By Ian Crowe
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Additional resources for An Imaginative Whig: Reassessing the Life and Thought of Edmund Burke
Doctrines, and especially controversial doctrines, were of only secondary importance. a confidence in his declarations; and an imitation of his perfections. ”5 True religion, so understood, can be found in many different forms and faiths. Burke himself took a keen amateur interest in theology, but he did not believe that ordinary individuals needed to, or should, examine the tenets of the faith in which they had been educated. For most people, religion was something to be taken on trust. Burke’s description of “true religion” is one to which many deists could have subscribed.
30. O’Brien, Great Melody, 22. 31. , 590–1. Elizabeth Lambert, “Edmund Burke’s Religion,” English Language Notes, 32 (1994), 19–29, refutes the story. 32 ` F. P. LOCK If not a crypto-Catholic, was Burke even a Christian? In Statesmanship and Party Government, Harvey Mansfield advances a cautious denial. ”32 This is certainly a plausible interpretation of the evidence. If I see a different pattern, I may simply be giving Burke the benefit of the doubt (a common enough habit of biographers), or I may have a less exacting notion of what constitutes evidence for Christian belief.
Shackleton served as a kind of surrogate father for Burke, and his son Richard was the closest of Burke’s early friends. Burke’s religious convictions were thus informed by direct observation of different faiths, as well as by ratiocination and personal experience. Burke’s ideas about religion had taken shape at the latest by 1753, the date he assigned to the completion of his Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. This work investigates how certain responses are produced in the human mind.
An Imaginative Whig: Reassessing the Life and Thought of Edmund Burke by Ian Crowe