Kant and Theology (Philosophy and Theology)

Kant’s Attack on and Hegel’s Renewal of Ontotheology
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Nimmo, , For Kant, the one-eyed brute symbolizes those churlish scholars that are found in every faculty of learning. On this depends the humanity of science. Only three-dimensional vision actually allows us to imagine the world as a place where humanity could one day comprise an ethical community. Paulson, however, believes the analogy to be a verification of the two-realm interpretation. It differs slightly, however, by rejecting the image of 15 Paulsen, In an important way, their interpretations summarized nineteenth century Kant scholarship and demarcated the parameters of Kant studies for the twentieth century.

As we have seen, two distinct avenues of interpretive influence emerged: Kant as the philosopher of four realms theory, practice, judgment, and religion and Kant the philosopher of two realms theory and practice. Frederick Copleston, S. Maclehose and Sons, , Otto argued for four realms in his transcendental philosophy. According to Otto, Kant did not write a fourth Critique, because he did not recognize that religious experience is a universal phenomena.

If he had, Kant would have been able to identify and articulate the unique sphere of religion. In short, Otto set out to do what he believed Kant did not do: discover the necessary conditions for the universal phenomena of religious experience that could be observed throughout the world. On one level, his view represented a tripartite synthesis of Kantian interpretation.

His work therefore brought the subject of religion back into a position of respectability in English Kant scholarship. Its strength lay in its ability to synthesize features important to each of the three main previous interpretations of Kant, rather than its exegetical accuracy or explanatory virtues. Sidgwick held a two- tiered view, Watson suggested a three-realm view, and Caird argued for four forms of reason.

Later, in , T.

Abbott published a translation that included only the text of Book One see pp. Theodore M.

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'Kant and Theology is written in full awareness of the tendency of many theological readers to dismiss Kant as an especially pernicious advocate of autonomous. Editorial Reviews. Review. 'Kant and Theology is written in full awareness of the tendency of many theological readers to dismiss Kant as an especially.

Greene and Hoyt H. The manner in which Kant pits these two powers against each other constitutes the dynamics of his system. For in their reality he sees the foci around which all philosophical thought moves, and he regards it as of the utmost importance to co-ordinate the two within a system. This aspect of his interpretation permeates his view of theology as well.

He writes, God, and God alone, knows the full truth at a glance. He alone knows himself, the world, and the soul. Man knows only the Idea of God, the world, and the soul. It is this which constitutes the inevitable and definitive limitation of human knowledge. One can say that the entire separation of object and subject as well as that of theoretical and practical reason is only human; in the comprehension of God it does not exist.

How far this comprehension can be fathomed by us is a difficult question. They are not the whole system and not even the whole outline of the critical philosophy. It proceeds from a required connection between nature and freedom found in a separate realm. It can in this sense be called a rational faith.

It belongs to the sphere of religion. However, he does not elaborate on the possibility of a link between these two aspects. A way forward between these conflicting interpretive schemes is hinted at in several of the better surveys of the history of modern philosophy during this period. For Copleston, The moral law commands us to make ourselves worthy of happiness rather than be happy or make ourselves happy. But because virtue should produce happiness, and because this completion of the summum bonum can be achieved only through divine agency, we are entitled to hope for happiness through the agency of God whose will, as a holy will, desires that His creatures should be worthy of happiness, while, as an omnipotent will, it can confer this happiness on them.

Religion involves faith and hope and the possibility of an actual God who is capable of making a difference in the lives of 37 Frederick Copleston, S. At the same time this statement can be misleading. For it suggests that in the content of true religion as Kant understands it every element of what we may call piety toward God is missing. But this is not the case. In discussing the Kant conferences typical of his era, he highlights the limits of their scopes.

The Influence of Kant's Philosophy of Religion

Respect for the interpersonal community can be lost or deliberately attacked, or else confused with those affective states which enjoy intense peaks but show little staying power of a moral quality. Hence the Kantian foundation laying of the ethical relationship among persons leads, by its own internal dynamism and the stresses of the human condition, toward a religious interpretation of the human community.

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His interpretation of Kant had been worked out in greater detail in his book The Emergence of Philosophy of Religion What may I hope? Despland summarizes his position as follows: The whole thrust of my interpretation leads to one conclusion: the superiority of moral theism is to be found not in the purely moral but in religious considerations as well. Faith is the free and personal act of affirmation which struggles against the split inside the self and outside of it between what is and what ought to be.

Is it both possible for God to be revealed and impossible to know it was God? Yet, there is no prima facie reason why the concepts of taste, teleology, and history should be excluded at this crucial juncture. Rossi and Michael W.

The Theological Consequences of Kant

Wreen Bloomington: Indiana University Press, , 9. The interpretations of Ronald Green,58 Adina Daviodovich,59 and Stephen Palmquist represent three very different, theologically affirmative interpretations of Kant that serve as good illustrations. In his as such to that of a necessary principle through which alone the unity of reason is established. Interestingly, however, neither scholar has taken his initial efforts much further in the direction of developing a comprehensive alternative to the traditional interpretation he so effectively challenged in his early work.

Wood does refer to religion and God occasionally, but not for their own sake. For his highest hopes for human history are pinned on religious values and religious institutions. This will provide ample evidence of how widespread the recognition is becoming among scholars actually working in this field that the traditional interpretation is neither the only nor the best alternative available. Two examples of books that devote one substantial chapter to Kant and adopt an affirmative interpretation are: see Chapter 9 of James M.

Unfortunately, this effect is still far from universal, especially among scholars born prior to who were therefore likely to have had their educational initiation to philosophy prior to the s. Whereas Clayton born in simply takes for granted the traditional interpretation, showing no awareness of a serious alternative see e. During my doctoral work in the early s initially before learning of the work of Bird and observations regarding paradigm shifts in science are also evident in interpretive trends: those trained in the old paradigm rarely change their minds; they are simply replaced by younger scholars who have learned to see the old material in a new way.


In all three of these books, Michalson expends so much effort demonstrating how utterly mistaken Kant was that the reader is left wondering why Michalson has bothered to devote so much effort to studying Kant in the first place! Green himself further developed his ideas on how to apply an affirmative interpretation of Kant to the study of comparative religion in Religion and Moral Reason ; see note 58, above , though here he merely assumes his previous reading of Kant, rather than defending or developing it any further.

His focus then shifts to Kierkegaard in Kierkegaard and Kant , but his affirmation of Kant as a secure foundation for the study of religion and theology is maintained no less emphatically.

The Influence of Kant's Philosophy of Religion

Wood trans. Kant's political philosophy, being essentially a legal doctrine, rejects by definition the opposition between moral education and the play of passions as alternate foundations for social life. Thus, the formatting is not standardized between the chapters e. Man would understand the divine spirit only if he could produce the knowledge of God in the same way. Kierkegaard is at pains throughout the conversation to emphasize how thoroughly he was influenced by Kant—a theme Green has explored in great detail in his book, Kierkegaard and Kant: The Hidden Debt see note 58, above. Theologians are more likely to be concerned about the former, while ordinary religious believers tend to care more about the latter. In addition, the critical philosophy provided a locus from which Kant could address other important dimensions of the concepts of God and religion more explicitly than he had done in his earlier writings.

Paul comes in a book addressed explicitly to a religious non-philosophical, Christian readership. Eerdmans Pub. For a further development of this theme, see Chapters 11 and 12 in the present collection. We provide complimentary e-inspection copies of primary textbooks to instructors considering our books for course adoption. Most VitalSource eBooks are available in a reflowable EPUB format which allows you to resize text to suit you and enables other accessibility features.

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Project MUSE - The Political Theology of Critical Philosophy: Reading Kant’s Ideas of Religion

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Toggle navigation Additional Book Information. It is absent in later works, and in the Critique of Judgment , Kant explicitly dismisses it along with all other non-moral arguments for the afterlife cf.

The other and better known argument for this postulate is first found in the Critique of Pure Reason 's Canon. Like his argument for the Postulate of God, Kant also argues that we must postulate the immortality of the soul as a necessary condition for the distribution of happiness in HG i. Given the exigencies of the natural order, this distribution cannot be secured within this order. Hence, in the First Critique , the purpose of the afterlife is to provide a domain for HG i 's distribution of happiness.


However, in the Second Critique , the postulate undergoes a significant revision. As Kant no longer needs the Highest Good as the motivational basis for our observance of morality, it is recast as part of the architectonic of pure practical reason; and, likewise, the postulate of immortality gains a new function. Whereas Kant formerly turned to immortality as part of his account of how the happiness of HG i is to be distributed, he now presents it as necessary for our becoming worthy of that happiness.