The Young Academic Alumni Lecture Series presents
Brent S. Sirota ’98,
North Carolina State University
Monday, November 10, 2008
Tea at 4:15 P.M., Talk at 4:30 P.M.
Magill Library — Philips Wing
In the early eighteenth century, voluntary associations were enshrined at the heart of British public life. The philanthropy and sociability of these organizations underpinned a self-proclaimed "age of benevolence" in which clubs, societies, and projects were designated the preeminent instruments of social improvement, religious renewal and moral reform. How may we account for this moral valorization of civil society in Britain? This paper will trace the origins of the "age of benevolence" to the defeat of absolutism in the Revolution of 1688-1689. By recovering the revolutionary origins of British civil society, it will be possible to view the eighteenth century "age of benevolence" as a key moment in both the rise of British liberalism and the development of the British state.
Presented by the Library, the John B. Hurford ’60 Humanities Center, and the Office of Alumni Relations.