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Permanent revolution : the Reformation and the illiberal roots of Liberalism / James Simpson.

Author/creator Simpson, James, 1954- author.
Format Book and Print
Publication Info Cambridge, Massachusetts : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2019.
Copyright Notice ©2019
Descriptionxv, 444 pages ; 25 cm
Contents Part I. Religion as revolution: Revolutionary religion -- Permanently revolutionary religion -- Part II. Working modernity's despair: Modernizing despair -- Modernizing despair: lyric and narrative entrapment -- Modernizing despair's epic non-escape -- Part III. Sincerity and hypocrisy: Pre-modern and Henrician hypocrisy -- The revolutionary hypocrite: Elizabethan hypocrisy -- Managing hypocrisy?: Shakespeare, Milton, Bunyan, 1689 -- Part IV. Breaking idols: Liberating iconoclasm -- Saving images and the Calvinist hammer -- One last iconoclastic push? -- Part V. Theater, magic, sacrament: Religion, dramicide, and the rise of magic -- Enemies of the revolution: magic and theater -- Last judgements: stage managing the magic -- Part VI. Managing scripture: Scripture: institutions, interpretation, and violence -- Private scriptural anguish -- Escaping literalism's trap -- Part VII. Liberty and liberties: Liberty taking liberties.
Abstract The proto-Liberalism of the late seventeenth century in England reverses all the central persuasions of illiberal evangelical religion of the early sixteenth century. Free-will, division of powers, non-literalist Biblical reading, aesthetics, theatricality: each reverses cardinal positions of Lutheran and Calvinist religion. How? Permanent Revolution argues that all revolutions take about 150 years to settle down. In the case of the Reformation in England, the first revolution (what Simpson calls "permanent revolution") was heady and radical. It was also ultimately unsustainable. In about 150 years it produced its opposite, the second Reformation which led to the Enlightenment. In our own times, the author says, liberals make a dangerous mistake when they do not understand that Evangelical fundamentalists descend from the same parent as themselves - the "permanent revolution" of the early Reformation. The core of the book is about the English Reformation and the archive is largely literary. Yet the political and intellectual ramifications exceed the remit of literary studies. The story of the proto-Enlightenment narrated here is not a story of secularist repudiation from outside. Instead, it is primarily a story of transformation and reversal of the Protestant tradition from within. The second Reformation (the one that became the Enlightenment) is less a secularist opponent of the first than its dissident younger sibling, driven and marked, if not scarred, by its older evangelical sibling and competitor.-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references and index.
LCCN 2018026019
ISBN0674987136 hardcover alkaline paper

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