ABSTRACT: In Barbarism and Religion , his six-volume work on the “Enlightenments” of Edward Gibbon, J. G. A. Pocock argues for a “family of enlightenments,” disputing accounts, particularly Venturi’s and Gay’s, of it as a unified phenomenon. This article asserts, however, that Pocock’s reconfiguration of different national contexts to emphasize the diversity of strands of the Enlightenment underestimates their commonality and the degree to which they fall into the recognizable currents of radical and moderate. Ultimately, Pocock’s attention to the ecclesiastical and theological dimensions of the Enlightenment undermines rather than supports his argument for its pluralism.
Journal of the History of Ideas – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Feb 25, 2016
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