“Covetous of Truth”

The Life and Work of Thomas White, 1593–1676

  • Beverley C. Southgate

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 1-6
  3. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 7-11
  4. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 12-20
  5. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 21-33
  6. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 34-41
  7. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 42-52
  8. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 53-65
  9. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 66-82
  10. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 83-92
  11. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 93-103
  12. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 104-118
  13. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 119-126
  14. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 127-137
  15. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 138-143
  16. Beverley C. Southgate
    Pages 144-145
  17. Back Matter
    Pages 146-196

About this book


Thomas White, in the quatercentenary of his birth, is due for historical rehabilitation. English Catholic priest, philosopher, theologian, and scientist, he was a renowned and notorious figure in his own day; and, though long forgot­ ten, his work exemplifies aspects of major current concern to historians of ideas: in particular, the significance of the newly-revived sceptical philosophy; the complexity ofthe transition from scholasticism to the new philosophy; and the whole role of"minor", non-canonical figures in the historyofthought. White's writings embrace theology, politics, and natural philosophy, or science'; and in all these three areas, his work, after centuries of comparative neglect, has slowly been resurfacing. His theological significance received intermittent recognition through the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early-twentieth centuries; but more recently his great importance as leader of a whole "Blackloist" faction of English Catholics has become increasingly clear. Condemned by co-religionists in his own time as a dangerous heretic, he has been assessed by modem scholars as an anticipator of twentieth-century trends in Catholic theology, and even as "probably, after John Henry Newman, the most original thinker as yet producedby modem English Catholicism."2 Blackloism implied not only a theological, but also a political position; and that position was clarified and publicised by White in his single political treatise, The Grounds of Obedience and Government, published in the mid­ 1650s. His provocative stance was widely misunderstood and misinterpreted, and was soon anyway rendered untenable by the restoration of the monarchy.


intellectual history psychology seventeenth century

Authors and affiliations

  • Beverley C. Southgate
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HertfordshireUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-4817-0
  • Online ISBN 978-94-011-1850-7
  • Series Print ISSN 0066-6610
  • Buy this book on publisher's site