Religion and the Rise of Modern Culture
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Religion and the Rise of Modern Culture describes and analyzes changing attitudes toward religion during three stages of modern European culture: the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the Romantic period. Louis Dupré is an expert guide to the complex historical and intellectual relation between religion and modern culture.

Dupré begins by tracing the weakening of the Christian synthesis. At the end of the Middle Ages intellectual attitudes toward religion began to change. Theology, once the dominant science that had integrated all others, lost its commanding position. After the French Revolution, religion once again played a role in intellectual life, but not as the dominant force. Religion became transformed by intellectual and moral principles conceived independently of faith. Dupré explores this new situation in three areas: the literature of Romanticism (illustrated by Goethe, Schiller, and Hölderlin); idealist philosophy (Schelling); and theology itself (Schleiermacher and Kierkegaard). Dupré argues that contemporary religion has not yet met the challenge presented by Romantic thought.

Dupré’s elegant and incisive book, based on the Erasmus Lectures he delivered at the University of Notre Dame in 2005, will challenge anyone interested in religion and the philosophy of culture.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 mars 2008
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780268077617
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 16 Mo

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Religionand theRiseofModern Culture
Erasmus Institute Books
Religionand theRiseof Modern Culture d LO U I S D U P R É
University of Notre Dame Press Notre Dame, Indiana
Copyright © 2008 by University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana 46556 AllRights Reserved
Designed by Wendy McMillen Set in 11.8/14 Pavane by EM Studio, Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Dupré, Louis K., 1925– Religion and the rise of modernculture / Louis Dupre. — (Erasmus Institute books) Includes index. ISBN-13: 978-0-268-02594-6 (pbk. : alk. paper) ISBN-10: 0-268-02594-0 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1.Christianity and culture—Europe—History.2. Europe—Intellectual life. 3.Christianity and culture—Germany—History.4.Germany—Intellectual life.5.Church history—Modern period, 1500–I. Title. BR735.D862008 261.0943—dc22 2007051040
c o n t e n t s
Introduction: Religion and the Rise of Modern Culture
The Form of Modernity
Nature and Grace
The Crisis of the Enlightenment
On the Intellectual Sources of Modern Atheism
God and the Poetry of the New Age: Classicism and Romanticism in Germany
Schelling and the Revival of Mythology
The Rebirth of Theology: Schleiermacher and Kierkegaard
Conclusion: Religion at the End of the Modern Age
Index of Names
p r e f a c e
The following pages contain the text of the Erasmus Lec-tures, delivered at the University of Notre Dame during the academic year 2005–2006. For me the meaning of the occasion was enhanced by its occurring at an institute that bears the name of the father of Europe’s spiritual unity, a teacher at my alma mater. Erasmus taught tolerance at a time of intolerance and remains a guide in the religious turmoil of the present. Writing down a previously spoken text proved to be a sobering experience. The expectant faces, probing questions, intellectual chal-lenges, which had made the delivery so exciting, no longer sustained the writing. To compensate for their absence, I have attempted to preserve at least some of the spontaneity of the original setting. Still, as lectures turned into chapters, theses proclaimed with the pre-sumed authority of an invited speaker often assumed a tentative qual-ity. Questions never asked or never answered glaringly appeared through the assertiveness of the spoken words. I became painfully aware of the provisional character of the ideas expressed, especially in the second part of the lectures. I hope to cast them in a more de-finitive form during the next years. As the lectures appear here, they nevertheless recapture for me the stimulating dialogue with an intel-ligent and generous audience engaged in a common search for the na-ture of modern culture. They also revived the gratitude I continue to feel toward my won-derful hosts, Robert Sullivan and Dianne Phillips, the director and
associate director of the Erasmus Institute, as well as the joy of reliv-ing the presence of friends long out of sight yet marvelously un-changed, Cyril O’Reagan and Kathy Kaveney. I gratefully recall making the acquaintance of men and women with whom I felt an in-stant spiritual affinity, especially Dean Mark Roche, Professor Fred Dallmayer, and poet Henry Weinfield. To all of them I dedicate this memoir of a shared experience. Special thanks to Barbara Hanrahan, the director of the Notre Dame Press, and to Rebecca DeBoer, its managing editor, for their gracious kindness and patience. The first three chapters recapitulate much that I have developed inPassage to Modernity(Yale University Press, 1993) andThe Enlight-enment and the Intellectual Development of Modern Culture(Yale Univer-sity Press, 2004). Parts of chapter 4 have been published in “On the Intellectual Sources of Modern Atheism,”International Journal for Philosophy of Religion45 (1999): 1–11.
Introduction Religion and the Rise of Modern Culture
The title of this book might raise questions. Does man’s par-ticipation in the eternal ever change? Interpretations, rituals, even moral precepts become transformed over the centuries. Yet does the religious attitude not remain constant within the flux of time? It does, indeed. But the individual and social response to religion also includes the task of integrating that attitude within the warp and woof of existence in a particular culture at a particular time. The manner in which the devout fulfi ll that task differs from one period to another. Its nature is at least in part determined by the social and intellectual conditions prevailing at the time of the response. In the history of Christianity, cultural transformations may have been more substantial during the modern period than in any preced-ing one. The seeds of change were planted much earlier, some at the height of the Middle Ages, some even before. I shall trace them in the first two chapters. For over a millennium Western culture had been the culture of Christianity. At the beginning of the modern age, culture and religion assumed a certain independence vis-à-vis each other. During the Enlightenment, separation turned into opposition.
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