The Radical Rhetoric of the English Deists

The Radical Rhetoric of the English Deists

The Radical Rhetoric of the English Deists

The Radical Rhetoric of the English Deists illuminates the major battlefields of a rhetorical war waged for the religious mind of Britain and eventually of Europe and the colonies. Focusing on the works of lesser-known but highly influential Deists - Charles Blount, John Toland, Thomas Chubb, Thomas Woolston, Jacob Ilive, and Peter Annet - whose radically controversial spirit and willingness to absorb enormous personal risks made Deist controversy so intriguing and consequential, James A. Herrick examines the long polemic between the English Deists and the Church of England that marked the years between 1680 and 1750. He contends that this sweeping critique of traditional Christian thought owes its lasting impact to the rhetorical acumen, textual resources, and iconoclastic motivation of skilled controversialists who sought nothing less than the destruction of Christianity.

The English Deists

The English Deists

The English Deists

Interprets the works of an important group of writers known as 'the English deists'. This title argues that this interpretation reads Romantic conceptions of religious identity into a period in which it was lacking. It contextualizes these writers within the early Enlightenment, which was multivocal, plural and in search of self definition.

Enlightenment and Modernity

Enlightenment and Modernity

Enlightenment and Modernity

The writers known as the English deists were not simply religious controversialists, but agents of reform who contributed to the emergence of modernity. This title claims that these writers advocated a failed ideology which itself declined after 1730. It argues for an evolution of their ideas into a more modern form.