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The Theological Basis of Liberal Modernity in Montesquieu's “Spirit of the Laws”$
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Thomas L. Pangle

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226645490

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226645520.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Theological Basis of Liberal Modernity in Montesquieu's “Spirit of the Laws”
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226645520.003.0001

This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose: to elucidate the deepest, theologico-political stratum of the educational project that Montesquieu unfolds in his Spirit of the Laws. It argues that the highest level of his rhetorical and didactic intention in The Spirit of the Laws is gradually to provide, to such readers as are willing and able to follow his clues, an insight into some of the profound aspects of his own, genuinely liberated, philosophic spirituality. This suggestion as to Montesquieu's supreme didactic intention helps to decipher, and gains some of its plausibility from helping to decipher, important and otherwise baffling features of the work's order and plan.

Keywords:   Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws, philosophic spirituality

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