Article ID: CBB561862676

Locke, the Quakers and Enthusiasm (2019)


This paper argues that John Locke’s interactions with the Quakers and his reflections on their doctrines and behaviour provide the salient background for understanding the content and polemical orientation of the chapter on enthusiasm in An Essay concerning Human Understanding. The terms of reference and key features of the vocabulary of the chapter “Of Enthusiasm” that Locke added to the fourth edition of the Essay derive from the Quakers and from Locke’s critical reflections on their doctrine of immediate inspiration. While Locke acknowledged that the phenomenon was to be found among other religious groups, it was the Quakers whom Locke had in mind when he formulated his philosophical critique of enthusiasm.

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Authors & Contributors
Cantor, Geoffrey N.
Stanley, Matthew
Giuntini, Chiara
Downing, Lisa
Rossiter, Elliot
Rampelt, Jason M.
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
History of Education
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Yale University Press
University of Chicago Press
Oxford University Press
Leo S. Olschki
Science and religion
Quakers and Quakerism
Natural philosophy
Occult sciences
Locke, John
Newton, Isaac
Eddington, Arthur Stanley
Wakefield, Priscilla
Tylor, Edward Burnett
Thompson, Silvanus Phillips
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
Great Britain
United States
Pennsylvania (U.S.)

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