An Interview with Jonathan Israel

"I do not think that postmodernist and postcolonial analysis does away with metanarratives so much as demand a more searching scrutiny of their assumptions, implications and, in part, often concealed purposes. The result is not to do away with half a millennium of Spanish colonial tradition, the story of the British empire, the Enlightenment or for that matter the Reformation, but rather make them more complex and open to questioning than before. I am all in favour. There may be some scholars today who deny the reality of the Radical Enlightenment. But there are not any who do this on the basis of sound scholarship and established facts. That would be impossible. No-one can dissolve the difference between moderate reform and revolutionary change in the eighteenth century."

Read more at The Oxonian Review.