Religion in the Age of Enlightenment


Misty Anderson, Enlightenment, Methodism, Book Review


I n her sensitive and thoughtful afterword, Misty Anderson rehearses the investment of literary criticism in "restaging the opposition between a religious past and a secular modernity" (236). She makes clear how the discipline of literary studies has largely refused to acknowledge its own ideology of secularization. Quoting Michael Kauffman, Anderson offers her audience the following call to action: "Anyone constructing a narrative of secularization (even if finally to refute it) needs to evaluate certain ideas, truth claims, or values that may seem more or less spiritual, more or less 'religious"' (236). Following her own thorough consideration of the relationship between Methodism and the modern self, her plea resonates well.