Title

The Interweaving of Sacred and Secular: Metaphysics, Reform and Enlightenment in the Rivalry Between Dom Deschamps and Claude Yvon, 1769–1774

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-5-2018

Publication Title

Intellectual History Review

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1080/17496977.2018.1521629

ISSN

1749-6985

Abstract

The Benedictine Dom Léger-Marie Deschamps and the philosophical Abbé Claude Yvon may indeed be minor eighteenth-century figures, and they both may be considered to have emerged from the Catholic side of something Helena Rosenblatt has dubbed the Christian Enlightenment, but neither of these figures is neatly “conservative” (as Mark Curran defines it), nor are they fully “radical” (in the sense of having contributed to the Radical Enlightenment). Rather, Deschamps and Yvon are among a number of eighteenth-century figures who do not fit neatly into the expected parameters of Catholic, Christian, Religious or Radical Enlightenment. This article argues that the entanglement of both heterodoxy and orthodoxy, and of sociopolitical progressivism and conservatism, is characteristic of Yvon’s and Deschamps’s particular engagement with what Vincenzo Ferrone describes as the cultural revolution of the eighteenth century. This study of these under-examined Catholic scholars further suggests that conventional and tidy scholarly narratives of the history of Enlightenment should be further problematized.

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