The Catholic Enlightenment: A Global Anthology presents readers with accessible, translated selections from the writings of fifteen major Catholic Enlightenment authors. These early modern authors include women, priests, lay intellectuals, and bishops. Twelve of these figures are being brought into English for the first time. The purpose of the volume is to provide students, scholars, and interested non-specialists with a single point of departure to delve into the primary sources of the Catholic Enlightenment. This anthology shows the geographical and intellectual diversity of the Catholic Enlightenment, while also demonstrating significant threads of commonality in intellectual orientation.
One strength of this volume is the geographical spread of the figures considered. Included are Catholic thinkers from England, the United States, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, France, Portugal, and the Italian and German-speaking lands. Another strength of this volume is the breadth of subject matter treated – it features pastoral letters, mystical tracts, pedagogical treatises, political manifestos, and theological works. These texts elucidate Catholic Enlightenment views on topics such as the history of women’s education, liturgy and devotions, and the relationship between church and state.
The co-editors, Ulrich Lehner and Shaun Blanchard, have assembled a team of international scholars from Europe and the Americas for this exciting project. Lehner is one of the central scholars behind the renewed interest in the Catholic Enlightenment. He co-edits the volume, contributes to the introduction, and introduces and translates two significant German-speaking figures. Shaun Blanchard, who has recently published a monograph on radical Catholic Enlightenment figures, also co-edits, contributes selections from two English-speaking figures and has completed the first English translation of a section of Lodovico Muratori’s landmark On the Regulated Devotion of a Christian since 1789.
"Introduced with confidence and concision by two leading scholars, this volume offers a wealth of important, if oft-neglected, primary texts from the extensive world of the Catholic Enlightenment. Each is originally translated with short, prefatory essays and useful bibliographies for further reading. The result is a valuable resource for scholars, teachers, and general readers interested in the history of Catholicism, Enlightenment, and the long eighteenth century."~Darrin M. McMahon, Dartmouth College
"Gone are the days when one could ignore the existence of a rich and vibrant Catholic Enlightenment. This collection of texts, the first of its kind, powerfully brings to light Catholicism’s multifaceted engagement with the values and methodologies of the eighteenth century. It is sure to become an indispensable resource for all those interested in the history of Christianity and its role in the intellectual foundations of modernity"~Helena Rosenblatt, author of The Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-first Century
"This pioneering volume makes it possible to put key Catholic Enlightenment sources in the hands of American students. It will revolutionize our ability to teach the subject to students at all levels. It will be a major aid in transforming the regnant conception of the Enlightenment as a secular phenomenon hostile to religion."~David Sorkin, author of The Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna
"This book offers an admirable cross-section of voices, many of which are under-represented in previous research on eighteenth-century learned culture, and they encourage us to consider the pluralism that is often eclipsed by the term "Enlightenment". By highlighting often overlooked sources from Catholics of this period, Lehner and Blanchard challenge our understanding of early modernity. Early Modern Catholic Sources is, therefore, a valuable counterweight to established narratives about the Enlightenment and a useful resource book for professors developing course materials on this period."~Seventeenth-Century News