By Guy G. Stroumsa
We see the notice “religion” in every single place, but will we comprehend what it ability, and is there a constant world wide figuring out? Who found faith and in what context? In a brand new technology, man Stroumsa bargains an cutting edge and robust argument that the comparative examine of faith reveals its beginning in early sleek Europe. the area within which this new type emerged was once marked by way of 3 significant historic and highbrow phenomena: the increase of ecu empires, that gave delivery to ethnological interest; the Reformation, which completely altered Christianity; and the discovery of philology, a self-discipline that remodeled Western highbrow proposal. in contrast advanced old backdrop, Stroumsa courses us during the lives and writings of the boys who got here to outline the observe “religion.” As Stroumsa boldly argues, the fashionable examine of faith, a brand new technology, used to be made attainable via a dialectical strategy among Catholic and Protestant students. historical Israelite faith, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Manichaeanism, Zoroastrianism, the sacred ideals of the recent global, and people of Greece, Rome, India, and China, composed the complicated floor upon which “religion,” a most up-to-date classification, used to be came across.
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Extra resources for A New Science: The Discovery of Religion in the Age of Reason
Continuing to live as a member of the Jewish community, even those portions of it not infected by Zionist zealotry, just wasn’t for me. Why? It’s not that I see no need for community or that I can’t understand how people who share a tradition might ﬁnd fulﬁllment in association with each other. I certainly see nothing wrong with the idea of a modernized Jewish communal life that sheds both those chauvinistic elements to which I morally object along with the fundamentalist beliefs. But to me there isn’t much point.
As a species 30 jo urn eys we seem particularly prone to acts of savagery that distinguish us on the planet. But we must take responsibility for ourselves, and while taking responsibility for our dark side also take pride in our achievements. Theists of all (traditional) kinds often make human hubris—the urge, as it is sometimes called, to ‘‘play God’’— into the source of much evil in the world. I side with (my understanding of ) Nietzsche here in seeing this as the great inversion of reality that it is.
While less obviously connected with theology, Gassendi also had a kind of theological program; his project could be construed as making Epicurus and Epicureanism safe for a Christian society. Pascal wasn’t a priest, but his name became associated with the Catholic 32 r el ig i o p h i l o s o p h i 33 theological movement of Jansenism, which sought to bring Catholicism back to its spiritual roots in Augustinian thought. Though he was an important mathematician and physicist, he is now best known for his Pense´es, the notes he left for an apology for Christianity that he was working on at the time of his death.