Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion

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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 10 Oct 2013
The Atlantic world of the long eighteenth century was characterized by two major, interrelated phenomena: the onset of capital accumulation and the infusion of traditions of radical religious rapture into Enlightenment discourses. In exploring these cross-pollinations, Critical Enthusiasm
shows that debates around religious radicalism are bound to the advent of capitalism at its very root: as legal precedent, as financial rhetoric, and as aesthetic form. To understand the period thus requires that we not only contextualize histories of religion in terms of the economic landscape of
early modernity, but also recast the question of secularization in terms of the contradictions of capitalism.

Critical Enthusiasm contributes to new directions of scholarship in literary and legal history, secularization studies, and economic criticism. It is unique in producing a model for literary and cultural study that is simultaneously attuned to economic and religious forces. By approaching the
history of capitalism through religious debates, Critical Enthusiasm discloses significant intersections of aesthetic form and of financial flows that have been hitherto ignored. Through chapters that highlight moral philosophy, religious prophesy, early modern statute law, poetry, and political
theory, Rosenberg shows that the contested nature of enthusiastic rapture is crucial to understanding the major institutional transformations of early modernity. These transformations--colonial plunder, the rise of finance, the administration of racialized labor, and the legal reform that justified
such practices--shaped the period; they also laid the foundation for our contemporary world.

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ISBN-13: 9780199328826
ISBN-10: 019932882X
Pagini: 232
Dimensiuni: 158 x 235 x 14 mm
Greutate: 0.36 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Locul publicării: New York, United States

Notă biografică

Jordana Rosenberg is Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


This book is a challenging reassessment of the problem of enthusiasm. Rather than understanding the term as a throwback to a pre-enlightenment past or a persistence of religious thinking, Critical Enthusiasm offers a brilliantly dialectical analysis of the role the term has played in mediating the transformation to modernity and the emergence of capitalist forms of social being.