Republica quies) came to be perceived as the ultimate purpose of the Confucian precepts and one of the hinges on which the aims of Christianity, Confucianism and natural law can be reconciled. The supreme expression of the link between Confucianism and peace can be found in the Confucius Sinarum philosophus (1687), which presented for the first time an accessible translation of three of the four Confucian classics. Yet while retaining the view that pre-Qin Confucianism espoused peace as a central political aim, the Confucius Sinarum philosophus challenged the view that contemporary China could be regarded as a utopic actualization of Confucian peace. This paper will discuss this shift as an attempt to coopt the Chinese political experience as an argument against the pragmatic political philosophy known as ‘reason of state’, which was perceived by Jesuit thinkers as atheistic and immoral.
Religion has long stood at the center of debates on the environmental crisis of late modernity. Some have portrayed it as a malade imaginaire, providing divine legitimation for human domination and predatory exploitation of natural resources; others have looked up to it as an inspirational force that is the essential condition of planetary revival. There is an ongoing battle of the books on the salience of religion in the modern world. Some trendy volumes declare that God Is Back (Micklethwait and Wooldridge 2009). Others advert to The End of Faith (Harris 2004, harp the theme of The God Delusion (Dawkins 2006), or claim that God Is Not Great (Hitchens 2007). Both sides provide ample evidence to support their adversarial claims. In much of Canada and Western Europe, where religious establishments have courted or colluded with the state, religion has come to be viewed as the enemy of liberty and modernity. Not so in the United States, where the Jeffersonian separation of religion from politics forced religious leaders to compete for the souls of the faithful—and thus to make Christianity more reconcilable with the agenda of modernity,
individualism and capitalist enterprise.
The conceptual history of 'economic development' is often told as a US-centered story. The United States, according to the standard account, turned to economic development as a tool in its struggle for global dominance during the Cold War. In line with recent research, this article demonstrates that the post-World War II boom in economic development had European origins as well, and that it originated as a joint response to the Cold War and to the unraveling of European empires. In particular, emphasis is placed on the little-studied contribution of a French Catholic activist who helped redefine economic development in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Dominican Father Louis-Joseph Lebret stood at the head of an influential movement, which conceived of economic development as a way to save both France and Christianity in a moment of crisis for the French empire and for the Roman Catholic Church. In his writings, Lebret bestowed renewed legitimacy on the French 'civilizing mission.' He also revived elements of interwar Catholic thought to argue for the imperative of building a new moral-economic order that was neither communist nor capitalist. Far from a marginal historical actor, this theorist-practitioner was successful in his efforts, and gained followers for his vision of economic development in France, in Vatican City, at the United Nations, and in various former colonized countries.
Credit. From the Latin, credere, to trust or to believe. Crisis, from the Greek κρίσις, crisis, but also decision, judgment. Judgment day. I had imagined this article as a series of epistles, short missives with didactic aphorisms—postcards, really—from the credit crisis. Yet the effort foundered on two shores. First, my abilities are simply not up to the task, for this genre with its ancient history boasts so many predecessors and models that selection for the purposes of mimicry—or embodiment—became impossible. Second, and more important, I began to realize, in the effort, that the genre demands an analytical engagement with its material that this article in many respects stands athwart. How it does so will become apparent in due course. The credit crisis began in 2008 and continues to the time of my writing, in May 2010. In naming the credit crisis and its religion, I acknowledge I afford them a degree of reality they may not possess. I also acknowledge that this article comes with temporal limits, the limits of the time of its writing. My debts are many and cannot be fully acknowledged. Reality, time and debt are very much at issue in credit crisis religion. Worldly constraints narrow my inquiry to Anglophone and primarily United States examples. Christianity is, by necessity and design, over-represented.
The Race of Freedom and the Drag of Descent
Elizabeth A. Povinelli
As long as there was race, there was the savage. Tribes would come later as those who invented their descending lines and segmentable surfaces projected them into the classical past of gens and phatries. And as long as there were savages, there were infidels. Christianity, defeated in the old Jerusalem, established a New Jerusalem through conquest and settlement, conversion and genocide, enslavement and rectitude in the Americas and Pacific. Some savages would be bestowed with cultures and some religions with the power of enlightenment. And yet, in the shadow of the enlightenment project, all of these social figures and social histories seem to collapse into a unilinear process of historical descent—the Crusades begat voyages of discovery, which begat the problem of the twentieth century, namely, the color line and the international division of colonizer and colonizer, the North and the South, the East and the West, the politics of recognition and the refusals of secularism— and a univocal problem of race, racialization, and racism. Race seems to have begat race: what makes discourse of tribalism, racism, and the savage slot seem ‘the same’ and seem different than the national citizen/subject is that they are all the effect of the same razza (lineage). Their actual social divergences and specificities are bled out. “But he who listens to history finds that things have no pre-existing essence, or an essence fabricated piecemeal from alien forms” (Foucualt 1984: 78).
Gustavo Benavides, Thomas J. Coleman III, Ralph W. Hood Jr., Richard Sosis, and Ann Taves
As the first invitee to this portrait section trained as a scholar of religion and situated in a department of religious studies, I was interested to see how previous scholars trained in anthropology and sociology positioned themselves in relation to ‘religion’ as an object of study. It seems we all do so gingerly. Although my graduate work was in the history of Christianity with a focus on American religious history, since the early 1990s I have self-consciously positioned my historical research in an interdisciplinary space between psychiatry, anthropology, and religious studies in order to explore the contestations surrounding unusual experiences. During the last decade, I have been identifying myself less as a historian and more as an interdisciplinary scholar attempting to bring both humanistic and cognitive social scientific methods to the study of historical experiences and events. From this vantage point, I would argue, as Maurice Bloch (2010) did in the first volume of this journal, that ‘religion’ is not a natural kind but a complex cultural concept and that a theory of religion per se is impossible.