A Usable Past
Essays in European Cultural History
By (author) William J. Bouwsma
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Usable Past by William J. Bouwsma
Book DescriptionThe essays assembled here represent forty years of reflection about the European cultural past by an eminent historian. The volume concentrates on the Renaissance and Reformation, while providing a lens through which to view problems of perennial interest. A Usable Past is a book of unusual scope, touching on such topics as political thought and historiography, metaphysical and practical conceptions of order, the relevance of Renaissance humanism to Protestant thought, the secularization of European culture, the contributions of particular professional groups to European civilization, and the teaching of history. The essays in A Usable Past are unified by a set of common concerns. William Bouwsma has always resisted the pretensions to science that have shaped much recent historical scholarship and made the work of historians increasingly specialized and inaccessible to lay readers. Following Friedrich Nietzsche, he argues that since history is a kind of public utility, historical research should contribute to the self-understanding of society.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520069909
(229mm x 152mm x 26mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 27-Jun-1990
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author William J. Bouwsma
Waning of the Renaissance, 1550-1640, Paperback (August 2002)
Historian William J. Bouwsma here examines the conventional view of the European Renaissance as the root and foundation of modern culture, arguing instead that while it had a beginning and a climax, the Renaissance also had an ending.
John Calvin, Paperback (March 1989)» View all books by William J. Bouwsma
The author studies theologian John Calvin as a way to bring into focus the cultural, psychological, and intellectual problems of the 16th century and argues that Calvin represents an historical moment of transition from traditional modes of philosophical and religious thought to modern ones.
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Author Biography - William J. Bouwsma
William J. Bouwsma (1924-2004) was Sather Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include Venice and the Defense of Republican Liberty: Renaissance Values in the Age of the Counter Reformation (California, 1968) and John Calvin: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait (1988).
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