In August, Oxford University Press will publish Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion by Jordana Rosenberg (U. Mass.). The publisher’s description follows.
The Atlantic world of the long eighteenth century was characterized by two major, interrelated phenomena: the onset of capital accumulation and the infusion of traditions of radical religious rapture into Enlightenment discourses. In exploring these cross-pollinations, Critical Enthusiasm shows that debates around religious radicalism are bound to the advent of capitalism at its very root: as legal precedent, as financial rhetoric, and as aesthetic form. To understand the period thus requires that we not only contextualize histories of religion in terms of the economic landscape of early modernity, but also recast the question of secularization in terms of the contradictions of capitalism.