'Religion' and the Religions in the English Enlightenment
Cambridge University Press, 2002 M05 2 - 288 pages
This study examines the changes which took place in the understanding of 'religion' and 'the religions' during the Enlightenment in England, the period when the decisive break with Patristic, Medieval and Renaissance notions of religion occurred. Dr Harrison's view is that the principles of the English Enlightenment not only made a special contribution to our modern understanding of what religion is, but they pioneered, in addition, the 'scientific', or non-religious approach, to religious phenomena. During this period a crisis of authority in the Church necessitated a rational enquiry into the various forms of Christianity, and in addition, into the claims of all religions. This led to a concept of 'religion' (based on 'natural' theology) which could link together the apparently disparate religious beliefs and practices found in the empirical religions.
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Classical Theories of religion
RELIGION REVELATION AND THE LIGHT OF NATURE PROTESTANTS AND PLATONISTS
Natural and revealed theology
The religious a priori and innate ideas
Innate religion and the religions
Human Frailty and the Work of the Devil
The Fall and Degeneration of the World
Admixture and Travel
The Pathology of Religion
The Decline of Sacred History
FROM SACRED HISTORY TO NATURAL HISTORY
Theodicy and salvation in the religions
THE RELIGIOUS INSTINCT AND PRIESTLY
The Religious a Priori and the Five Common Notions
Priestcraft and Anticlericalism
SACRED HISTORY AND RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY
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according Anatomy of Melancholy ancient antiquity appeared attempts authority become belief biblical Blount Cambridge Platonists cause century Character Christ Christianity Church claim clergy climate common notions comparative concerning corruption deists Discourse diversity divine doctrine England English Enlightenment evidence existence explanations expressed fact faith Fall followed gods grounds heathen Henry Herbert human Ibid ideas Idolatry important imposture influence innate Jews John kind knowledge language less Letter light London matter means mind moral Mystery names natural history natural religion noted objects observed original pagan particular philosophy Plato positive possibility practices present priests primitive principle reason regarded religious result revelation sacred salvation saving says seems seventeenth century similar simply soul sources suggested theology theory things Thomas thought Toland tradition true truth understanding universal University Press various whole worship writings
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