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Modernity European challenges to Christianity. Back in Europe Huge challenges posed to Christianity Huge challenges posed to Christianity Wars of Religion.

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Presentation on theme: "Modernity European challenges to Christianity. Back in Europe Huge challenges posed to Christianity Huge challenges posed to Christianity Wars of Religion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Modernity European challenges to Christianity

2 Back in Europe Huge challenges posed to Christianity Huge challenges posed to Christianity Wars of Religion Wars of Religion Development of modern science (Galileo, Newton): is Christianity reliably true? Development of modern science (Galileo, Newton): is Christianity reliably true? Continues an aspect of the Reformation: Critique authority Continues an aspect of the Reformation: Critique authority Reformation: scripture is highest authority Reformation: scripture is highest authority Enlightenment: how do we know anything is true? Why should we accept this? Enlightenment: how do we know anything is true? Why should we accept this?

3 Forerunner: Descartes Rene Descartes ( ) Rene Descartes ( ) Philosopher, mathematician Philosopher, mathematician “I think, therefore I am” “I think, therefore I am” How do we know anything? How can we be certain? How do we know anything? How can we be certain? Don’t simply trust authorities; doubt all received authority and knowledge Don’t simply trust authorities; doubt all received authority and knowledge “Raze everything to the ground, begin again from the original foundations” “Raze everything to the ground, begin again from the original foundations” He knew he doubted; he thought, and he knew his own existence He knew he doubted; he thought, and he knew his own existence

4 Enlightenment themes Confidence in the abilities of human reason (to enlighten people) Confidence in the abilities of human reason (to enlighten people) How had they been in darkness? How had they been in darkness? Religion is useful when it serves morality Religion is useful when it serves morality But not the focus on supernatural, miracles, etc., because these things cannot be explained by reason But not the focus on supernatural, miracles, etc., because these things cannot be explained by reason But it is destructive when it divides people But it is destructive when it divides people Human reason leads to human progress Human reason leads to human progress Through science, empiricism, knowledge Through science, empiricism, knowledge Humanity is progressing from primitive stages to an advanced stage Humanity is progressing from primitive stages to an advanced stage

5 Immanuel Kant ( ) From Prussia (eastern Germany) From Prussia (eastern Germany) Lutheran Lutheran University professor University professor Conscience was at the heart of religion Conscience was at the heart of religion people understand themselves to have moral duties people understand themselves to have moral duties this is the exercise of human freedom this is the exercise of human freedom religion for him focused on morality, as the recognition of divine commands religion for him focused on morality, as the recognition of divine commands

6 What is enlightenment? “Dare to think” “Dare to think” Public vs. private (define) Public vs. private (define) Human progress in history Human progress in history Role of state Role of state

7 Questions How does Kant critique religion? How does Kant critique religion? How does he advocate religion? How does he advocate religion? Do you think that people fail to think for themselves out of laziness and cowardice? Do you think that people fail to think for themselves out of laziness and cowardice? Where do you see difficulties today in “daring to think”? Where do you see difficulties today in “daring to think”? Can one be authentic and act differently in public and private, as Kant advises? Can one be authentic and act differently in public and private, as Kant advises? How does Kant think ministry is different from university theology? How does Kant think ministry is different from university theology? Do you agree that people will work their way out of barbarism if they are free? Do you agree that people will work their way out of barbarism if they are free?


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