Download e-book for kindle: Lessing's Philosophy of Religion and the German by Toshimasa Yasukata

By Toshimasa Yasukata

ISBN-10: 0195144945

ISBN-13: 9780195144949

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-81) stands as a key determine in German highbrow historical past, a bridge becoming a member of Luther, Leibniz, and German idealism. regardless of his well-recognized value within the background of idea, Lessing as theologian or thinker of faith continues to be an enigmatic determine. students seek advice from the "riddle" or "mystery" of Lessing, a secret that has proved intractable due to his reticence with regards to the ultimate conclusions of his highbrow undertaking. Toshimasa Yasukata seeks to solve this secret. in response to in depth research of the whole corpus of Lessing's philosophical and theological writings in addition to the wide secondary literature, Yasukata's paintings takes us into the systematic center of Lessing's idea. From his penetrating and complex research of Lessing's constructing place on Christianity and cause, there emerges a clean snapshot of Lessing as an artistic glossy brain, who's either formed by way of and provides form to the Christian historical past. the 1st finished examine in English of Lessing's theological and philosophical inspiration, this booklet will attract all these attracted to the historical past of contemporary theology, in addition to experts within the Enlightenment and the German romantic flow.

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Extra resources for Lessing's Philosophy of Religion and the German Enlightenment

Example text

The learned theologian might in the last resort be embarrassed, but certainly not the Christian. To the former it might at most cause confusion to see the supports with which he would uphold religion shattered in this way, to find cast down the buttresses by which, God willing, he would have made it safe and sound. But how do this man's hypotheses, explanations, and proofs affect the Christian? For him it is simply a fact, this Christianity which he feels to be true and in which he feels blessed.

Always among my books, occupied only with myself, I rarely thought of other people or, perhaps, of God. . This state, however, did not last long. My eyes were opened—should I say fortunately, or unfortunately, for me? The future will decide which is the case. I came to see that books would make me a scholar, but never a man. I ventured forth among my fellows. Good God! What a difference I perceived between myself and them! A boorish shyness, a neglected and awkward body, utter ignorance of the manners of society, a gloomy, unfriendly bearing in which every one believed he could read my contempt for him—these were the good qualities that my self-criticism disclosed.

Against the background of his erstwhile meandering pursuit of truth, the following famous words should be read: The worth of a man does not consist in the truth he possesses, or thinks he possesses, but in the pains he has taken to attain that truth. For his powers are extended not through possession but through the search for truth. In this alone does his ever-growing perfection consist. Possession makes him lazy, indolent, and proud. If God held all truth in his right hand and everlasting striving for truth in his left, so that I should always and everlastingly be mistaken, and said to me, “Choose,” I would humbly pick the left hand and say, “Father, grant me that.

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Lessing's Philosophy of Religion and the German Enlightenment by Toshimasa Yasukata


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