Introduction: The Fourth Ground of Certainty
Henry More went to Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1631, the year before Milton left.1 It is tempting to see in this fact a symbol of the watershed between Renaissance and modern. Neither man is transitional in the way Sir Thomas Browne is, for neither was content to accept the Metaphysical luxury of divided and distinguished worlds. Both forged their own worlds with an energy common to humanists in all ages. But where Milton stands at the end of a long line of Renaissance humanists, More’s links are with those sources of the English Enlightenment which, as early as the 1640s, were converging into some sort of purposeful homogeneity. There are many intimations in More’s work of the far-reaching changes which the Enlightenment would bring in literature, philosophy and religion. And while the English Enlightenment proved to be conservative, More’s radical modernity reveals the associated origins of romanticism, idealism and pietism.
KeywordsReligious Experience Religious Toleration Distinguished World Philosophical Scepticism Divine Life
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