Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Burke, Edmund (c. 1729–1797)
Edmund Burke was an Irish-born British statesman and writer. He earned some early recognition as a philosophical thinker but spent the bulk of his professional life as a member of Parliament, where he gained prominence for his outspokenness and leadership on controversial issues as well as for the quality of his rhetoric. Today, he is primarily known for the philosophical depth and practical value of his political thought. Burke was born in Dublin, where his father was an attorney; his mother was descended from old Irish gentry, but her family was of very modest means. Burke's religious background—which may have helped shape his political and philosophical views—has been a subject of some controversy among scholars. His mother and sister were Catholic, whereas Burke, his brothers, and his father were officially members of the (Anglican) Church of Ireland. Given that Burke and his father would have been barred from their careers ...