Reassessing the Radical Enlightenment comprises fifteen new essays written by a team of international scholars. The collection re-evaluates the characteristics, meaning and impact of the Radical Enlightenment between 1660 and 1825, spanning England, Ireland, the Dutch Republic, France, Germany and the Americas. In addition to dealing with canonical authors and celebrated texts, such as Spinoza and his Tractus theologico-politicus, the authors discuss many less well-known figures and debates from the period. Divided into three parts, this book:
- Considers the Radical Enlightenment movement as a whole, including its defining features and characteristics and the history of the term itself.
- Traces the origins and events of the Radical Enlightenment, including in-depth analyses of key figures including Spinoza, Toland, Meslier, and d’Holbach.
- Examines the outcomes and consequences of the Radical Enlightenment in Europe and the Americas in the eighteenth century. Chapters in this section examine later figures whose ideas can be traced to the Radical Enlightenment, and examine the role of the period in the emergence of egalitarianism.
This collection of essays is the first stand-alone collection of studies in English on the Radical Enlightenment. It is a timely and comprehensive overview of current research in the field which also presents new studies and research on the Radical Enlightenment.