Seeing Things Their Way

Seeing Things Their Way : Intellectual History and the Return of Religion

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While religious history and intellectual history are both active, dynamic fields of contemporary historical inquiry, historians of ideas and historians of religion have too often paid little attention to one another's work. The intellectual historian Quentin Skinner urged historians to attend to the contexts as well as the texts of authors, in order to 'see things their way'. Where religion was concerned, however, Skinner failed to follow his own good advice; this book helps to remedy that failure. The editors and contributors urge intellectual historians to explore the religious dimensions of ideas and at the same time commend the methods of intellectual history to historians of religion. The introduction is followed by an essay by Brad Gregory reflecting on issues related to the study of the history of religious ideas. Subsequent essays by John Coffey, Anna Sapir Abulafia, Howard Hotson, Richard A. Muller, and Willem J. van Asselt explore the importance of religion in the intellectual history of Great Britain and Europe in the medieval and early modern periods. James Bradley shifts forward with his essay on religious ideas in Enlightenment England. Mark Noll and Alister Chapman deal respectively with British influence on the writing of religious history in America and with the relationship between intellectual history and religion in modern Britain. David Bebbington provides a concluding reflection on the challenges inherent in restoring the centrality of religion to intellectual history.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 149.86 x 223.52 x 22.86mm | 362.87g
  • University of Notre Dame Press
  • Notre Dame IN, United States
  • English
  • 0268022984
  • 9780268022983
  • 443,799

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Author Information

ALISTER CHAPMAN is assistant professor of history at Westmont College. JOHN COFFEY is professor of early modern history at the University of Leicester. He is the author of John Goodwin and the Puritan Revolution: Religion and Intellectual Change in Seventeenth-Century England. BRAD. S. GREGORY is Dorothy G. Griffin Associate Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe.

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Review quote

"At bottom, this is a wonderfully simple book. It gathers essays from scholars of high academic standing to tell us what we learned in kindergarten: we need to listen in order to understand. . . . The book has a simple and well-presented interdisciplinary message, a nice hook connecting it to Skinner, one of the great intellectuals of our time, and, finally, the book is filled with lots of important information and interpretations from insightful and careful historians willing to try to see through the religious perspectives of their subjects." --"Christian Scholar's Review""

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