We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

The Persistence of the Sacred in Modern Thought

Chris L. Firestone

Publication Year: 2012

In The Persistence of the Sacred in Modern Thought, Chris L. Firestone, Nathan A. Jacobs, and thirteen other contributors examine the role of God in the thought of major European philosophers from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. The philosophers considered are, by and large, not orthodox theists; they are highly influential freethinkers, emancipated by an age no longer tethered to the authority of church and state. While acknowledging this fact, the contributors are united in arguing that this is only one side of a complex story. To redress the imbalance of attention to secularism among crucial modern thinkers and to consolidate a more theologically informed view of modernity, they focus on the centrality of the sacred (theology and God) in the thought of these philosophers. The essays, each in its own way, argue that the major figures in modernity are theologically astute, bent not on removing God from philosophy but on putting faith and reason on a more sure footing in light of advancements in science and a perceived need to rethink the relationship between God and world.
 
By highlighting and defending the theologically affirmative dimensions of thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes, Gottfried Leibniz, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, F. W. J. Schelling, G. W. F. Hegel, and others, the essayists present a forceful and timely correction of widely accepted interpretations of these philosophers. To ignore or downplay the theological dimensions of the philosophical works they address, they argue, distorts our understanding of modern thought.
 
"Over the past twenty-five years there has been a gradual change in the study of modern philosophy toward recognizing the centrality of our relation to God in the work of most of the major modern thinkers of the period. The Persistence of the Sacred in Modern Thought is a timely and useful collection that has the potential to crystallize this important development in the study of modern philosophy." —John E. Hare, Yale Divinity School

Published by: University of Notre Dame Press

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (45.0 KB)
 

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (89.8 KB)
pp. 1-14

The collection of essays to follow looks at the role of God in the work of major thinkers in modernity. The philosophers of this period are, by and large, not orthodox theists; they are freethinkers, emancipated . . .

read more

Chapter 1: The Desecularization of Descartes

pdf iconDownload PDF (135.5 KB)
pp. 15-37

It is striking that Descartes is not generally treated in the anglophone academy as a Christian philosopher, in the manner of Augustine, say, or Thomas Aquinas; indeed, he is generally presented in textbooks . . .

read more

Chapter 2: Law and Self-Preservation in Leviathan

pdf iconDownload PDF (151.3 KB)
pp. 38-65

Thomas Hobbes’s philosophy was by and large misunderstood by his critics in the second half of the seventeenth century.1 In this chapter I explain some of the principal sources for this misunderstanding and . . .

read more

Chapter 3: The Religious Spinoza

pdf iconDownload PDF (127.3 KB)
pp. 66-86

Perhaps no figure in the two-century history from Descartes through Hegel has been more thoroughly identified with secularization and atheism than Baruch de Spinoza. In Christian Europe, for almost a . . .

read more

Chapter 4: God and Design in the Thought of Robert Boyle

pdf iconDownload PDF (145.8 KB)
pp. 87-111

In the last half century, historians of early modern science have recognized the importance of the religious, indeed, the theological dimension to the thought of the natural philosophers or scientists of the late . . .

read more

Chapter 5: God in Locke’s Philosophy

pdf iconDownload PDF (171.2 KB)
pp. 112-148

To write about the role of God in Locke’s philosophy is to confront a daunting hermeneutical challenge. In what Locke says about God and God’s role in human existence, there are contradictions, ambiguities, . . .

read more

Chapter 6: The Myth of the Clockwork Universe

pdf iconDownload PDF (197.2 KB)
pp. 149-184

The myth of Newton’s clockwork universe is one of the most persis - tent and pervasive myths in the history of science, perhaps almost as widespread as the mistaken and essentialistic belief that the Galileo . . .

read more

Chapter 7: Pierre Bayle

pdf iconDownload PDF (138.3 KB)
pp. 185-208

The expression “complicated Protestant” needs some explaining. It comes from Antony McKenna’s response to the invitation from a certain university to speak on Pierre Bayle. McKenna had to decline but . . .

read more

Chapter 8: Leibniz and the Augustinian Tradition

pdf iconDownload PDF (227.0 KB)
pp. 209-250

Although Gottfried Leibniz professes a commitment to historical Christian theism, both the depth and orthodoxy of his commitment have been questioned throughout the past three centuries. Accusations . . .

read more

Chapter 9: Hume’s Defense of True Religion

pdf iconDownload PDF (121.0 KB)
pp. 251-272

On the back cover of the Oxford World’s Classics edition of David Hume’s Dialogues concerning Natural Religion and The Natural History of Religion we read that in these works is to be found . . .

read more

Chapter 10: The Illegitimate Son

pdf iconDownload PDF (138.9 KB)
pp. 273-299

Two interpretive bloodlines flow from the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. The theologically positive bloodline, as Gordon Michalson characterizes it, “veer[s] off in the direction of constructive theological . . .

read more

Chapter 11: The Reception and Legacy of J.G. Fichte’s Religionslehre

pdf iconDownload PDF (119.0 KB)
pp. 300-318

Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762– 1814) was an autumn child of the German Enlightenment, or Aufklärung. Educated to be a moderate theo - logian, persuaded to be a material determinist, and inclined to be a . . .

read more

Chapter 12: Metaphysical Realism and Epistemological Modesty in Schleiermacher’s Method

pdf iconDownload PDF (100.0 KB)
pp. 319-334

How are we to understand religion? It is undeniable that religion, and religious motivations, have played a very large role in shaping world events. As such, the question of how to understand religion has . . .

read more

Chapter 13: Schelling’s Turn to Scripture

pdf iconDownload PDF (100.0 KB)
pp. 335-351

F.W. J. Schelling (1775– 1851) is an unusual figure in this volume. He is significantly less well known and less read than his contemporaries Fichte and Hegel; there are thus fewer signs of the tendency, . . .

read more

Chapter 14: Hegel and Secularization

pdf iconDownload PDF (118.1 KB)
pp. 352-371

Secularizing interpretations of Hegel have arisen largely as a consequence of the professionalization of philosophy as a secular academic discipline and the concomitant rejection of metaphysics, including . . .

read more

Chapter 15: Kierkegaard’s Critique of Secular Reason

pdf iconDownload PDF (120.4 KB)
pp. 372-391

One stubborn perception among philosophers is that there is little of value in the explicitly Christian character of Søren Kierkegaard’s thinking.1 Those embarrassed by a Kierkegaardian view of Christian . . .

Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF (55.1 KB)
pp. 392-396

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (63.8 KB)
pp. 397-421

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (39.7 KB)
 


E-ISBN-13: 9780268079741
E-ISBN-10: 0268079749
Print-ISBN-13: 9780268029067
Print-ISBN-10: 0268029067

Page Count: 400
Illustrations: NA
Publication Year: 2012