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"Intimate Outsiders"? Parallel Rhetorics of Exclusion; 16th Century Rome and Today

By Josh Allen - June 12, 2017 (0 comments)

by Dr. Emily Michelson, University of St. Andrews

This article (Past & Present 235) took shape in a world that has now faded: I started it with a different set of intellectual priorities, and at a stage of my life that has since ended. But for all that, its value is greater in the new world it now inhabits.

When it began, this was almost, though not quite, a vanity project. When I first discovered the lone volume of conversionary sermons to be published in the 16th century, I was hard pressed to ignore it. I was not only finishing a book on Italian sermons and preachers grappling with interdenominational angst during the Reformation, but I had also studied Jewish rabbinic texts for a couple of years before pursuing a PhD. The conversionary preacher, Evangelista Marcellino (I knew him from his other sermons) walked lines I could recognize, though in a far different context. For a while I wanted to avoid writing about conversionary sermons. It seemed too pat and inevitable for someone with my training, and too narrow a step from my first book. But more and more examples of conversionary sermons turned up, and so did records of the Christians who wrote about viewing them. Reading them profoundly rekindled broader questions that had concerned me for a long time, primarily about the power of public religious spectacle; this article begins to address them. I later found another preacher, a century after Marcellino, who left written lists addressing the same questions I had – one of them was entitled “Why Public Conversionary Sermons Should Still Take Place, and Why Christians Should Attend and Watch Them.” When I saw that, I thought he might as well have written my name on his parchment, ideally with a pointy manicule: Your Project Here. I knew then that there was good material for both an article and a book, and that I wanted to be the one to write it. So this was at first a personal endeavour, borne of my own interests and competencies, even though from the outset I believed it would have broader import for the deep history behind Catholic-Jewish dialogue and interfaith relations. It felt like the right project for me to take on, but not necessarily like a crucial one.

The Past&Present article also has personal resonance for me because I clearly recall working on it the day my youngest child was born. I had met my imminent deadlines and gone on maternity leave, with time to stock the freezer and organise the house. Still no baby, so I reopened the laptop, thinking it was a good time to tinker with the notes for my ‘someday’ article, which I had tidied up to leave for a distant ‘later’. I put in an hour or two in the morning; the afternoon went differently. This month, when the article has finally seen publication, that baby is five and a half. (For my own sense of pride, I should point out that in the interim I also finished and published various other projects, large and small.) The era when children did not outnumber adults in my household (and when colleagues did not raise their eyebrows at my having three children), is long past. And as a result, I have since become more focussed on the distant future, the one I will not see but my eventual grandchildren might.

And in the era between the time I first drafted the article and its final publication, we have all moved sharply into a new political world: The treatment of marginalized peoples, and indeed, the shifting locations of those margins, are current and burningly important questions. In my beloved native country, long-time residents are forcefully deported, sometimes violently and with no explanation; the governing elite systematically tries to dismantle any legislation that prizes empathy for those unlike themselves (in looks or circumstances). In my beloved adopted country, the Brexit vote has forced the question of just how ‘foreign’ we want foreigners to be, and whether we or should truly separate the foreign from the domestic.

Rome’s Jews provide a valuable model for these problems. They were both natives and foreigners; “intimate outsiders” in Tom’s Cohen’s useful phrase. As this article points out, Jews had been in Rome continuously since before the dawn of Christianity itself. But the decades with which my article is concerned saw a clear and deliberate shift in Rome’s policy towards Jews. Where they once had been fairly well (though not entirely) tolerated, accepted, and integrated (unlike elsewhere in Europe), they were now segregated, deliberately impoverished, and more thoroughly derided. Other minorities, less well rooted in the city, suffered from similar treatment. As Marina Caffiero has suggested, Roman Jews, through a process of small redefinitions and legislations, found their status gradually altered; they were reimagined as heretics, and so put under the supervision of the Holy Office. Once native Romans, they were recast as legal outsiders.

Merian, M., Topographia Germaniae, 1642., via Wiki Commons

Indeed, take the case of one of my preachers, the grandchild of converts. Born at least thirty years after his family left Judaism, and raised in a devoutly Catholic home, he was nonetheless labelled “the only converted Jewish preacher of the seventeenth century” in an article as recently as three years ago. To be fair, I think the author may have confused ‘grandchild’ with ‘nephew’ (they are the same in Italian) and did not do the math or the research to see that this preacher could only ever have considered himself Catholic; he was a pillar of the Dominican community in Rome for 40 years. But the fact remains: through an act of sloppiness or indiscretion, the status of this consummate Catholic insider is still subject to obfuscation, inaccuracies and generalizations still projected onto him because of his Jewish roots. My article argues that conversionary preaching became a sort of vortex that absorbed a wide and contradictory variety of Catholic ideas about Jews. Much anti-Jewish policy in Rome reflected, more than anything else, these imaginings and projections.

Its later history only makes conversionary preaching seem even more germane to today’s debates. While this article only addresses the 1500s, conversionary preaching extended into the eighteenth century and remained on the books until the era of Italy’s unification. Over time, the format and persistence of conversionary preaching itself became a subject of sermons. In the second half of the seventeenth century, the same preacher who wrote those lists also devoted a sermon to asking why conversionary preaching was preferable to disputations – the time-honoured medieval form of oral polemic. Speaking to an imaginary Jewish interlocutor, he argued against disputation: “You would like a Jew and a Christian to preach in turn; the Jew against the Christian religion and the Christian against the Mosaic rite. In that way, they would be equal.” The sermon rejects entirely the possibility of a two-speaker disputation. “I respond that this cannot be permitted…You cannot treat as equal truth and lies… a prince must, in his kingdom and dominion, have the truth be preached, and certify that what follows is true, and prevent the preaching of what is false.” The sermon calls the “Mosaic cult” deadly for those who continue to profess it, and seeks to silence its representatives.

This form of argumentation has stayed with us. Antisemitism never goes away, of course, but more broadly it’s also the preacher’s technique in this sermon that is pertinent here. He refused to give a hearing to a position he considered not only repellent, but harmful. This approach represents a shift in religious debate from the disputations of the Middle Ages. Indeed, in making this argument the preacher is in fact confirming the position of modern scholars of medieval disputations, some of whom argue that the very act of disputations seemed to validate the fundamental similarities between Christians and Jews. This sermon encapsulates the rancour and intolerance of so many post-Reformation religious institutions in Europe. But its author’s 17th-century position remains entirely current today; we call it no-platforming, and as a technique it is still much debated.

Much of the rancour of our own era echoes his. The religious polarization of early modern Europe presages the polarizations of our own. Indeed, for early modern preachers, the stakes probably seemed even higher than they do for us. For the most part, our own convictions, however strongly held, primarily concern the fate of the living; for preachers in the early modern world, in contrast, any soul they failed to save faced damnation and hellfire for all eternity. Their road to any kind of respectful interaction between faiths was very narrow, with precipices on each side.

Then again, the stakes feel plenty high to us today. What does my article offer to our own fraught society? In it, I try to show how fears and concerns specific to early modern Rome were projected onto Jews, who suffered largely because of the preconceptions of others. It examines the ways that Roman Jews were despised less for who they were than for what they symbolized. But it doesn’t take much imagination to see that the groups most targeted today are equally victims of unjust projections, specific to the circumstances. With this article and the broader project around it, I want to make it clear just how entrenched are the layers of misunderstanding, false labelling, and stereotyping, built up over centuries, that continue to colour the vision of even the best-intentioned among us. This no longer feels like a private endeavour, but a global one of tremendous urgency, and one small way to address the problems of the world my children will inherit.

Dr. Michelson’s article “Conversionary preaching and the Jews in early modern Rome” can be found online here.

St Peter’s Square, Vatican City, image courtesy of “Diliff” (2007), via Wiki Commons

Imperial nostalgia, aesthetics, and the contemporary ‘everyday’: thoughts on Everyday Empires and selective historical memory

By Josh Allen - June 8, 2017 (0 comments)

by Rob Fitt, University of Birmingham

A week on from the Everyday Empires conference I was sat in that most British of institutions, a pub. My thoughts turned to writing this post and what had stuck in my memory about the case studies that were presented. I glanced to the bar and noticed that union flag bunting adorned the top shelf, above the pub’s logo of a cow made somehow more British with the addition of a hat. I recalled an interview I had read prior to the conference between two historians of empire, discussing the contemporary resonance of the British empire in a country under going a pre-Brexit existential crisis. Much has been written recently about the role of ‘imperial nostalgia’ in the decision to leave the European Union; of plucky little Britain able to punch, independently, above its weight in the realm of global affairs. To suggest that a half-remembered nostalgia has such direct causation is of course short sighted, but the arguments for its acting as a contributing factor in the referendum on EU membership are compelling. What struck me about the interview in question was the argument that Brexit represented a ‘harder cultural turn’ from a preceding period of more innocuous imperial nostalgia coloured by an aesthetic of ‘empire chic’ – of royal wedding street parties, the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, of bunting, and gin and tonic drunk from tea cups.1

Image courtesy of Rob Fitt, 2017

So much of the conference had invoked the senses – how empire was experienced through sights, smells, tastes, and the handling of objects, and how this reflected tensions at the heart of imperial rule; tensions of gender, race, and perceptions of national identity. Research into material practices was presented across scales, from the games played by Indian children, food, and rickshaws to grand imperial engineering projects, economic models, and tourism. With this in mind, and with the bunting above the bar reinforcing what had been said about empire aesthetics, I considered to what extent our current everyday material practices remain coloured by our colonial past, and what that says about contemporary understanding of our history and our national identity.

One glance at the cocktail menu revealed more. In the same way that children’s games were appropriated by colonisers, and how curry has been rebranded as a staple British (or more specifically ‘Brummie’) food, the cocktail menu also demonstrated an appropriation of foreign sensations, rebranded as quintessentially English. Singapore slings, spiced sangria, mojitos, and gin and tonic were listed next to images of the hunt. Riders on horseback, resplendent in red complete with top hats, decorated the pages and served to equate such drinks and the practice of drinking on ‘lazy days in the sun’ with the overtly traditional British iconography of the hunt. While of course being the preserve of the rural upper classes, the imagery is nonetheless uniquely British and the implied connection between such ‘Englishness’ and the exotic drinks on offer seemed overt. The apparently complementary mixing of the exotic (citrus fruit, spices, and spirits) with the traditional and familiar (London gin, rhubarb, and lemonade) belies the tension at the heart of the material practices and in between spaces of empire, where states and ideas intersect.

Image courtesy of Rob Fitt, 2017

At home, further examples arose (and for the purposes of this post I will stick with drinking as an example) in the form of a cocktail shaker emblazoned with the logo of Opihr gin. The intricate art of the orient forms two elephants surrounding a traditional British crest, complete with crown, wreath, and union flag. ‘Oriental spiced’ precedes ‘London dry gin’. Again, there emerged an imperial aesthetic which seeks to convey the complementary conjoining of the exotic and the familiar, of the colony and the metropole. The apparently complementary fusion of the two, presented in the ‘everyday’ material practice of alcohol, is indicative of the collective amnesia about our imperial past which pervades current socio-political discourse. It is a past that is invoked in debates about the future, and a past in which the violence of colonisation is overlooked in the popular imagination in favour of aestheticising the exotic and the ‘imperial adventure’, the benevolent coloniser, as a cornerstone of our exceptional national destiny.

Image courtesy of Rob Fitt, 2017

In truth, however, the material practices of the everyday examined in the case studies for Everyday Empires served as sites of resistance, ingrained with the hierarchies of gender and race that were central to the lived experience of empire. These practices escaped the imagined geographical boundaries of colony and metropole, illuminating the permeable nature of these ‘fantasied cartographies’. Tourists and postcards transported more than just people and greetings, but culture, ideas, and perceptions of nations across borders. Foreign expertise was not the only thing imported when seeking to undertake engineering projects: notions of gender were reinforced. Some concepts did not travel well internationally; the archetypal western hospital struggled to translate to India, becoming a site of resistance and cultural contest. Through everyday practices there emerged an everyday politics of imperial sovereignty, which was continually negotiated and reinterpreted on the ground.

These case studies provide historical precedent for the ongoing contemporary tension between increasing globalisation and the enduring allure of the nation state as a container of cultures and ideas; a hermetically sealed site governing our interactions with the wider world. Nationalism and race remain potent political capital, and a mis-remembered collective memory which takes the sting out of the past can only serve to misinform our plans for the future. Our own everyday practices are carriers of our history, and remain imbued with what we think we know about the past. The examination of imperial history through the lens of the ‘everyday’ is both a timely reconsideration of the past, and of pressing relevance in the present.

Rob Fitt is an MA Contemporary History student at the University of Birmingham. Between 25th and 26th June 2017 he acted as Past & Present’s Conference Social Media Ambassador, to Everyday Empires; a P&P supported conference at the University of Birmingham. You can view his coverage of the conference here.  

Footnotes

1Riley, C. and Bhambra, G.K., ‘Same history, different memories’, New Humanist, 132 (2017), pp. 32-37.

"What Kind of Faith?" The Enlightenment, Politics and Original Sin

By Josh Allen - June 5, 2017 (0 comments)

by Dr. Matt Kadane, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

There is a connection between original sin and the Enlightenment that I didn’t consider in my article, and it relates to politics, a category that consumed little of Pentecost Barker’s attention. That omission, however, shouldn’t be taken to minimize original sin’s political implications, especially because of how much they linger. A columnist in The New York Times recently wrote, for example, that he began to understand the motives of rural Trump voters when he set them alongside a speech by a Baptist minister and former Republican congressman from Oklahoma, J. C. Watts. “‘The difference between Republicans and Democrats,” Watts asserted, “is that Republicans believe people are fundamentally bad, while Democrats see people as fundamentally good…. Democrats believe that…we create God, not that he created us. If we are our own God, as the Democrats say, then we need to look at something else to blame when things go wrong—not us.1

Admittedly, not everybody on the right, or what currently passes for it, would agree. Theresa May was asked in a recent interview in the New Statesman if she believes in original sin given that conservatives, as the interviewer explained, have generally assumed humans are fallen creatures who demand external bulwarks against the chaos their nature would otherwise entail. The ideologically hard-to-pin-down May quickly changed the subject after responding that she didn’t “see conservatism in quite those terms.”2 But the fact that her interviewer thought to ask the question in the first place speaks to a long held belief: those with faith in the viability and productive effects of what Richard Price called self-direction in government have generally imagined people as improvable by their own means; those who promote government as a restraint on human nature, and who believe, as did Edmund Burke, that what demands our curtailment by a power outside of ourselves is, ultimately, ourselves, have generally imagined people as irreparable, at least without divine assistance.3

1529MartinLuther

Workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Does this alignment of politics with views of human nature have a history? It increasingly seems to me that it does. And it’s a history that seems to crystalize and peak in—and it’s one that may well define and help constitute—the age of Enlightenment. Which is not to deny that this alignment doesn’t also have a pre-Enlightenment history or an internal logic. Original sin’s great early modern defender, Martin Luther, was happy to tell the peasant rebels of 1525 that if they had the misfortune to live under the rule of tyrannical princes, their sinful nature was evidence that they deserved no better; while some of Luther’s opponents, the Anabaptist Peter Reidemann for example, both advocated self-rule and expressed skepticism about original sin.4 But this “prehistory” is also revealingly messy. Some in the sixteenth-century implicitly argue in the other direction. Calvinist resistance theory implies a degree of popular sovereignty but was articulated by authors firmly convinced of their depravity. The absolutist Jean Bodin, on the other hand, was drawn more to Pelagius than Augustine.4

The moment when the political implications of original sin start to become more fixed and predictable is the late 1670s and early ‘80s. In these crisis-ridden years, traditionalists began to realize that reasserting the legitimacy of original sin and educing its authoritarian implications could, at once, remind potentially seditious Augustinians that the major premise of their own religion justified submission to secular authority and argue against a range of more optimistic radical thinkers that Christianity was undeniably pessimistic about human prospects unaided by God. It’s in 1680, amid the Exclusion Crisis, that the Tories published Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, a defense of traditional authority based on the book of Genesis. If not all of Filmer’s readers focused on original sin, John Dryden was more to the point in “Absalom and Achitophel” (1681): “how could heavenly justice damn us all/Who ne’er consented to our father’s fall?/Then kings are slaves to those whom they command/And tenants to their people’s pleasure stand./Add, that the pow’r property allow’d/Is mischievously seated in the crowd.” The most eloquent argument along these lines was not English, however. It came from the French Bishop Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Louis XIV’s court preacher, who in 1679, in the long lead up to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, wrote the first six books of his Politics Drawn from…Holy Scripture, the central text in authoritarian political thought for the next century. There, Bossuet argued that the Fall precludes self-rule, with the important qualification that kings, never queens, retain the authority to govern by way of receiving a particular grace.6

John Lilburne

By Engraver George Glover [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This coalescing Augustinian authoritarianism wasn’t a reaction to straw men. A range of thinkers had proven threatening to the political status quo in ways that specifically encouraged reasserting original sin as a basis for strong monarchical rule. This was a consistent message of the legacy of the English Civil War. Levellers like Richard Overton and John Lilburne had asked in writing whether or not the effects of original sin could be overcome by greater political literacy and participation.7 The Digger Gerrard Winstanley was at his most politically radical when most religiously heterodox—and sounded authoritarian later in the 1650s only when he arguably backslid into an original sin believer.8 Jansenists in France, on the other hand, returned to original sin with vigor, as did the English Puritans. But given that it was that vigor that made the former a threat to the hegemony of the Gallican Church, Jansenists too could be enervated by an argument like Bossuet’s, which effectively said: submit to the divine authority of the king precisely because of your belief in human depravity.9 As “Puritan-Whigs”—a new category in the 1670s—moved away from Calvinist orthodoxy in sync with their growing aversion to the Stuarts, they, like their unruly Puritan forebears, offered authoritarians incentive to argue that original sin demanded submission. These were widely varied thinkers—republican, communist, godly, individualist—who could be targeted by a single shot: reasserting original sin.10

Equally suggestive is that John Locke began to articulate his mature political thought right as the Augustinian authoritarian strategy was coming together. In earlier life, Locke had believed in the doctrine of total depravity, much as he had once believed in religious uniformity despite later championing toleration.11 Is it also possible that Locke swerved from original sin because of a political aversion to its co-option by authoritarians? Does the Second Treatise, which Locke wrote between 1680 and ‘82, predate the 1685 Essay on Human Understanding in logic as well as composition—does the political service that the tabula rasa provides for self-rule, that is, precede the epistemological notion that the self is born ready to be shaped, for good or bad, by experience and not inheritance?12

JohnLocke

Godfrey Kneller [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Once the Enlightenment was underway, by which time Locke’s views had gained wide currency and the revolution of 1688 had come to be recognized more for its republican implications than its limitations, the notable moments in political thought can almost be defined by their renunciation of original sin. Much of the time that renunciation is allusive and complex—see Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality.13 But it can also be explicit and obvious. In Common Sense, the best-selling pamphlet of the American revolution, Thomas Paine thought that denying political self-determination had “no parallel in or out of scripture but the doctrine of original sin, which supposes the free will of all men lost in Adam….[it] unanswerably follows that original sin and hereditary succession are parallels.”14 His fellow British radicals were just as emphatic. For Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Richard Price and many others who I briefly mention in my article, original sin was the corrupt heart of the ancien regime.

No less telling is that the Enlightenment by convention ends as original sin is revived in political thought as a credible major premise. A century after Bossuet, Edmund Burke, with enormous eventual influence, argued that human nature inhibits self-rule. Few could miss Burke’s point. But his Continental counterpart, Joseph de Maistre, was in any case bracingly direct, maintaining that human corruptibility is justification for rejecting virtually all of the Enlightenment’s keywords: liberty, progress, improvability, optimism, social equality, natural rights. “Original sin,” he wrote, “explains everything.” It is the doctrine “without which nothing is explained.”15 As he put it more to the political point, “man…is too wicked to be free.”16

Zoom ahead roughly a century and a half beyond the French revolution, and when these arguments reappear in political thought, they do so in conspicuously direct response to Enlightenment historiography, suggesting how much political debate that turns on human nature owes to Enlightenment era discourse, or at least our understanding of it. In 1932 both Ernst Cassirer and Carl Becker published books that defined the Enlightenment by its opposition to original sin. By that time, the political theorist and Nazi party member Carl Schmitt had already argued that it’s only the belief that humans are bad by nature that underpins a genuine concept of the political. What’s striking is that right after Cassirer puts in writing that “original sin is the most common opponent against which the different orientations of Enlightenment philosophy unite”—that line appears in 1932—Schmitt expresses the crux of his view more explicitly in an expanded third edition of The Concept of the Political, published in 1933. A second edition beyond the 1927 original had, in fact, just appeared in 1932.17 But only the very next year does Schmitt make so direct the point earlier implied, when he writes, “the denial of original sin destroys all social order.” From the moment that liberal historians like Cassirer began to define the Enlightened by its opposition to original sin, in other words, Schmitt could return to the old terms of the debate and argue, as had Bossuet, Burke, and de Maistre before him, that without original sin, there is no effective government.

Edition published in English speaking countries by Rutgers University Press

Whether or not there’s awareness of the theological backstory, the basic argument that runs through the writing of these authoritarian thinkers—that constitutions can’t be trusted to get government right, that our rationality is defective in deriving from our depraved nature, that political authority should thus rest on an irrational reverence for the sacred institutions of the past—is again resonating with the right. Why, it is therefore worth asking, has it been so easy for so many to feel so depraved? Can democratic politics survive without belief in the potential for human improvement or the workability of reasonableness? If, in fact, we are ultimately guided in our politics by a belief in one version or another of human nature, then let’s ask the question the Enlightenment rightly identified as politically profound: What kind of faith do we have in other people? What kind of faith, that is, do we have in our nature and in ourselves?

Matt Kadane’s article “Original Sin and the Path to the Enlightenment” was published in Past & Present (235) last month

Footnotes

1 Robert Leonard, “Why Rural America Voted for Trump,” The New York Times, 5 January 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/opinion/why-rural-america-voted-for-trump.html?_r=0.

2 Jason Crowley, “Theresa May: quickfire questions on Jane Austen, late nights and Original Sin,” New Statesman, 8 February 2017, http://www.newstatesman.com/2017/02/theresa-may-quickfire-questions.

3 Richard Price, Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty (London, 1776), Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (London, 1790).

4 Quentin Skinner, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, Volume II: The Age of Reformation Cambridge, 1978), p. 18; Robert Friedmann, “Peter Riedemann on Original Sin and the Way of Salvation,” Mennonite Quarterly Review, 26 (1952): pp. 210-215.

5 Maryanne Cline Horowitz, Seeds of Virtue and Knowledge (Princeton, 1996), 181-205.

6 See the introduction in Patrick Riley (ed.), Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy Scripture, trans. by Patrick Riley (Cambridge, 1990).

7 Rachel Foxley, “The Levellers: John Lilburne, Richard Overton, and William Walwyn,” in Laura Knoppers (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Literature and the English Revolution (Oxford, 2012), p. 280.

8 Winstanley’s 1652 True Freedom of the Law permits judicial slavery, with a taskmaster for every slave; corporal and capital punishment, with an executioner in every parish; and other forms of “true government” for the “right ordering of all actions.” Did this political shift relate to Winstanley’s return to original sin? For the differing opinions see J. C. Davis, Utopia & the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing, 1516-1700 (Cambridge, 1981), pp. 191, n. 104.

9 On the political potential of Jansenism see Dale K. Van Kley, The Religious Origins of the French Revolution: From Calvin to the Civil Constitution, 1560-1791 (New Haven, 1999).

10 Mark Goldie, Roger Morrice and the Puritan Whigs: The Entring Book, 1677-1691 (Woodbridge, 2007).

11 W. M. Spellman, John Locke and the Problem of Depravity (Oxford, 1988).

12 For a nuanced account of Locke’s attitudes on original sin see Ian Harris, “The Politics of Christianity,” in G. A. J Rogers (ed.), Locke’s Philosophy: Content and Context (Oxford, 1994), passim.

13 Rousseau’s work has an original-sin-like logic: something goes wrong in the beginning and we all continue to suffer from it. But Rousseau’s explanation for what exactly went wrong is a radical subversion of Augustine—no less than were Rousseau’s own Confessions. Rousseau once wrote that “original sin explains everything”—and some commentators end the quotation there. In full, it reads: “original sin explains everything except its own principle, and it is this principle that has to be explained.” What Rousseau came up with to explain that principle is, of course, the development of society and its attendant inequalities, problems that his political solution in the Social Contract was meant to ameliorate. For the quotation see Christopher Kelly and Eve Grace (eds.), Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Letter to Beaumont, Letter Written from the Mountain, and Related Writings, trans. Christopher Kelley and Judith R. Bush (Hanover, 2001), p. 31.

14 Thomas Paine, Common Sense (Philadelphia, 1776), 14.

15 Joseph de Maistre, St. Petersburg Dialogues, trans. Richard Lebrun (Montreal, 1983), p. xx.

16 Quoted in Richard Lebrun, “Joseph de Maistre and Edmund Burke: A Comparison,” in Lebrun (ed.), Joseph de Maistre’s Life, Thought, and Influence: Selected Studies (Montreal, 2001), p. 165

17 On Schmitt’s third edition seen from the perspective of Leo Strauss’s influence, see Heinrich Meier, Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue, trans. Joseph Cropsey (Chicago, 1995).