Journals Higher Education



Published: 28 January 2011

0 Pages

ISBN: 9780729410083

Bookseller Code (09)

Joseph de Maistre and the legacy of Enlightenment

Edited by Carolina Armenteros and Richard A. Lebrun

Voltaire Foundation in association with Liverpool University Press

Oxford University Studies in The Enlightenment

Although Joseph de Maistre has long been regarded as characterising the Counter-Enlightenment, his intellectual relationship to eighteenth-century philosophy remains unexplored. In this first comprehensive assessment of Joseph de Maistre's response to the Enlightenment, a team of renowned scholars uncover a writer who was both the foe and heir of the philosophes.  While Maistre was deeply indebted to thinkers who helped to fashion the Enlightenment - Rousseau, the Cambridge Platonists - he also agreed with philosophers such as Schopenhauer who adopted an overtly critical stance. His idea of genius, his critique of America and his historical theory all used 'enlightened' language to contradict Enlightenment principles. Most intriguingly, and completely unsuspected until now, Maistre used the writings of the early Christian theologian Origen to develop a new, late, religious form of Enlightenment that shattered the logic of philosophie. The Joseph de Maistre revealed in this book calls into question any simple opposition of Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment, and offers particular lessons for our own time, when religion is at the forefront of public debate and a powerful political tool.