26 Mar 2023

anne conway had her own view — and she had impact

I’ve listened several times to the Anne Conway episode, below, of Justin Sledge’s Esoterica series. My education from youth well into adulthood (owing heavily to church community I chose for myself), no doubt conventionally like that of many North Americans in the broad strokes at least, established an idea of the British 17th century dominated by Puritans. (Who did, after all, literally dominate for a good stretch there.) That’s had by extension lasting implications for my picture of N.-Atlantic-world modernity and, really, of the whole course of western-Christian cultural evolution. Certain aspects of the wider historical reality that tend to be obscured in such a picture are captured nicely in a snapshot way, it seems to me, in Sledge’s short presentation here.

Especially would like to be more tuned in on connections between the secondary-stream, theology-inclining (and more or less heterodox) strands of early modern turns in Christian-society intellectual culture and what’s going on in the 19th century rolling over into the 20th with figures like Bergson. I’d also like to be more attuned to the knock-on effects of Inquisition and Iberian expulsions of Jewish populace around turn of the 16th century, with impacts in e.g. Amsterdam, on those early modern currents in northern Europe & Britain.

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