Journal Article

BEFORE THE ROOSTER CROWS: THE BETRAYAL OF KNOWLEDGE IN MODERNITY<sup>1</sup>

Grace M. Jantzen

in Literature and Theology

Volume 15, issue 1, pages 1-24
Published in print March 2001 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online March 2001 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/15.1.1
BEFORE THE ROOSTER CROWS: THE BETRAYAL OF KNOWLEDGE IN MODERNITY1

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In this paper I compare the gendered epistemology of John Locke and Margaret Fell as representatives of a choice between life and death in early modernity. Locke's epistemology, based on ideals of putative neutrality and objectivity and disturbed by ‘enthusiasts’, became the model of knowledge in modernity I show, however, that it is premised upon death. Not only does it take objects (rendered lifeless by the removal of God from the world) as the paradigm for knowledge; but it also renders the process of knowing itself as calculation rather than sympathy I show that in the writings of ‘enthusiasts’, in particular the Quaker Margaret Fell, a life-giving and life-affirming knowledge was offered, but that it was heavily repressed by Locke and his fellows both in terms of gender and in terms of its (related) understanding of the divine, so that modernity was structured upon a gesture of death

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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