Philosophy, Science, and Religion in England 1640-1700

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This collection of essays looks at the distinctively English intellectual, social and political phenomenon of Latitudinarianism, which emerged during the Civil War and Interregnum and came into its own after the Restoration, becoming a virtual orthodoxy after 1688. Dividing into two parts, it first examines the importance of the Cambridge Platonists, who sought to embrace the newest philosophical and scientific movements within Church of England orthodoxy, and then moves into the later seventeenth century, from the Restoration onwards, culminating in essays on the philosopher John Locke. These contributions establish a firmly interdisciplinary basis for the subject, while collectively gravitating towards the importance of discourse and language as the medium for cultural exchange. The variety of approaches serves to illuminate the cultural indeterminacy of the period, in which inherited models and vocabularies were forced to undergo revisions, coinciding with the formation of many cultural institutions still governing English society.