Você está na página 1de 21

Religious History and the Eighteenth-Century Historian Author(s): B. W. Young Reviewed work(s): Source: The Historical Journal, Vol.

43, No. 3 (Sep., 2000), pp. 849-868 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3020981 . Accessed: 12/03/2013 10:10
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Cambridge University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Historical Journal.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TheHistorical,Journal, 43, 3 (2000), pp. 849-868 Printedin the UnitedKingdom 2000 Cambridge University Press

HISTORIOGRAPHICAL
RELIGIOUS HISTORY EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY
B. W. YOUNG
Universityof Sussex

REVIEWS
AND THE HISTORIAN*

The relationship between intellectual secularization and the writingof' academic haslongbeen themes in Britishhistoriography, andits unexamined history oneof'themqjor neglected A great areexplored herein relation to thereligious history of'theeighteenth century. presuppositions history a confessional and dealof'the of'eighteenth-century hasbeen standpoint, religion writtenjfrom which thishasservedfurther to marginalize discussion of'the subject in a period of'history concerning secularinterpretations continue to prevail.A reunion of'the religious and the secularis a mqjor in the writingof'eighteenth-century of' desideratum history, and this appliesnot onlyto historians butalso, afortiori, topolitical,social,andcultural Theperspectives historians. offered by religion suchhistorians are critically and theneedjfor themto takeseriously theintegral part of' examined, in thebroader accordingly. religious history history of'the periodis emphasized
ABSTRACT.

I
If one were to take the pulse of the whig interpretation of history, supposed by many historians to have long ceased any measurable activity, one could detect some steady movement in the area of religious and intellectual history. Historians of many persuasions, Marxist, Freudian, anthropological, pseudo-biological, even the apparently unattached, frequently tend to engage in a tacit or even an explicit celebration of secularization as the telos of humanity's intellectual evolution. Historical materialism has its own very particular engagement with religion, and Marx's The holyfaimilycan be taken as an ur-text in this respect. Marx's history of philosophical materialism developed an interpretation of eighteenth-century British philosophy which explicitly secularizedreligiousspeculation by taking Locke'ssupposedly materialistinterpretation of mind to be the ideefixe of progressivethinking, and by eccentrically (but influentially) concluding that the materialism ultimately promoted by David Hartley and Joseph Priestley was, effectively, 'no more than a convenient and easy way of getting rid of religion '. Recent historians of the 'rational religion' promoted by the likes of Hartley
* This essay has its origins in a paper read at the 'Restoration to Reform' seminar at Pembroke College, Cambridge, in May I 999. I am gratef'ulto the audience on that occasion, and to my host, Howard Erskine-Hill, for asking thoughtf'ulquestions of'me, and also to Mishtooni Bose, Isabel Rivers, John Walsh, Donald Winch and David Womersley, who kindly read and commented on earlier versions. 1 Karl Marx, The holyfamily, in David McLellan, ed., Karl Marx: selected writings(Oxford, I977), pp. I3I-55, esp. pp. I49-55 (quotation at p. I53). Cf John W. Yolton, Thinking matter: materialism in eighteenth-century Britishthought (Oxford, I984).

849

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

850

HISTORICAL

JOURNAL

and Priestley (a growth area in the history of philosophy and religion) would certainly quarrel with such an overly neat reading, but the impact on twentieth-century historians of Marx's interpretation of religion as ideology has been very marked.2As Mark Goldie has argued, the origin of the concept of 'ideology' in the anticlerical and revolutionary atmosphere of France in the I 790S continued to inform consciously secular analyses of religion well into the twentieth century, and its secularizingdrift can be seen as a development of the logic of a Protestant Reformation which was deeply suspicious of mystery and 'priestcraft'. An Enlightenment rooted in Reformation thinking thus continued, and continues, to inform determinedly secular understandings of the world, and religion was accordingly identified as a particularly resilient form of 'ideology' from Marx's Germanideology (i846) on.3 Marxism has had an especially strong impact on the study of religion in seventeenthcentury France, so that as sophisticated a Marxist as Lucien Goldmann famously of Pascal and Racine in ways previously managed to rationalize the deusabsconditus unimaginable to the conventional religious sensibility.4Freud's influence on the history of religion has been similarly profound, and perhaps the major work in this connection andtaboo is Totem which, like so many studies which have influenced the historical study of an illusion of religion, is rooted in anthropological analysis. Thefuture developed these historicized them in a rather speculative way, while ideas, and Moses and monotheism Freud's careful analysis of a seventeenth-century demonological case, in a paper first published in I923, demonstrated even more clearly how his categories might be applied to actual historical circumstances.5 It is Freud's legacy that led Robin Briggs, in a collection of essays on seventeenth-century religious mentalities, to describe himself (in the words of Max Weber, another major figure in this context) as writing about religion despite being 'religiously unmusical '.6 On the other hand, the Jesuit historian Michel de Certeau drew most sympathetically on the writings of Freud, and also from his study of anthropology, and again, much of the 'religiously musical' work he produced was concerned with seventeenth-century France.7 The perspectives offered by such
2 On the recent re-evaluation of'such thinkers, see Knud Haakonssen, ed., Enlightenment and I996).

religion: rational dissent in eighteenth-century Britain (Cambridge,

: Mark Goldie, 'Ideology', in Terence Ball, James Farr, and Russell L. Hanson, eds., Political
innovationand conceptualchange (Cambridge, I 989), pp. 266-9 I. 4 Lucien Goldmann, The hidden God: a study of tragic vision in the.Pensees of Pascal and the tragedies of Racine,English translation (London, I 964); Alasdair Maclntyre, 'Pascal and Marx: on Lucien Goldmann's Hidden God', in Against the self-images of the age: essays on ideologyandphilosophy (London, I 97 ), pp. 76-87; Mitchell Cohen, The wager of Lucien Goldmann: tragedy, dialectics, and a hidden God

(Princeton, NtJ, I994); Brian Young, 'Anthony Blunt and Lucien Goldmann: Christianity, and historians Marxism, and the ends of'history', in William Lamont, ed., Historicalcontroversies
(London, I998), pp. I49-62. 5 Sigmund Freud, Totem and taboo, Moses and monotheism,Thefuture of an illusion, and A seventeenthcenturydemonologicalneurosis, in The Penguin Freud Library (I 5 vols., Harmondsworth, I 973-85), XIV: The origins of religion, pp. 49-224, 243-386, XII: Civilization, societyand religion, pp. I 83-24I, and xiv:

Art andliterature, pp. 383-423. For a recent discussion of'Freud's interests in religion, see Carl E. Schorske, 'To the Egyptian dig: Freud's psycho-history of' cultures', in Thinkingwith history:
explorationsin the passage to modernism(Princeton, NtJ, I998), pp. I9I-2 I5. 6 Robin Briggs, Communities of belief: culturaland social tensionin early modernFrance (Oxford, I 989),
p. 2.

All of'theseelements in de Certeau'swork can be found in a fascinating collection of'essays,The


writing of history, trans. Tom Conley (New York, I 988).

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

HISTORIOGRAPHICAL

REVIEWS

85I

inherently critical engagements with religion allowed de Certeau to develop a sophisticated account of 'religion' as a highly complex phenomenon in which the methods of social and religious history profitably intersected. Perhaps paradoxically, materialistexplanations were interpretedas providing the sharpestmeans to an opening up of religion as a mystical apprehension of the divine presence in the diurnal world. In de Certeau's often dense and difficult work, philosophico-theological languages and mystical silences rewardingly intersect in the shifting discourses of premodernity, modernity, and postmodernity.8 The highpoint of Freudian and Marxist influence on historical writing seems, at least temporarily, to have passed, however, and Darwinism, a central element in the process of intellectual secularizationinitiated in the nineteenth century, has now begun to enjoy a resurgence among promoters of speculative assessmentsof intellectual evolution. In his popularization of Darwinism as the explanatory motor of evolutionary change, Richard Dawkins interestingly uses an eighteenth-century theologian, William Paley, as his way into the undoing of religious explanations of nature. Whilst emphasizing his Dawkins neverthelessrather unhistoricallyinsists admiration for Paley's Naturaltheology, that Paley got everything 'gloriously and utterly wrong'.' In his drive towards total intellectual secularization, Dawkins thinks nothing of dismissing Paley without any serious reference to historical context: the rediscovery of Paley by historians has obviously yet to make any impact on conjectural biologists keen to relegate religious understanding to the realm of the cultural 'meme '." It is, then, unsurprising that Herbert Butterfield (the man originally credited with burying the whig interpretation of history, yet, despite this, a somewhat whiggish historian of science) should have been preoccupied with the relationship between historiography and Christianity.1"In this Butterfield was following a Cambridge tradition inaugurated in the Acton-Creighton dispute on the moral duties of the historian (a problem which also troubled David Knowles), and which has continued in the writings of such different historians as Maurice Cowling and Patrick Collinson.12
8 It is no accident that one of'his most important works appeared in a series entitled 'Religion fable, trans. Michael B. Smith (Chicago, and Postmodernism': Michel de Certeau, The mystic centuries. Whether 'postmodernism' will continue to be I992), I: The sixteenth and seventeenth receptive to religious thinking remains to be seen. (Harlow,I986), pp. 4-5. RichardDawkins,The blindwatchmaker 10 D. L. LeMahieu, Themind of William Paley(London, I976); Boyd Hilton, Theageof atonement: thought, theinfluence of Evangelicalism onsocialandeconomic I78g-i86q (Oxford,I 988), pp. 4-5, I 70-9, politicaleconomy, i798-i83 economics and religion:Christian I82-3; A. M. C. Waterman, Revolution, (Cambridge,I99I), pp. I I4-35; john T. Baldwin,'God and the World: William Paley's argument from perfection tradition - a continuing influence', Harvard Theological Review, 85 (I992), pp. I09-20; Neil Hitchin, 'Probability and the word of'God: William Paley's Anglican On Review,77 (I 995), pp. 392-407. AnglicanTheological methodand thedefense of'thescriptures', p. I58. the 'meme', see Dawkins, The blindwatchmaker, " Herbert Butterfield, The whig interpretation and of history(London, I93I); idem, Christianity in European history history (London, I952); idem, Man onhispast: (London, I949); idem, Christianity and the studyof the history scholarship (Cambridge, I 955) ; idem, Writingson Christianity of historical ed. Adam Watson (London, of history, ed. C. T. McIntyre (Oxford, I979); idem, Theorigins history, science,I300-I800 (London,I951). I98 I) ; idem, The origins of modern 12 Acton-Creighton correspondence,in.j. Rufus Sears, ed., Selected Acton(3 vols., writings of Lord Indianapolis, I985), II: Essays in the studyand writingof history,pp. 378-9I; Owen Chadwick, andcharacter onLuther: an inaugural Creighton lecture (Cambridge, I 959) ; David Knowles, Thehistorian in modern andpublicdoctrine Maurice Cowling, Religion England (Cambridge, I96I), esp. pp. I7-2I;

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

852

HISTORICAL

JOURNAL

Put simply, all of these historians have been concerned with the problem of the relationship between secularization and the writing of history. The most explicit responseto this question has been made by Owen Chadwick, who, like Creighton before him, is an Anglican priest and sometime Dixie professorof ecclesiastical history, but whereas Creighton went on to a bishopric, Chadwick, like Acton and Knowles, became instead Regius professorof modern history.13Chadwick has made a powerful argument that it was a dispassionate, quasi-scientific conception of history which effectively desacralized the world, with writers such as Marx playing a vital part in a process much approved of by immediately post-Hegelian intellectuals.14There is much to ponder in such a claim, particularly in its specifically European context. If one were, however, to continue the story yet furtherinto the second half of the nineteenth century and beyond, Chadwick's stimulating thesis would need to be examined more closely, not least in an immediately English context. Chadwick has himself, for example, long engaged with Acton, a cosmopolitan Catholic historian, whose influence was felt most strongly in England.15Indeed, although T. P. Peardon'slong influential account of late eighteenthand early nineteenth-century historical writing emphasized political history as being the dominant mode, a host of nineteenth-century English historians were consciously Christianchroniclers,from the 'liberal Anglican historians' rescuedfrom the enormous condescension of later historians by the work of Duncan Forbes, to figures such as Stubbs and Creighton, both of whose careers culminated in translation to the
episcopacy.16

II On the other hand, how defensive should contemporary historians of religion be, confined, as they now seem to be, to the margins of historical practice? This is a large question, and it will therefore be examined in this review through analysis of the historical study of eighteenth-century England, a period which many historians consider to be pivotal in the process of intellectual and cultural secularization. The evidence from some of the outstanding works in the field of eighteenth-century religious history produced in the twentieth century reveals one element that leaves it open to attack by more consciously secular historians: much of it was written by clergymen, and
(2 vols., Cambridge, 1981-5); Patrick Collinson, 'What is religious history... ?', in Juliet Gardiner, ed., Whatis history today... ? (London, I988), pp. 58-9. 13 For a characteristicallyharsh interpretation of Chadwick's career, see Cowling, Religion and publicdoctrine, I, pp. 4I3-27. 14 Owen Chadwick, The secularization of the European mindin the nineteenth century (Cambridge, I975) 15 Chadwick's engagement with Acton has now been brought together in a collection of illuminating essays, Actonandhistory(Cambridge, I998). 16 T. P. Peardon, The transition in Englishhistorical writing,I76o-i83 (New York, 1933; repr. I 966); Duncan Forbes, TheLiberal Anglican ideaof history (Cambridge, I 952); Lucy Creighton, Life J. W. Burrow, A liberaldescent:Victorian and lettersof MandellCreighton (2 vols., London, I904); andtheEnglish historians past (Cambridge, I 98 i), pp. 97- I 5 I; Michael Bentley, 'Victorian historians in British history and the larger hope', in idem, ed., Publicandprivate doctrine: essays presented toMaurice Cowling (Cambridge, I993), pp. I27-49; Reba N. Soffer, Discipline andpower:theuniversity, history, andthemaking of an Englishelite, i87o-i93o (Stanford, CA, I994), pp. 86-go.

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

HISTORIOGRAPHICAL

REVIEWS

853

some of it is accordingly apologetic in tone. The premier historian in the field, Norman Sykes, ended his career as dean of Winchester, and his writings reveal a frequent sense of unease at the apparent worldliness of the church whose interests he examined with the scrupulous attention of one writing alongside the impact of Namier.17 Thankfully, Sykes, as a theologian as well as a historian, had more than a sufficient respect for such interests merely to treat them in the approved Namierite manner as 'flapdoodle', and as the self-serving refuge of all eighteenth-century careerists: as his Cambridge inaugural lecture as Dixie professor of ecclesiastical history demonstrated, Sykes significantly allied himself with Collingwood's then recent writings on historiography. Thus for Sykes, historical events were the product of the union of action and thought.18 Similarly, in his now classic study of Charles Simeon and Anglican Evangelicalism, Charles Smyth had explicitly detailed the apologetic purpose of his enterprise: But Church History is something other than the record of'ecclesiasticalstatecraft and diplomacy or even of'those great doctrinal controversiesby which it is so much conditioned and controlled. And I would go so far as to say that nobody can write Church History who is not either a parish priest or at least a person who has some real understanding of'the problems of'the parish priest. Indeed, I would go even farther by suggesting in all humility, that the right place in which to learn to understand Church History is not the library, but the confessional, or its equivalent. Morality was central to Smyth's enterprise, the central theme of which was little less than the scheme of 'Sin and Redemption'; hence his deep admiration for two fellow labourers, Stubbs and Creighton: 'It is no mere coincidence that the two English historians whose writings are conspicuous beyond those of any other for the quality of moral judgment, had both been country parsons.'19 Smyth's defence of church history thus brings with it a cluster of other problems, not the least of which is his insistence that it has to be written by believers, and believers, moreover, who are preferably themselves clergy. Smyth maintained a commitment to history as a matter for eternity when others in the profession had chosen to repudiate these claims in favour of a purely secular, post-Christian conception of its concerns: hence his heroic stature for Cowling, his former pupil.2" It is remarkable, then, how many church historians have continued to be clergy, and this is very apparent in the field of eighteenth-century religious history. G. V. Bennett, a protege of Sykes who went on to teach at Oxford, wrote about the church from the inside to the extent that parallels were drawn between his very public sense of professional disappointment and that of Francis Atterbury, the subject of one of his subtly discriminating biographical studies.21 Certainly, Bennett was as much a politician in the General Synod as was White
17 G. V. Bennett, 'Preface', to idem and history Englishchurch 'J. D. Walsh, eds., Essaysin modern Sykes(London, I966), pp. V-Viii. in memory of Norman 18 Norman Sykes, The study of ecclesiastical history (Cambridge, I945), esp. pp. 28-30. On Namierism and eighteenth-century studies, see Quentin Skinner, 'The principles and practices of' versusWalpole', in Neil McKendrick, ed., Historicalperspectives: opposition: the case of'Bolingbroke of J_. H. Plumb(London, I974), pp. 93-I28. essaysin honour revival in Cambridge order:a study of theorigins of theEvangelical 19 Charles Smyth, Simeon andchurch in the eighteenthcentury (Cambridge, I940), pp. 9, II. 20 Cowling, Religion doctrine, i, pp. 49-50, 72-95. andpublic 21 G. V. Bennett, The Torycrisisin church Atterbury, bishop of Francis andstate,i688-I730: thecareer of Rochester (Oxford, I975). The parallel was drawn by A. D. Nuttall, a New College colleague of' archbishop (London, I 996), Runcie:thereluctant Bennett, and is cited in Humphrey Carpenter, Robert

p.

329.

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

854

HISTORICAL

JOURNAL

Kennett, the subject of his first historical study, in Convocation.22 Edward Norman, a sometime Peterhouse colleague of Cowling, incarnates even more than Bennett a great deal of what Smyth desired from the writer of church history, and his own writings have often considered the proper relationship between religious commitment and historical writing in a distinctively sharp, not to say acerbic, manner. Even when writing for the audience of History Today, Norman's clerical disdain for merely secular history is typically pungent and suggestive: In view of' the modern emphasis on the secular influences in the development of' religious institutions it is surprising that 'secular' historians do not take religion more seriously: For it has to be observed that the contemporary secular intellectual, unable to experience the importance of' religion for himself;is unable to appreciate its importance for others. This can often lead to a serious distortion of the motives and preoccupations of the men and women of the past. Norman's criticism, however, is not one-sided, and he rightly asserts that 'Historians of religion have only themselves to blame if they cannot write with those graphic qualities required to give an impression of the importance of their subject.'23 The history of Roman Catholicism in eighteenth-century England, a surprisingly neglected subject, has also tended to be written from the inside. The important work of Eamon Duffy in this area is not, however, as clearly the work of a confessionally aligned scholar as his more recent work on the era of the Reformation, and his fascinating combination of these themes in an essay on Wesley's engagement with CounterReformation Catholicism is also less clearly apologetic in tone.24 It is, none the less, also interesting to reflect on the sympathetic reading of the pre-Tractarian high church movement made by Peter Nockles, a Catholic historian, a long-neglected tradition also valuably explored by the late F. C. Mather.25 The history of dissent has likewise tended to be written from a confessional perspective, whether it be H. J. McLachlan's invaluable contributions to the history of Socinianism and nonconformist education, or the distinguished and deeply personal work on the history of Congregationalism
22 G. V. Bennett, WJhite Kennett,i66o-I728, bishopof Peterborough: a studyin the political and ecclesiastical history of theearlyeighteenth century (London, I957). For an appreciation of Bennett as priest and historian, see Geoffrey Rowell, 'Gareth Vaughan Bennett (I 929-I 987): an introductory memoir',in G. V. Bennett,To the Church of England(Worthing, I988), pp. I-I7. 23 Edward Norman, 'What is religious history?', in Gardiner, ed., What is history today... pp. 62-3. He has extended these remarks as an analysis and defence of' the confessional role of' ecclesiasticalhistory in 'Epilogue: the changing role of'the ecclesiastical historian', in Nigel Aston, in Europe, McManners ed., Religious change I6o--I9I4: essaysforJ_ohn (Oxford,I997), pp. 399-407. Cf.Cowling, Religionandpublicdoctrine, I, pp. 429-31, 440-52. 24 Eamon Duffy, "'Poor Protestant Flies": conversions to Catholicism in early eighteenthandsociologicalproblemsfor the motivation: biographical century England', in Derek Baker, ed., Religious church Studiesin Church historian, History,i5 (Oxford,I978), pp. 289-304; idem,"'Englishmen in Vaine": Roman Catholic allegiance to George I', in Stuart Mews, ed., Religionand national identity, Studies in Church History, i8 (Oxford, I982), pp. 345-65; idem, 'The long Reformation: Catholicism, Protestantismand the multitude', in Nicholas Tyacke, ed., England's longReformation, in Jane idem, 'Wesleyand the Counter-Reformation', igoo-i8oo (London,I998), pp. 33-70; sinceI700: essaysforJohn Walsh (london, Garnett and Colin Matthew, eds., Revivaland religion pp. i-i9. Cf PatrickCollinson,'Commenton EamonDuffy'sNeale Lectureand the I993), pp. 7I-86. colloquium' , in Tyacke,ed., England's longReformation, 25 Peter Nockles, The Oxford Movementin context: Anglican high churchmanship, I76O-I8M7 (Cambridge, I994); F.C. Mather, H-ighchurch prophet:BishopSamuelHIorsley (,.i3-8-Mo6) and the in the laterGeorgian tradition Caroline church (Oxford, I992). Cf: Boyd Hilton, 'Apologia pro vitis veteriorum Journalof Ecclesiastical hominum', 50 (I 999), pp. I I 7-30. H-istory,

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

HISTORIOGRAPHICAL

REVIEWS

855

undertaken by Geoffrey Nuttall, a minister in that denomination, an identity since uncomfortably swallowed up by the United Reformed Church.26 Nuttall, in a paper produced in I 948, was intent on firmly historicizing theology, but he aimed to do so in terms of a manifestly apologetic purpose: The philosopher may say sorrowfulllythat the history of philosophy is not philosophy. The theologian who believes that God reveals Himself in history must be more patient, more chary of dismissing history from his theology. If he is ever to see things sub specieaeternitatis, he must be humble enough to study them subspecietemporis first.27 Nuttall also edited, alongside Owen Chadwick, a volume of essays which attempted a more ecumenical perspective. F'rom uniformity to unity, i662-1962 was produced to commemorate the inherently problematic double tercentenary of the ejection of ministers by the restored Church of England in I662, and the restoration of the Church of England. Typically, the assembled essays were all written from the denominational perspective of their authors; Chadwick was therefore right to note of the volume that 'The title might well raise a smile, perhaps a satirical smile, in those who know what breaches of uniformity existed in I662 and what painful disunity exists in i962. '28 Unsurprisingly, then, nonconformist historiography would continue to be firmly denominational in tone. E. G. Rupp wrote about Methodism from the inside, as a minister, and his somewhat disappointing study of eighteenth-century English religious history, a contribution to the Oxford History of the Christian Church, very much confirmed that perspective.29 Methodist historiography is frequently the work either of ministers, such as Frank Baker, who explored Wesley's Anglicanism from a consciously ecumenical perspective, and Henry Rack, Wesley's authoritative biographer, or of a devout but critical laity, comprising scholars such as John Walsh and W. R. Ward, who has vitally opened up the subject into a large-scale history of European and North American evangelical revival.3"John Kent, the author of a major survey of writings on modern church history, has roots in Primitive Methodism, and something of its combativeness informs his criticism of the prevalence of both parti pris piety and sociological reductionism in such
26 H.j. MacLachlan, Socinianism England (Oxford,I95I); idem, English in seventeenth-century education the Test Acts: beingthehistory under of thenon-conformist academies, i660o-i82o(Manchester, I 93 Ij);John Huxtable, 'Geoffrey Fillingham Nuttall', in R. Buick Knox, ed., Reformation, conformity anddissent:essaysin honour of Geoffrey Nuttall (London, I 977), pp. Ii-I 6; Clyde Binfield, 'Geoffrey Nuttall: the formation of'an independent historian', Epworth Review, 25 (I998), pp. 79-Io6. 27 G. F. Nuttall, 'The understanding of'history and its application in theology' in The Puritan spirit: essaysandaddresses (London, I967), pp. 2 I4-38, at p. 235. 28 Owen Chadwick, 'Introduction' to idem and Geoffrey F. Nuttall eds., Fromuniformity to unity,i662-i962 (London, I962), pp. 3-I8, at p. 3. The tone of'Nuttall's contribution, 'The first nonconf'ormists'(pp. 149-87), is telling. 29 'Preface' to Peter Brooks, ed. Christian spirituality: essaysin honour of Gordon Rupp (London, pp. 3-6; Ernest Gordon Rupp, Religion in England, i688-i791 (Oxford, I986). Rupp wrote I975), about the relationship between belief' and religious history in 'The Victorian Churchman as in Bennett and Walsh, historian: a reconsiderationof'R. W. Dixon's History of theChurch of England', eds., Essaysin modern Englishchurch. history, pp. 206-I6. 3( Frank Baker, John Wesley andtheChurch of England(London, 1970); Henry Rack, Reasonable enthusiast: (London, 1989); W. R. Ward, The Protestant John Wesleyand the originsof Methodism Evangelical awakening (Cambridge, 1992);' Preface' to Keith Robbins, ed., Protestant Evangelicalism: Britain, Ireland,Germar7y, and America,c.I7so - c.19,o: essaysin honour of W. R. Ward, Studies in ChturchHistory, Subsidia 7 (Oxford, I990), pp. v-vi; John Walsh, 'W. R. Ward: Methodist historian and historian of Methodism', Epworth Review,22 (1995), pp. 40-6.

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

856

HISTORICAL

JOURNAL

work. Kent is especially critical of the most vindictive account of the origins of Methodism, that contained in the notorious chapter on 'The transforming power of the Cross' in E. P. Thompson's The makingof the English workingclass, itself the work of the son and grandson of Methodist missionaries." It is, then, important in this connection to reflect on a remark made by Jane Garnett for John Walsh, since it involves and the late Colin Matthew, the editors of afestschrift an adumbration of religious feeling at odds both with tendentiously secular and combustively religious elements, a perspective which may well be unique in modern historical writing, but which strongly merits emulation at every turn: In asserting the need to take theology seriously, John Walsh has found himself cutting across both the sociologists of religion and the neo-Marxists. He has not, however, seen any need - as some of his Cambridge generation did - to seek as an alternative an assertion of public religion as a good in itself.32 With its glances at Thompson and Cowling this characterization of Walsh's contribution to church history reflects the experience of a Cambridge scholar who has worked for some decades in an Oxford which, unlike Cambridge, did not declare itself in any very public way to the religious orientation of the writing of history. It is perhaps more amongst its scholars of the early church and the medieval period that one should seek out an Oxford voice on this matter; with the signal exceptions of.John McManners and the late Peter Hinchliff (who succeeded McManners as regius professor of ecclesiastical history), it is difficult to find one amongst historians of later periods. Hinchliff, an historian of the nineteenth-century church, was very much concerned with the relationship between Christian commitment and the writing of history in the period with which he was most intimately engaged.33 It is not, then, only in the field of English church history in the eighteenth century that this clerical influence is to be found. Even in study of that most self-consciously secularizing of eighteenth-century intellectual cultures, France, English historians sympathetic to Christianity can be found, pre-eminent among whom is McManners, whose Death and the Enlightenment beautifully and successfully melds the disciplines of history and the experience of the pastoral life in just the way that Charles Smyth would have found rewarding.34 This understanding informs McManners's magisterial history of the eighteenth-century Gallican church, not least in a chapter explicitly devoted to the confessional, the dynamics of which in the lives of the people are delicately and persuasively explicated in a manner in which the skills of the pastoral theologian fruitfully inform those of the historian.35 Not that this is anything like an unworldly
31 John Kent, The unacceptable in the eyesof thehistorian church face: the modern (London, I987), pp. 33, II4-I6; john Walsh and David Hempton, 'E. P. Thompson and Methodism' (forthcoming). 32 Garnett and Matthew, 'Preface', to idem, eds., Revival and religion since 1700, p. x. 3 Adrian Hastings, 'From Africa to Oxford and back: a study of the work of ProfessorPeter Peter Hinchliff, Benjamin J7owett and the Christian Hinchliff', Theology, I00 (I997), pp. 402-10; religion (Oxford, I987); Hinchliff, God and history: aspects of British theology, i87-1914 (Oxford,
1992).

John McManners, Death and the Enlightenment: changing attitudes to death among Christians and 3 France (Oxford, I 985); Nigel Aston, 'Introduction: John McManners, unbelieversin eighteenth-century man and historian', in idem, Religious change, pp. 1-2 1. " John McManners, Churchand society in eighteenth-century France (2 vols., Oxford, 1998) 11: The religion of thepeople and thepolitics of religion, ch. 3 I, and passim. Cf. Robin Briggs, 'The science of sin: Jacques de Sainte-Beuve and his Cas de conscience', in Aston, ed., Religious change, pp. 23-40.

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

HISTORIOGRAPHICAL

REVIEWS

857

account: there is a revealing chapter on sexuality which would certainly have surprised an historian of Smyth's vintage, and McManners is always aware that religion is lived in the world, and that it is therefore at least as much the legitimate territory of the historian as it is that of the theologian.36 He states his case succinctly at the very beginning, noting that 'The history of the Church cannot be separated from the history of society generally. ' More provocatively for those who expect piety, past or present, to disengage itself from the mundane, he sagely comments, with a playful degree of wistfulness, that 'the affairs of the world provide the historian with better evidence than fervour and devotion . Plainly, McManners values theology as a means of understanding this-worldly as much as other-worldly experience; hence the relish of his sardonic surprise at the church's disapprobation of dancing in a society in which it was cherished: 'It is hard to understand how theologians could be so out of touch with reality. '38 It is the priest as much as the historian whose voice can often be heard in the course of McManners's argument, as in his observation on the struggles of the peasantry, which allows him daringly to invoke the connections between not only the past and the present, but also between the past, the present, and something like eternity: If we can discover how they believed and felt, and what charity and hope brought into their living and their dying, this would be the quintessential ecclesiastical history - a history which, alas, will largely remain unwritten, though on a plane not accessible to terrestrialhistorians it is recorded and will not be forgotten.39 What McManners's work reveals, then, is an interest in religious and intellectual history which frequently engages with cultural history; historians of English religion in the eighteenth century have yet to develop such an interest, and the study of piety and devotion, for example, still lags behind what Smyth called 'ecclesiastical statecraft' in the concerns of most historians of the period, although once again the work of John Walsh on early Wesleyanism provides a model for other scholars in the field.40 Interestingly, what little there is in this area is often in some sort of dialogue with Walsh's work, predominantly concerned as most of it is with Wesleyanism, from Thomas Laqueur's pioneering work on Sunday schools to Deborah Valenze's vivid study of women preachers and Henry Abelove's sometimes rather self-indulgent, but always suggestive, account of Wesley's profound impact on his followers.4" Two innovative studies concerning George Whitefield, Wesley's rival in transatlantic
36 McManners, Church andSociety, ii, ch. 33.
3 3

Ibid.,

i:

The clerical establishment andits socialramifications, pp.

I, 2.

38

Ibid.,

ii,

p.

279.

Ibid5, I p. 96.

40 John Walsh, 'The Evangelical revival', in Bennett and Walsh, eds., Essaysin modern English church history, pp. 132-62; idem, 'Methodism and the mob', in G. J. Cuming and Derek Baker, eds.,

Popular belief andpractice, Studies in Church History, 8 (Cambridge, 1972), pp. 213-27; idem, 'Elie Halevv and the birth of Methodism', Transactionsof the Royal Historical Society, 5th series, 25 (I975), pp. I-20; idem, 'Religious societies: Methodist and Evangelical, 1730-1800', in W. J. Shiels and Diana Wood, eds., Voluntaryreligion, Studies in Church History, 23 (Oxford, i986), pp. 279-302;

Evangelicalism, idem, 'John Wesley and the community of goods', in Robbins, ed., Protestant pp. 25-50; idem, "' Methodism " and the origins of English-speakingEvangelicalism', in Mark A. Noll, David W. Bebbington, and George A. Rawlyk, eds., Evangelicalism: comparativestudies qf
popular Protestantism in Vorth America, the British Isles, and beyond, 1700-1900 (New York, 1994),
pp- 19-37.
41 Thomas W. Laqueur, Religion and respectability: Sundayschools and working class culture1780-I850 (New Haven, CT, 1976); Deborah M. Valenze, Prophetic sons and daughters: female preaching and popular religion in industrial England (Princeton, NJ, I985); Henry Abelove, The Evangelist of desire: j_ohn Wesley and the Methodists (Stanford, CA, I 990).

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

858

HISTORICAL

JOURNAL

revivalism, have explored the cultural paradoxes which lie at the centre of his crusade to rescue souls from worldliness. Harry S. Stout has shown how Whitefield, who condemned theatres as 'the Nurseries of Debauchery', nevertheless acquired the reputation of acting as 'the divine dramatist', assuming a highly effective and deeply theatrical rhetoric of display in his carefully articulated and decidedly charismatic preaching.42 Frank Lambert has likewise demonstrated that the Whitefield who emphasized that the 'inordinate love of Money is too evidently the common and fatal ' was a pioneer in the Cause why so many are no more than Almost Christians commercialization of religion, recognizing in the expansion of the press and allied promotional ventures the best means of achieving his revivalist goals in an increasingly consumerist society.43 It is significant that the authors of all of these studies are North American, and one can detect in their work the shift from social to cultural history which was effected more quickly in America than it was in Britain. Keith Thomas's classic study Religion andthedecline of magic(I 97 ), with its liberatingly interdisciplinary use of work by Evans-Pritchard, can now be seen to be something of a bridging text in this connection, while Stuart Clark's Thinking with demons (I997) demonstrates how much more has been gained from anthropology and allied disciplines by British historians of religion and popular belief since Thomas published his major, pioneering work.44 It is also worth observing, however, that as early as I96I, Richard Southern, perhaps the most prominent of Oxford's many Christian medievalists, noted the potential importance for historians of the presence of the Institute of Social (and now also Cultural) Anthropology at Oxford: it was, none the less, to be some ten years before this began to have a visible affect on historical research with the appearance of Thomas's work on witchcraft.45 Wesley was notorious for holding to a belief in witchcraft in an era in which it is too readily supposed, a la Weber, that Enlightenment thinkers had successfully disenchanted the world; as Thomas's pupil Ian Bostridge has recently reminded students of the period, this was far from being the case.46 Much, however, still remains to be done in this area, not least when one begins to consider just how omnipresent a figure Wesley was, particularly among the poor, in eighteenth-century England, and recent work by Isabel Rivers on Wesley as a devotionally didactic publisher has helped in this opening up of territory which had been for too long either an aspect of Methodist apologetic or a quarry for Marxist or semi-Marxist condescension.47 A more general cultural history
42 George Whitefield, Thefiolly sin anddanger of being notrighteous enough, as wellas of beingrighteous in TheChristian's over-much, companion (2 vols., London, 1738-9), II, p. 278; Harry S. Stout, Thedivine dramatist: George Whitefield andtheriseof modern Evangelicalism (Grand Rapids, MI, I99I). I, p. I3; Frank Lambert, 'Pedlar 4 Whitefield, Thealmost Christian, in The Christian's companion in Divinity': George Whitefield andthetransatlantic revivals, 1737-1770 (Princeton, NJ, 1994). 44 Stuart Clark, Thinking in earlymodern withdemons: theideaof witchcraft Europe (Oxford, 1997). 4' R. W. Southern, The shapeand substance of academic p. 23; Keith history (Oxford, I96I), Thomas, Religionand the decline of magic: studiesin popularbeliefsin sixteenthand seventeenth-centur' England(London, 197I). For a stimulating appreciation of the work of the former, see Alain Boureau, 'Richard Southern: a landscape for a portrait', Past andPresent,I 65 (1 999), pp. 2I8-29. 46 Ian Bostridge, Witchcrqft and its transformations c. i65o - c. I750 (Oxford, 1997). On the analogous French experience, see McManners, Churchand society, II, pp. 22 1-33.
47 Isabel Rivers, Reason, grace and sentiment: a study of the language of religion and ethics in England, i660-I780, i: From Whichcoteto Wesley (Cambridge, I99I), ch. 5. Deborah Madden's continuing

Oxford D.Phil. dissertation on Wesley as a would-be universal medical man will also help in this process.

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

HISTORIOGRAPHICAL

REVIEWS

859

of religion in eighteenth-century Britain remains, however, a desideratum rather than anything like an achievement. Unfortunately, with very few exceptions, the recent remarkable resurgence in the social and cultural history of the eighteenth century has seriously neglected religion.48 The curious supposition that the Hanoverians are somehow more like us than the Victorians (a reversal of Foucault's sound judgement regarding 'we "other Victorians"' in the History of sexuality), not least in the marked preoccupations with sex and shopping (the latter unhealthily predominating over the former) which contemporary historians discern in eighteenth-century English society, has served almost to obliterate religion as a major cultural component.49 John Brewer has not neglected piety as a productive site for The pleasures of the imagination, but the politics attributed to eighteenth-century consumption all too often seem to reflect those of historians who are themselves at work in a consumerist culture in which shopping seems to be disproportionately constitutive of human self-identity.50

III Aside from ecclesiastical historians, it is noticeable that the scholars who have most clearly wanted to re-emphasize the centrality of religion in eighteenth-century England have been political rather than social or cultural historians. Butterfield himself, though not a historian of eighteenth-century religion, was professionally interested in the politics of the period; his call for Christian reflection in history writing was primarily historiographical, and not a plea for a revival in the writing of church history as such.51 Butterfield's influence has, then, been most strongly felt amongst historians calling either for a desecularization of historiography (or at least loudly lamenting its secularization), as instanced in the writings of Cowling, or by those seeking to instantiate religion as an essential component of a revivified form of political history, as
48 For a valuable exception, see Mark Jenner, 'Bathing and baptism: Sir John Floyer and the r-evolutions: politics of cold bathing', in Kevin Sharpe and Steven N. Zwicker, eds., Refiguring

aesthetics and politics from the English revolution to the Romantic revolution (Berkeley, CA, I998), pp. 197-2I6.
49

of sexuality, trans. Richard Hurley Michel Foucault, 'We " other Victorians "', in Thehistory
1979- 88), i, pp. I-13.

(3 vols., Harmondsworth,

Cf. Henry Abelove, 'The sexual politics of early

Wesleyan Methodism', in Jim Obelkevich, Lyndal Roper, and Raphael Samuel, eds., Disciplines
offaith: studies in religion, politics and patriarchy (London, I987), pp. 86-99. 50 John Brewer, The pleasures of the imagination: English life in the eighteenth century(London, I997); in T. C. W. Blanning and David idem, 'John Marsh's History of my private life 1752-i828', Cannadine, eds., History and biography: essays in honourof Derek Beales (Cambridge, I996), pp. 72-87;

idem, 'Reconstructing the reader: prescriptions,texts and strategies in Anna Larpent's reading',
in James Raven, Helen Small, and Naomi Tadmor, eds., The practice and representation qf reading in T he recent literature on eighteenth-century consumption England (Cambridge, I 996), pp. 226-45.

is vast, but for a critical sense of its concerns see Sara Pennell, 'Consumption and consumerismin early modern England', Historical journal, 42 (1999), pp. 549-64. i Butterfield'swork on eighteenth-century history was invariably more than merely historical.
and thepeople, I779--1780 (London, 1949) was also an implicit, and GeorgeIII GeorgeIII, Lord NVorth and the historians (London, 1957), an explicit, engagement with Namier and his followers. Charles jFamesFox and JVapoleon:the peace negotiationsof i806 (London, I962) demonstrated his burgeoning

in the era of the interests in international relations, and his rather self-conscioussense of Realpolitik
i, ch. 7. Cold War. Cf. Cowling, Religion and public doctr-ine,

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

86o

HISTORICAL

JOURNAL

in the work ofJonathan Clark.52 Both of these Butterfieldian desires have informed the work of Edward Norman. Critics of their various but strongly interrelated approaches to historical study have identified a specifically Peterhouse dimension in such attitudes, and it is now a scholarly commonplace to accept their own self-evaluation as champions of Christian conservatism.53 Such labelling is unfortunate, as it tends to isolate broader arguments which historians ignore at their peril. Clark did not help his case by holding up his variety of revisionism as the royal road to truth a little too satirically against older schools of historical thinking, but the sometimes dubious dismissals of Revolution and rebellion (i 986), which contains remarkably little about religion, ought not to be allowed to negate the powerful, if sometimes over-stated, case for a major re-orientation in the historical understanding of the 'long' eighteenth century which he made in English society, i688-I832 (I985).54 Whatever criticisms one might want to make about this latter book, there can be no doubt that it has been a major enabling force in recent scholarship, and a great many studies by younger scholars would have looked altogether less attractive to potential supervisors and funding bodies had it not been for its appearance. Small wonder, then, that it should have met a strong rearguard action from historians whose vision of the eighteenth century had been guided by older luminaries, and it was very much as an admirer of E. P. Thompson, albeit a decidedly critical one, thatJoanna Innes castigated Clark's work in the pages of Past and Present. One of the immediately arresting aspects of Innes's considered response to the challenge laid down by Clark is just how concentrated a discussion, in an article of some thirty-five pages, she gives to Clark's prominent appraisal of eighteenth-century religion. Although her characterization of his tone in this regard is precise - 'Clark conveys a very vivid impression of the way the political and intellectual scene must have appeared to the more intemperate kind of Tory Anglican, circa I 790 ' - her consideration of the religious dimension is insufficiently appreciative of the vital service which Clark made for eighteenth-century studies by putting religion and theology finally to the fore, even though her own subsequent work on the 'reformation of manners ' movement has deftly uncovered both its religious and its secular components.55 The immediate effects of Clark's work may not have been all that a historian of religion might ideally look for (not least as so much discussion in the wake of Clark read theology in terms of politics and political theory), but it did perform the necessary service of taking eighteenth-century religion seriously again, and not merely dismissing it as a notably somnolent element in an era of intellectual and socio-

52

For discussionof these and allied matters, see the 'Preface to the second edition', in Cowling,
I990),

Mill and liberalism (Cambridge,


3

pp. ix-xiv.

Reba N. Soffer, 'The conservative historical imagination in the twentieth century', Albion,27 pp. I-17; Michael Bentley, 'Prologue: the retiring Mr Cowling', and Peter Ghosh, (1995), 'Towards the verdict of history: Mr Cowling's doctrine', in Bentley, ed., Publicandprivate doctrine,
pp.
4

1-13,

273-32

I.

J. C. D. Clark, Revolutionand rebellion: state and society in England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Cambridge, I986); idem, English society, i688-1832: ideology, social structure and political practice during the ancien degirne (Cambridge, I985). Present, I15 (I987),

Joanna Innes, 'Jonathan Clark, social history and England's "Ancien Regime"', Past and pp. I65-2oo, esp. pp. I86-94 (quotation at p. 19I); idem, 'Politics and morals: the reformationof mannersmovement in later eighteenth-century England ', in Eckhart Hellmuth,
5

ed., The transformationof political culture: England and Germany in the late eighteenthcentury (Oxford, 1990), pp. 57-I i8.

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

HISTORIOGRAPHICAL

REVIEWS

86I

economic modernization.56 It is perhaps too early to see exactly what effects Clark's equally controversial reading of the American war of independence as a conflict between denominations will have on the diverse historiography on that subject; again, a taste for polemic and over-statement sometimes mars a suggestively novel interpretation, and it is difficult to appreciate, for example, quite how disagreement over the doctrine of the Trinity should have led to the adoption of political republicanism: political theory and Christian doctrine need to be more discretely treated if their complex relationship is to be properly assessed.57 It will be interesting to see the consequences for the historiography of the period of the recent appearance of a completely revised version of English society, i688-i832, a book which now reflects the influence of its earlier incarnation on much of the recent work it has absorbed in turn.58 An opening up of historical study of eighteenth-century religion beyond the narrowly political has recently begun to take place, and the influence of John Walsh can once again be traced in this, as in the important trajectory for future research which he laid down with Stephen Taylor (whose own interests productively focus on the relationship between parliament, patronage, and ecclesiastical politics) . Something of a melding of the political and the social ramifications of eighteenth-century religion is central to the thesis of Linda Colley's influential study of the 'forging' of British self-identity, Britons (I992). Hers is, however, a notably monolithic portrayal of British Protestantism, and her discussion of eighteenth-century anti-Catholicism is not as discriminating as that of Colin Haydon, whose researches she rightly praises.60 The cultural centrality of Catholicism in what many historians characterize as a definitively Protestant British imagination has also increasingly made itself felt in discussions made by literary scholars, although concentration on the negative images conjured up by its opponents has yet to be balanced by a positive appreciation of what Catholicism meant for such varied figures as John Dryden, Alexander Pope, and the historian John Lingard.61
56 The clearest instance of the adoption of politico-theology in these terms is Robert Hole, Pulpits, politics and public or-der in England, 1760-I832 (Cambridge, I989). Interestingly, when challenging Innes's lack of deep interest in his presentation of religion, Clark chose to emphasize its role in the history of political thought: 'On hitting the buffers: the historiographvof England's ancien regime', Past and Present, II 7 (I987), pp. 195-207, at p. 207. " J. C. D. Clark, Thelanguage of liberty: politicaldiscourse andsocialdynamics in theAnglo-American world(Cambridge, 1994). For a similar perspective, see A. M. C. Waterman, 'The nexus between and theology and political doctrine in Church and Dissent', in Haakonssen, ed., Enlightenment religion, pp. 193----2 I 8. 58 j. C. D. Clark, Englishsociety, i688-i832: religion,ideology, andpoliticsduringthe ancienregime (Cambridge, 2000). 51 John Walsh and Stephen Taylor, 'Introduction: the church and Anglicanism in the "long" eighteenth century', in idem and Colin Haydon, eds., The Church of England,c. I689- c. 1833: to Tractarianism fromToleration (Cambridge, I 993), pp. I-64; Taylor, 'Church and state in England in the mid-eighteenth century: the Newcastle years, 1742-I 762' (Ph.D. dissertation, Cambridge, I987); idem, 'Sir Robert Walpole, the Church of England, and the Quakers' Tithe Bill of 1736', Historical journal, 28 (1 985), pp. 51-77; idem, 'William Warburton and the alliance of church and state', Journal of Ecclesiastical History,43 (I992), pp. 27 i-86. thenation,1707-1837(New Haven, CT, 1992), esp. ch. i; Colin 60 Linda Colley, Britons:forging in eighteenth-century Havdon, Anti-Catholicism England,c. 1714-1780(Manchester, 1993). 61 Raymond D. Tumbleson, Catholicism in theEnglishliterary imagination.* nationalism, religion and literature, i660-1745 (Cambridge, I998). Something in the nature of a literaryhistory of the complex andtherealm politics of English Catholic literature is adumbrated by Howard Erskine-Hill in Poetry to Dryden(Oxford, I996), and in Poetryof opposition and revolution. of politics: Shakespeare Drydento Wordsworth (Oxford, I996).

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

862

HISTORICAL

JOURNAL

Again, as in the case of Clark, criticism of Colley must be tempered by acknowledgement of the enabling process her work has achieved, encouraging historians to consider both just how prominent Protestantism was in eighteenth-century life, and just how problematic a construction it proved to be, both as a system of ideas and as an agent of change. It is in this connection that Colin Kidd has now rescued from oblivion the Biblical genealogies which predominated in early modern national identities, and historians have begun to appreciate the complications which religion reveals in unlocking the multiple identities prevalent in early modern Britain and Ireland (and elsewhere)."2 Tony Claydon and Ian McBride, the editors of a broad-ranging contribution to this debate, Protestantism and national identity (I998), made a striking claim in their introduction, one with obvious consequences for the argument of this review: 'In the past couple of decades, the study of the faith of historical actors has become more common and more varied in approach, and has moved out of the ghetto of ecclesiastical history to which it had long been confined. '53 In short, the attentions of political, social, and cultural historians have somehow brought into the mainstream what was otherwise considered to be a historical backwater. Such a perception, widely shared in the historical profession, and carefully and persuasively articulated by Claydon and McBride, speaks volumes about the post-war standing of the historical study of religion, a study which they too have opened up in their respective studies of the religious standing and perceived purpose of William III, and the deeply religious roots of Ulster politics.64 The work of Colley, Claydon, McBride, and others has served to show just how long a shadow the Reformation has cast over subsequent centuries in English and British history, and recent work by Jeremy Gregory, which fruitfully combines cultural and religious history, has reinforced this in suggestive and illuminating ways.65 The consequences of such thinking for Irish history are naturally enormous, as the work of C. D. A. Leighton, itself critically indebted to that ofJonathan Clark, serves to illustrate.66 The marginalization of ecclesiastical history hinted at by Claydon and McBride is one of the most remarkable developments in Western historiography since the

Colin Kidd, British identities before nationalism: ethnicity and nationhood in the Atlantic world, i999); idem, SubvertingScotland'spast: Scottish whig historians and the creation of an Anglo-British identity, *689- c.i83o (Cambridge, 1993); idem, 'The Kirk, the French

62

i6oo-i8oo (Cambridge,

Revolution, and the burden of Scottish Whiggery', in Aston, ed., Religiouschange, pp. 2I3-34; idem, 'Religious realignment between the Restoration and Union', and James Moore and Michael Silverthorne, 'Protestant theologies, limited sovereignties: natural law and the conditions of empire in the German empire, the Netherlands and Great Britain', in John Robertson, ed., A union for empire: political thoughtand the British Union of 1707 (Cambridge, 1995), pp. 145-60, 171-97. 63 Tony Claydon and Ian McBride, 'The trials of the chosen peoples: recent interpretationsof protestantism and national identity in Britain and Ireland', in idem and idem, eds., Protestantism and national identity: Britain and Ireland, c. i65o - c. i85o (Cambridge, I998), pp. 3-29, at p. 5. 64 Tony Claydon, William III and the godly revolution(Cambridge, 1996); Ian McBride, Scripture
politics: Ulster presbyterianismand Irish radicalism in the late eighteenthcentury (Oxford, 1998).
65

Jeremy Gregory, 'Anglicanism and the arts: religion, culture and politics in the eighteenth
Black, eds., Culture, society and politics in Britain, i660o-i8oo

century', in idem and Jeremy (Manchester, I99I), pp. 82-I09;


PP. 307-33.
66

idem, 'The making of a Protestant nation: "success" and "failure " in England's long Reformation', in Tyacke, ed., England's long Reformation,
C. D. A. Leighton, Catholicism in a Protestant kingdom: a study of the Irish ancien regime (Dublin,

'994)-

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

HISTORIOGRAPHICAL

REVIEWS

863

nineteenth century, and is a process which has accelerated since the I960s. It is itself a reflexive operation, since, following Chadwick's argument, and contra Dawkins, it was history writing rather more than any putative triumph of science which helped accomplish the 'secularization of the European mind'. Before that decisive shift, at once gradual and immediate, ecclesiastical history had been the dominant mode in postantique historiography, but it is important not to underemphasize the role played by eighteenth-century historical writing in this process. Chadwick has himself analysed a significant element in this connection in a valuable essay concerning Gibbon's engagement with the ecclesiastical historians who were at work in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.67 The specifically English dimension of this development has yet to be properly considered, since work on the secularization of history writing in eighteenth-century France, particularly as achieved by Voltaire and his imitators, has long been a favoured commonplace in the history of historiography.68 More recent work has extended this study to the Italian states, with a great deal of emphasis being placed on the deeply problematic work of Vico and that of one of Gibbon's favourites, Giannone.69

Iv
Historiography is, then, a major site in any history of intellectual secularization. This was especially marked in the eighteenth century, when historians were moving away from antiquarianism into the territory inhabited by the likes of Gibbon and William Robertson, whose status as cleric and historian has been properly examined and appreciated in a recent volume of essays which has in turn served to clarify the indebtedness of the Scottish Enlightenment experience to firmly religious roots.70 Gibbon's place in the study of eighteenth-century historiography has been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent years, and the bicentenary of his death in I994 provided the occasion for a good deal of critical reflection on the man and his work. J. G. A. Pocock has pioneered an approach to Gibbon which emphasizes his unique place in an English

67 Chadwick, 'Gibbon and the church historians', in G. W. Bowersock, John Clive, and andthedecline Stephen R. Graubard, eds., EdwardGibbon Empire(Cam-lbridge, and/fallof theRoman MA, I977), pp. 219-3168 The seminal work in this area remains Frank E. Manuel, Theeighteenth confrontsthegods century (Cambridge, MA, 1959). On the English experience, see Peter Harrison, 'Religion'andthereligiolls in the English Enlightenment (Cambridge, I990), and J. A. I. Champion, The pillars of priestcraft andits enemies, shaken:theChurch of England i660o-730 (Cambridge, 1992). 69 S. J. Barnett, Idol temples and crafty anticlericalism priests: the originsof Enlightenment (London, 1999); John Robertson, 'Gibbon and Giannone', in David Wormersley,ed., EdwardGibbon: bicentenaryessays (Oxford, 1997), pp. 3-I9. 70 StewartJ. Brown, ed., William Robertsonand the expansionof empire(Calmlbridge, 1997); Richard B. Sher, Church anduniversity in theScottish themoderate literatiof Edinburgh Enlightenment: (Priinceton, in early andtheScottish modern NJ, I 985); David Allan, Virtue, learning, Enlightenment: ideasofscholarship Scotland (Edinburgh, 1993) John Robertson, 'The Scottish Enlightenment', RivistaStorica Italiana, io8 (I996), pp. 792-829. On the earlier period in Britislh hiistoriograplhical tlhouglht, see especially and satire in Augustan shield: history,science, the work of Joseplh Levine: Dr. W`oodward's England (Itlhaca,NY, 1977), and The battleof thebooks:history andliterature in theAugustan age (Itlhaca, NY, 199 i).

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

864

HISTORICAL

JOURNAL

Enlightenment in which religion was positively embraced, both by enlightened divines and a pious laity, including such dominant figures as Locke and Newton.7" This challenge to conventional thinking on the matter is explored at length in a brace of volumes, the first to appear in a projected series, in which Pocock both contextualizes the intellectual environment in which the History of the declineandfjll of the Roman Fmpire was produced, and also articulates the varieties of Enlightenment experienced in eighteenth-century Europe and North America. Religion is absolutely fundamental to this enterprise, for, as Pocock observes in what can be seen as his major point of departure in the historiographical journies of which these volumes form a part: 'Since we are all liberal agnostics, we write histories of liberal agnosticism; Gibbon, however, did not write history like that. '72 Gibbon's problematic position within eighteenthcentury intellectual history clearly demonstrates the centrality of religion within the Enlightenment(s), whether this be interpreted as a pan-European category or, as Pocock contends, a series of interrelated national and international movements.73 The English Enlightenment was also at war with 'Enthusiasm', and Pocock's work has begun to engage with this richly variegated category of thought and experience in a way which complements the work of such literary scholars asJon Mee, whose work on Blake is exemplary in its historical specificity and command of often refractory religious languages.74 The world of artisanal politico-religious radicalism has also been opened
71 J. G. A. Pocock, 'Clergy and commerce: the conservative Enlightenment in England', in Raffaele Ajello, E. Contese, and Vincenzo Piano Mortari, eds., L'eta dei lumi. studi storici sul settecento europeoin onore di Fr-anco Venturi (2 vols., Naples, I985), I, pp. 523-62; B. W. Young, Religion and Elnlightenmentin eighteenth-century England: theological debatefrom Locke to Burke (Oxford, I998). On G(ibbon's European standing, see Karen O'Brien, Narratives of Enlightenment: cosmopolitan historyfrom 'he literature on Locke, Newton, and religion is vast, but for to Gibbon Voltaire (Cambridge, I 997). T recent examples of good work see, inter alia, John Marshall, John Locke: resistance, religion and responsibility (Cambridge, I994); Ian Harris, John Locke: a study of political theory in its intellectual

context(Cambridge,
I688-I692',

I994);

Mark Goldie, 'John Locke, Jonas Proast and religious toleration,

in Walsh, Haydon, and TFaylor, eds., The Chur-ch of England, c. I689-c. i833, pp. John Gascoigne, Gambridge in the age of the Enlightenment: religion and politics from the I43-7I; Restorationto the FrenchRevolution (Cambridge, I 989); Larry Stewart, The rise ofpublic science: rhetoric, technology, and natural philosophy in Newtonian Britain, I660--I75o (Cambridge, I992); Scott

Mandelbrote, "'A duty of the greatest moment": Isaac Newton and and the writing of Biblical
criticism', British Journalfor the History of Science, 26 (I993), pp. 28I-302. 72 J. G. A. Pocock, Barbarism and religion (2 vols., Cambridge, I: The Enlightenments of I999), Edward Gibbon, 1737-I764, p. 9. For McManners the ideas of the Enlightenment in France were 'a

strange blend of quasi-Christianhumanism and anticlericalism'. The former,religiouslypermissive attitude of mind began to be undone by the clergy themselves,who increasingly excluded potential members by enforcing rigorous standards, so that 'The period of the Enlightenment was the beginning of the processwhereby the Church became a minority association.' McManners, Church
and society in eighteenth-century France, I, p.
255, II,

p. I88. His arguments about the complex nature

of intellectual and social secularization merit further comparative investigation by historiansof the eighteenth century. 73 On the European conception of the movement, see two important essays byJohn Robertson, and 'The 'Franco Venturi's Enlightenment', Past and Present, I37 (I992), pp. I83-206, Enlightenment above national context: political economy in eighteenth-century Scotland and Naples', Historical journal, 40 (I 997), pp. 667-97. On the complicated interlocking of European
and English thought, see Pocock, Barbarism and religion, esp. II: NVarratives of civil government. 74 Jon Mee, Dangerous Enthusiasm: W+lilliam Blake and the culture of radicalism in the I790s (Oxford,
I992). Pocock and Mee contributed interesting essays to a special number of a leading literaryhistorical journal devoted to these matters: Pocock, 'Enthusiasm: the antiself of Enlightenment',

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

HISTORIOGRAPHICAL

REVIEWS

865

up in E. P. Thompson's late and religiously sympathetic study of Blake, and the work of Iain McCalman takes the story into the nineteenth century, tracing those elements which might be seen as having secularized radical Christianity (and the various critiques of it made by other religious groups) into a form of social and political protest.75 The interdisciplinary nature of such work is notable, and Pocock has contributed not only to a useful collection of literary and historical essays on the marginalization of religious groupings, but his own work, going back to the essay on Hobbes which he contributed to aftstschrift for Butterfield (his Cambridge supervisor), has constantly emphasized the important place of theology within the history of political thought and the history of political economy, a subject in which historians have felt increasingly able to demonstrate the centrality of religious thought.76 As Pocock noted in his concluding remarks in his ownfestschrift in I993: 'The great discovery which we constantly make and remake as historians is that English political debate is constantly subordinate to English political theology; and few of us know one-tenth of the theology available to competently trained divines and laymen among our predecessors.'77 Pocock's recent work on Gibbon demonstrates that this remark can be extended to encompass the whole of Europe and North America in the eighteenth century, whilst Gibbon's own work illustrates how history as a category of thought was still deeply enmeshed with religious apologetic in the eighteenth century, and how important it was to him to begin to effect a rupture in this relationship. Hence the horror of so many of

in Mee, 'Anxieties of Enthusiasm: Coleridge, prophecy, and popular politics in the I790s', Lawrence E. Klein and Anthony J. La Vopa, eds., 'Enthusiasm and Enlightenment in Europe,
I650-I850',
7

Huntington Library Quarterly, 6o (I998), pp. 7-28,

I29-203.

E. P. TFhompson, Witness against the beast: WlilliamBlake and the moral law (Cambridge, I 993)-

Iain McCalman, Radical underworld: prophets, revolutionaries,and pornographersin London, i795-i840 (Cambridge, I988); idem, 'New Jerusalems: prophecy, dissent and radical culture in England, in Haakonssen, ed., Enlightenment and religion, pp. 3I2-35. For a more traditional I786-I830',

reading of such engagements by a pupil of Cowling, see Ian Harris, 'Paine and Burke: God, nature and politics', in Bentley, ed., Public and private doctrine, pp. 34-62. 76 Pocock, 'Within the margins: the definitions of orthodoxy', in Roger D. Lund, ed., The margins of orthodoxy: heterodoxwriting and cultural response,i66o--i750 (Cambridge, I995), pp. 33-53. The essayistscomprise historians, philosophers, literary scholars, and political scientists. Pocock's contribution to the Butterfieldfestschrifthas become a classic in the field: 'Time, history and eschatology in the thought of Thomas Hobbes', inJ. H. Elliott and H. G. Koenigsberger,eds., The He has pp. I49-98. diversity of history: essays in honour of Sir Herbert Butterfield (London, I970), returned to the subject in 'Thomas Hobbes: atheist or enthusiast? His place in a Restoration debate', History of Political Thought, I I (I990), pp. 737-49. On political economy and theology, see Pocock, 'The political economy of Burke's analysis of the French Revolution', in idem, Virtue,
commerceand history: essays on political thought and history, chieJlyin the eighteenthcentury (Cambridge, pp. I93-2I2; Waterman, Revolution, economics and religion; Hilton, The age of atonement; I985), Donald Winch, Riches and poverty: an intellectual history of political economy in Britain, I750--I834

and (Cambridge, I996); B. W. Young, 'Christianity, commerce and the canon: Josiah TFucker Richard Woodward on political economy', History of European Ideas, 22 (I996), pp. 385-400; Young, 'Christianity, secularisation and political economy', and Boyd Hilton, 'From canon to in David J. Jeremy, ed., Religion, business and cannon fire: religion and economics, I750-I850', in modern Britain(London, i 998), pp. 35-54, 55-9; Young, 'Malthus among the theologians', wealth
in Brian Dolan, ed., Malthus, medicineand morality (forthcoming). " Pocock, 'A discourse on sovereignty: observations on the work in progress', in Nicholas Phillipson and Quentin Skinner, eds., Political discoursein early modernBritain (Cambridge, I993), pp- 377-428,

at p. 38I.

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

866

HISTORICAL

JOURNAL

Gibbon's contemporaries at what they variously saw him as doing in the Decline andfall, the subject of much recent scholarly inquiry.78 Older contemporaries of Gibbon, such as William Warburton, had continued to write providential history, supporting, in a tract published in I 750, the ancient belief thatJulian the apostate's attempt at blasphemously rebuilding the Temple atJerusalem had been brought to a halt by a divine interposition. Warburton's was an apologetic enterprise which, a quarter of a century later, Gibbon was to enjoy mocking.79 Gibbon was himself also mocked, however, and one of his strongest critics,Joseph Milner, a Hull schoolmaster, was encouraged by his negative example to undertake an Evangelical history of the early church, a work which was to prove hugely influential before disappearing as an authoritative text in the i 840s, mocked as it was in turn by Macaulay, the arch-whig.80 The contrary examples of Gibbon and Milner deeply affected the historico-theological researches of the youngJohn Henry Newman, and his meditations on ecclesiastical history, especially during his Anglican years, maintained into the mid-nineteenth century many of the concerns with religious history which had motivated writers in the eighteenth century.81 Newman's erstwhile disciple Mark Pattison continued this engagement in a more sceptical direction, discerning in his controversial analysis of the evidential apologetic of eighteenth-century divines, in I 86o, a means of distancing the nineteenth century and published in Essaysandreviews its conception of history from what he thought of as Newman's damaging misconception and distortion of history as a discipline of human thought.82 For Pattison, intellectual history was the means of understanding that would outlive and overwhelm religious conceptions of the past. Pattison's essay made possible Leslie Stephen's classic History of English thoughtin the eighteenth century (I876), an examination of both religious and secular ideas which also signally served to validate nineteenth-century irreligion; it is a pioneering work, the influence of which can still be deeply felt in eighteenth-century studies. An altogether

78 Nigel Aston, 'A "disorderly squadron"? A fresh look at clerical responses to The decline and fall', in Womersley, ed., Bicentenary essays,pp. 253-77; B. W. Young, "'Scepticism in excess": Journal,41 (1998), pp. 179-99; David Gibbon and eighteenth-century Christianity', Historical Womersley, 'Gibbon and the " watchmen of the holy city ": revision and religion in the Decline and fall', in Rosamond McKitterick and Roland Quinault, eds., Edward Gibbon andempire (Cambridge, I 997), pp. I 90-2 I 6; Womersley, 'Gibbon's religious characters', and J. G. A. Pocock, 'Gibbon, Jesus and the primitive church', in Stefan Collini, Richard Whatmore, and Brian Young, eds., History, religionand culture:British intellectual history,i750--i950 (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 48-68, 69-88. 7 William Warburton, Julian (London, I 750); Edward Gibbon, Thehistory of thedecline andfall of the Roman Empire,ed. David Womersley (3 vols., Harmondsworth, I994), I, pp. 888-9I. On Warburton, see Young, Religion andEnlightenment, esp. ch. 5. 80 Joseph Milner, Gibbon's account with somestrictures on Hume's of Christianity considered, together Dialogues concerning natural religion (York, I 78 I); J. D. Walsh, 'Joseph Milner's Evangelical church history', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, IO (I 959), pp- I 74-87. 81 Brian Young, 'Gibbon, Newman and the religious accuracy of the historiailn', in Womersley, ed., Bicentenary essays,pp. 309-30. On Newman and the dynamics of historical theology, see Owen Chadwick, FromBossuet to Newman (Cambridge, I 957; 2nd edn, Cambridge, I 987). On Newman and the religious 'assault' against the more secular eighteenth century, see Cowling's appreciative appraisal in Religion andpublicdoctrine, II: Assaults, esp. pp. I4-26. 82 Mark Pattison, 'Tendencies of religious thought in England, i688-i850', in Essays and reviews (London, I860), pp. 254-329.

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

HISTORIOGRAPHICAL

REVIEWS

867

less programmatic study by Isabel Rivers has now recovered Stephen's subtly polemical territory for the more consciously disinterested purposes of contemporary scholarship. Rivers offers a fresh and impressively thorough reading of the history of freethinking which can only help to challenge and refine understandings of the complicated interplay of scholarship and polemic which extended from the gentlemanly world of Shaftesbury at the beginning of the eighteenth century, to the academic culture of the Scottish Enlightenment at its end.8" Rivers's reading of her sources offers a signal contrast with those proleptic histories of rationalism which began to appear in the wake of W. E. H. Lecky's History of the rise and influenceof rationalism in Furope (I865), an example of potently whiggish intellectual history.84 Such recent studies as David Berman's A history of atheism in Britain (I988) can be traced squarely within such a tradition, interestingly promoted in this instance in that most Protestant of foundations, Trinity College, Dublin (Lecky's old college).85 The history of atheism is a deeply problematic field of research, and the world of the French Enlightenment has, perhaps unsurprisingly, yielded the most positive results for the contemporary scholarly demarcation of a notably delicate category in the history of religious thought.86 The pioneering work of Lucien Febvre in the adjacent fields of social, cultural, and religious history is of particular importance in this respect, and his work continues to provide the point of departure for much scholarly exploration of this still underresearched terrain.87 In the frequently more provincial world of British history writing, Lecky's midVictorian musings have cast a long shadow. When Longman's warehouse was burnt out in the blitz, G. M. Trevelyan, the last of the great whig historians, declared to a young Trinity graduate, 'As a clergyman it will be your very responsible duty to be a guardian of British culture and civilization. Your services will be badly needed. With Longman's warehouse gone, for instance, there are no new copies available in this country of Lecky's works. '88 No better illustration could be given of the long-established collusion of intellectual whiggery and anticlericalism, a collusion so thorough as sometimes to be unconscious. Trevelyan's whiggery had, moreover, come into sceptical contact with Acton's highminded liberalism, although his variety of English nature-worship had nothing in
II: FromShaftesbury to Hume(Cambridge, 2000). graceandsentiment, Rivers, Reason, B. W. Young, 'Knock-kneed giants: Victorian representations of eighteenth-century andreligion sinceI700, pp. 79-93. For good recent thought', in Garnett and Matthews, eds., Revival J1+. E. H. Lecky:historian andpolitician,I838- i903 (Dublin, I994), studies,see Donal McCartney, Urteilen eines Denken und E. H. Lecky(i838-ig03): historisches and Benedickt Stuchtey, J1+. politisches (Gottingen, anglo-irischen Gelehrten I997). 85 David Berman, A history to Russell(London, I988). in Britain :from Hobbes of atheism 86 of disbelief(Princeton, NJ, I 990). I: The orthodox sources Alan Charles Kors, Atheism in France, More broadly, see the valuable collection of essaysedited by Michael Hunter and David Wootton, to theEnlightenment (Oxford, I 992). Atheism from theReformation thereligion century: 87 The classic work is Lucien Febvre, Theproblem in thesixteenth of of unbelief For useful commentary, see especially Rabelais,trans. Beatrice Gottlieb (Cambridge, MA, I982). two essays by David Wootton: 'Lucien Febvre and the problem of early modern unbelief', journal of atheism', in HunterandWootton, 6o (i 988), pp. 695-730, and'New histories of Modern History, to the Enlightenment, pp. I3-53. For the remarks of a cultural eds., Atheism from the Reformation historian, see an interestingly titled appreciation by Peter Burke, 'Lucien Febvre: ecclesiastical ofEcclesiastical History, historian?', Journal 50 (I 999), pp. 760-6. For the perspectiveof a Cambridge historian who became a Catholic priest, see Dermot Fenlon, 'Encore une question: Lucien Febvre, Studies, g (I974), pp. 65--8i. the Reformation, and the School of Annales',Historical 88 H. A. Williams, SomedayI'llfindyou (London, I982), p. 89.
84

83

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

868

HISTORICAL

JOURNAL

common with Acton's liberal Catholicism.89 This encounter raises a final question: how far was Roman Catholicism, personified in the cosmopolitan, sceptical, anti-papal figure of Acton, the unexpected means of reopening a positive engagement between history and religion in late nineteenth-century Britain? One certainly cannot imagine that Trevelyan would have concurred with two dicta from Acton's History of liberty notes, which act as a useful coda to the argument of this review: 'You must have Conservatives who are not churchmen and Liberals who are not sceptics. Both are disturbing, vitiating elements'; 'Whigs relied a little on scepticism, dreaded the force of orthodoxy,just as we rely on religion to preserve morality, and yet only obtained liberty by irreligion. '90 Nevertheless, it was Anglicans such as J. N. Figgis, who edited Acton (and who was notably dismissive of both the unbelief and the rosy religiosity which he associated with the eighteenth century), and Methodists such as Butterfield who would continue the conversation between history and religion in the twentieth century.91 Certainly, Protestants remained divided over appeals to religion in history, a legacy which can be traced back to the eighteenth century itself, complicated though that genealogy is by men such as Warburton and Milner and their imitators. By the early nineteenth century a division between secular and religious history had begun to emerge in English historical writing to such a degree thatJames Mackintosh could note of Guizot's work on England in the i 640s that 'he is one of the few who perceive, that without understanding our ecclesiastical history at that time, it is impossible to comprehend our civil history'.92 Historians of seventeenth-century England have long taken that lesson to heart; it may take a little while longer for historians of the eighteenth century thoroughly to absorb it.

89 Owen Chadwick, Freedom and the historian:an inaugural lecture(Cambridge, i969); David Cannadine, G. M. Trevelyan: a life in history (London, I992), pp. 35-8, 95-Io5, I44-79, I99, 209,

228.

90 George Watson, ed., LordActon's Historyof liberty:a studyof his library, withan edited textof his Historyof liberty notes(Aldershot, I 994), pp. 67, I 02. "' Figgis's glancing dismissal can be found in Religion and Elnglishsociety (London, I 9 I O), pp. I 0, i8-ig. Unsurprisingly, there remains little appreciation of Figgis as a specifically Christian historian, and recent work continues to concentrate on his part in the pluralist tradition in political thought, on which see David Runciman, Pluralism andthepersonality of thestate(Cambridge, I 997), ch. 6. Even a work by an Anglican clergyman failed to engage in any signficant way with this aspect of Figgis's thought: David Nicholls, Thepluralist state: thepoliticalideasof J. JV.Figgis andhis contemporaries (2nd edn, London, I994). For a subtle appreciation which does justice to the relationship between his religious and his political thought, see Mark Goldie, 'J. N. Figgis and the history of political thought in Cambridge', in Richard Mason, ed., Cambridge minds(Cambridge, I990), pp. I77-92. On Acton see, interalia, Butterfield, LordActon(London, I948), and Owen Chadwick, 'Acton and Butterfield', Journalof Ecclesiastical History,38 (I987), pp. 386-405. 92 Memoirs of thelife of theRt Hon. Sir JamesMackintosh (2 vols., London, I835), II, pp. 4I2-I3.

This content downloaded on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:10:29 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions