Covetous of Truth

Covetous of Truth : The Life and Work of Thomas White, 1593-1676

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Thomas White, in the quatercentenary of his birth, is due for historical rehabilitation. English Catholic priest, philosopher, theologian, and scientist, he was a renowned and notorious figure in his own day; and, though long forgot- ten, his work exemplifies aspects of major current concern to historians of ideas: in particular, the significance of the newly-revived sceptical philosophy; the complexity ofthe transition from scholasticism to the new philosophy; and the whole role of"minor", non-canonical figures in the historyofthought. White's writings embrace theology, politics, and natural philosophy, or science'; and in all these three areas, his work, after centuries of comparative neglect, has slowly been resurfacing. His theological significance received intermittent recognition through the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early-twentieth centuries; but more recently his great importance as leader of a whole "Blackloist" faction of English Catholics has become increasingly clear. Condemned by co-religionists in his own time as a dangerous heretic, he has been assessed by modem scholars as an anticipator of twentieth-century trends in Catholic theology, and even as "probably, after John Henry Newman, the most original thinker as yet producedby modem English Catholicism."2 Blackloism implied not only a theological, but also a political position; and that position was clarified and publicised by White in his single political treatise, The Grounds of Obedience and Government, published in the mid- 1650s. His provocative stance was widely misunderstood and misinterpreted, and was soon anyway rendered untenable by the restoration of the monarchy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 196 pages
  • 159 x 243.3 x 18.3mm | 489.89g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1993 ed.
  • XI, 196 p.
  • 0792319265
  • 9780792319269

Table of contents

Preface. Abbreviations. 1. Introduction. 2. Reputation. 3. The Man. 4. Life. 5. Blackloism. 6. Politics: The Grounds of Obedience and Government. 7. Politics: Responses to The Ground. 8. The Context of Scepticism. 9. The Context of Scholasticism. 10. Science Old and New: Cosmology. 11. Science Old and New: Physics 12. Science Old and New: Psychology. 13. Science and Religion. 14. Influence. Bibliography. Index.
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