Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion

Paperback | September 15, 2013

byJordana Rosenberg

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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 Enthusiasmshows 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 ofearly 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 thehistory 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 politicaltheory, 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 justifiedsuch practices - shaped the period; they also laid the foundation for our contemporary world.

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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 Enthusiasmshows that debates around religious radicalism a...

Jordana Rosenberg is Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9.21 × 6.1 × 0.71 inPublished:September 15, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019932882X

ISBN - 13:9780199328826

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Religion, or Secularization: Dialectical Method for the Literary Study of SecularismsSECTION ONE: TIME1. Enthusiasm an Historicism: Mosaic Law and the Narration of History2. The Legislation of Accumulation: The Camisard Trial and Structures of BeliefSECTION TWO: SPACE3. Social Regulation and Transatlantic Accumulation4. "A Cry from the Desart": Spatiality and Secularism5. Poetic Enthusiasm: The City, the Country, and Extended AccumulationIndex