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Orthodoxy and Heresy in Eighteenth-Century Society

Regina Hewitt and Pat Rogers (Eds.)

Changing Sex in Early-Modern Culture

2002
293 pages
$48.50
ISBN 1611481549
LC 2001043844
Bucknell Studies in Eighteenth Century Literature and Culture

Orthodoxy and Heresy in Eighteenth-Century Society uses the concept of "heresy" to gain insight into the value of social order in eighteenth-century England and France. By applying the vocabulary of religion to behaviors that might more usually be studies as "deviant," and contributors account for the complexity and vehemence of conflicts over right order played out in the literary, artistic, and political arenas of the age.

Following a conceptual introduction that enlists the sociology of Emile Durkheim to explain how reference to the sacred can gloss the social, the essays examine a wide range of cultural encounters between orthodox and heterodox figures. Topics covered are the "transgressive spaces" constructed by London guides, riots involving Anglicans and Dissenters, the adultery trial of the Worsleys, the "infectious" climate of dissent feared by Swift, the oppressed condition of Catholics that worried Pope, the "orthodox rebel" Junius, the "outcast" sculptor Simon Jaillot, the coexistence of Gnostic symbols and Christian morals in Clarissa, Diderot's exposure of the "literariness of religion," the alternative societies of libertine novels, and the alternately orthodox and heterodox identities of Olympe de Gouges and john Wesley.

Intelligently employing new cultural and critical approaches, the essays in Orthodoxy and Heresy in Eighteenth-Century Society foster a challenging, new understanding of the dynamic interplay between orthodox and heterodox impulses in eighteenth-century society.

About the editors:

Regina Hewitt is Professor of English at the University of South Florida. Her most recent book is The Possibilities of Society: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and the Sociological Viewpoint of English Romanticism (1997). She has also published articles on literature and sociology in journals from both disciplines.

Pat Rogers is DeBartolo Professor in the Liberal Arts at the University of South Florida. Author of twenty-eight books and editions as well as several hundred articles in eighteenth-century studies, his most recently published titles are The Text of Great Britain: Theme and Design in Defoe's Tour (1998) and The Samuel Johnson Encyclopedia (1996).

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