Religion and Global Early Modernity

31 January 2011, 12:45 - 14:00

CRASSH

Part of the CRASSH Fellows Work-in-Progress seminar series.  All welcome, no registration necessary.  Sandwich lunch and refreshments provided.

Dr Alan Strathern (History, Churchill/Murray Edwards)

 
Abstract

In recent years, the notion that there was an 'early modern' period has migrated from European history to become a convenient way of periodizing global history in general. It is used either simply to convey the way in which the world was much more inter-connected in the 1500-1800 period, or, in a more strictly comparative sense, to reveal common patterns of state-building, demography, capitalist development, or concepts of self-hood etc, across the world. What has received very little attention is the part played - or not played - by religion. Religion has helped to lend a distinctive character to European early modernity through the far-reaching consequences of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. But was there anything distinctive about religious change on a global scale 1500-1800? Were religious ideas now diffused more rapidly and profoundly? Or if we take seriously the idea that different regions of the world experienced broadly analogous changes on the economic, social and political planes, did these changes also bring equivalent convulsions of religious belief and practise in their train? Such a large question can only be in a considered speculative and exploratory manner in the seminar.
 

To access the Readings for the Work in Progress seminar, please contact Michelle Maciejewska.