Luke Clossey

Published On


Page Range

pp. 13–28


  • English

Print Length

16 pages

2. The Two Kens

  • Luke Clossey (author)
We can better understand the fifteenth-century mind by delineating two different perspectives, here called "kens." The plain ken sees the world as a mess of particular things and human actions. This mess occur in an everyday spacetime, subject to certain rules: Every event can be located precisely with three spatial coordinates and a time stamp. There is no deep meaning beyond what we happen to project onto events. The plain ken sees in a coincidence merely a coincidence, random and accidental. In contrast, the deep ken allows for all these things the plain ken denies. There is subtle, deep, real meaning—and meaningful connections—beyond the accidental constructions by humans and the chance encounters of normal spacetime. There are subtle and powerful meaning, necessities, and connections, found especially in beauty and proportions.


Luke Clossey

Associate Professor of Global History at Simon Fraser University

Luke Clossey is an associate professor of global history at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. His first book, Salvation and Globalization in the Early Jesuit Missions (Cambridge UP, 2008), won the Canadian Historical Association's Ferguson Prize for best work of non-Canadian history; a chapter from it won a paper prize from the World History Association. His writings on global religion, the history of ideas, and history methodology have appeared in the Journal of World History, the Journal of Global History, the Journal of Early Modern History, the Sixteenth Century Journal, Global History Review 全球史评 论 , History Compass, the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature, and The Cambridge World History.