Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Encylopedia of the American Enlightenment

Mark Spencer of Brock University, Canada has edited what appears to be the definitive encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment.  According to Amazon, the Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment was published today.   It should be a fixture in university and seminary libraries.

I should also add that I contributed an essay on Philip Vickers Fithian to this project.

Here is a description:

The Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment is the first reference work on this key subject in early American history. With over 500 scholars participating, this book provides a comprehensive account to complement the intense scholarly activity that has centered on the European Enlightenment recently. There are substantial and original essays on the major American Enlightenment figures, including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, David Rittenhouse, Benjamin Rush, Jonathan Edwards, and many others. And the collection is wide-ranging-including many topical essays and entries on dozens of often-overlooked secondary figures, offering a fresh definition of the Enlightenment in America. It has long been known that Americans made their own contributions to the Enlightenment, most notably by putting Enlightenment ideas to work in defining the American Revolution, the United States Constitution, and the nature of the early American Republic. These volumes show that the American Enlightenment was more far reaching than even that story assumes. This remarkable work shows that the American Enlightenment constitutes the central framework for understanding the development of American history between c. 1740 and c. 1820.