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Radical EnlightenmentPhilosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750$
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Jonathan I. Israel

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206088.001.0001

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English Deism and Europe

English Deism and Europe

(p.599) 33 English Deism and Europe
Radical Enlightenment

Jonathan I. Israel

Oxford University Press

Radical deism in the English Enlightenment is generally considered in modern historiography an essentially home-grown product, rooted in Hobbes and Herbert of Cherbury, as well as the religious and social radicalism of the Civil War and Cromwellian commonwealth, which, not infrequently, as with Gerard Winstanley, had been tinged with pantheism. Even in the late 17th century, there were claims that English philosophical incredulity was essentially different from the continental variety, and its intellectual roots were to be found far more in Hobbes than Spinoza. But there are cogent reasons for urging a different view. One is that several leading English deists manifestly did not derive their ideas from a purely indigenous context but, on the contrary, incontrovertibly betray extensive borrowing from continental and especially Dutch thought.

Keywords:   England, Early Enlightenment, Spinoza, deism

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