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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter studies religious, moral, and political thought that, between 1780 and 1840, generated some of the most profound and searching critiques of modernity which partially overlap with with the genesis of modern conservatism. The central objective is to identify several strands of conservative thought that emerge in the course of the Romantic era. Of these, one is indeed genuinely reactionary, implicitly secular, and Machiavellian in nature (Burke, Gentz, Müller, de Maistre), even as its exponents strenuously advocate the rights of the church and, in some instances, overtly espouse ultramontane positions. Of greater intellectual substance (and especially pertinent to my argument) will be another strand that draws on Catholic, pre-modern theology in order to undertake a comprehensive critique of political, economic, and moral assumptions and aspirations of the modern era to the French Revolution and beyond.

Keywords: Catholicism, Conservatism, modernity, counter-modernity, theology, critique

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