By J. G. A. Pocock
During this first quantity, The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, John Pocock follows Gibbon via his younger exile in Switzerland and his criticisms of the Encyclop?die and lines the expansion of his old pursuits all the way down to the belief of the Decline and Fall itself.
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Additional info for Barbarism and Religion, Vol. 1: The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, 1737-1764
Letters, , pp. , . ⁴⁷ Library, pp. e. Pococke, ), (d’Herbelot), (Howell, –), (Ockley, ). ⁴⁸ Echard, , , ‘the Author’s Preface’, sig. ’ Howel[l] had died in . ⁵⁰ That reign, with the adoption of Christianity as the imperial religion and the removal of the capital to the new city on the Bosphorus, was generally held to mark the end of Roman history as classically conceived: the end of republic and principate, of pagan philosophy and literature. It is the point reached by the fourteenth chapter, and before the end of the ﬁrst volume, of the Decline and Fall, and Gibbon like his predecessors faced the problem of continuing past this turning-point a history which must still be called Roman.
A, p. , Memoir B), he remarks on Law’s contribution to the high-church component of Edward Gibbon II’s library at Buriton, where he began to read on his return to England in . England and Switzerland, – emerged with the perception of a double threat: on the one hand, that of Rome, interpreting Christ’s consecration of the bread and wine at the Last Supper so as to make the church which administered the transsubstantiated elements an authority independent of any earthly ruler; on the other, that of the independent and sometimes revolutionary sects – whose brief military dictatorship after was remembered with peculiar vividness – interpreting the gift of tongues on the Day of Pentecost so as to invest the congregations in whom the Holy Spirit moved with independence from all governing authority and sometimes all social and even moral discipline.
What requires to be noted here is that discontent with the Hanoverian succession, like discontent with the Revolution Settlement before it, took not only a dynastic but an ecclesiological and theological form, and that this is crucial to the understanding of Gibbon’s early life and its crisis, and of the structure of the Decline and Fall. The inherited predicament¹⁶ which the Church of England derived from the Henrician Reformation was the need to reconcile its status as an apostolic church and member of Christ’s body with its acceptance of ¹⁵ Memoirs, p.
Barbarism and Religion, Vol. 1: The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, 1737-1764 by J. G. A. Pocock