Periodical Press: Faith and Knowledge in the Mercurio Peruano

  • Adam SharmanEmail author


The chapter addresses the “Catholic Enlightenment” through a reading of eighteenth-century Peruvian periodical the Mercurio Peruano. It analyses the place of the Counter-Reformation and of Christian caritas in the paper. But it identifies the articles on public works, commerce, and mining as the place where the language of a technoscientific critical reason emerges. Sharman suggests that a fragile colonial literary public sphere is the sign of a New Philosophy that would not simply be a theology. However, using Derrida on religion, he issues a vital challenge to the conventional account of the Enlightenment as the advent of autonomous reason. He reminds us that there is no enlightened reason that does not presuppose an act of faith—in the testimonial pact that subtends all knowledge.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Modern Languages and CulturesUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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