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The Devil's TabernacleThe Pagan Oracles in Early Modern Thought$
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Anthony Ossa-Richardson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157115

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157115.001.0001

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(p.247) Chapter Six Solutions
The Devil's Tabernacle

Anthony Ossa-Richardson

Princeton University Press

This chapter deals with the aftermath of the Fontenelle–Baltus exchange, and its eventual overcoming, via a series of new perspectives and scholarly disciplines, in the transformed intellectual world of the nineteenth century. In the new century we find the imposture thesis in all the authors and texts we would expect: in the English Deists, John Toland, Matthew Tindal, and Conyers Middleton; in the exiled Italians, Pietro Giannone and Alberto Radicati; in Louis de Jaucourt's entry on oracles in the Encyclopédie, and the French libertins Nicolas Fréret and César Chesneau du Marsais; in Bekker's German supporter Christian Thomasius; in the Spanish polymath Benito Feijóo; in the Traité des trois imposteurs; and much later in Thomas Paine's Rights of Man. But also in many more forgotten places, frequently but not always with reference to Van Dale and Fontenelle, and the dispute with Baltus.

Keywords:   Fontenelle, Baltus, oracles, pagan antiquity, imposture thesis

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