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Lecture 21

REL 1350 Lecture 21: Enlightenment 2

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REL 1350

1) What is Christianity all about? a) The end of the great religious battles i) The peace of Westphalia (1648) and the death of Cromwell (1658) ii) (Cromwell was a Puritan) b) Jonathan Swifts critique: Killing for things indifferent, by difference of opinion 2) Background (Weakening of Catholicism) a) Powerful french monarchy (Louis XIV) i) Revoked the Edict of Nantes (suppressed Huguenots) ii) Against Quietism (mysticism) iii) Encouraged the theory of Gallicanism (General councils over popes authority) b) Debate between the Jesuits and Jansenists (Augustinian) i) Important issue within catholicism ii) Jesuits emphasized human freedom (in choosing good over evil) and responsibility in the work of salvation iii) Jansenists emphasized both the power of God and the sinfulness of humanity 3) The Appeal to Reason (reason <> revelation) a) The enlightenment i) Reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy ii) liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity iii) To end the abuses of the church and state iv) Revolutions b) The royal society for improving natural knowledge (England 1645) i) Bacons method (philosophical induction) the world is rational and orderly ii) A regular law and plan, from God, governed the universe iii) Gods presence could be seen in the worlds order and symmetry (1) Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made (Rom 1:20) iv) We can know and discover the order of the universe because there is a profound parallel between human and divine reason (Isaac Newton 16421727: physicist and mathematician, formed the laws of motion, and universal gravitation) c) John Locke (18321704) Enlightenment thinker, philosopher, physician i) Fought against absolutism (the king or church) ii) Argued for religious tolerance (no need for protection of an absolute church) iii) The senses are a surer guide than the church (in opposition to Ignatius Loyola) iv) Revelation could give humans knowledge that was above reason, but it could never contradict reason. d) Natural Theology i) Prove Gods existence and define Gods nature through an appeal on the natural world ii) Christian claims were to be judged and defended by reason iii) Five principles of true religion (1) There was a god (2) Humans has an obligation to worship that GOd (3) There was an ethical law associated with god (4) Humans failed at times to keep this moral law and need to repent when they failed (5) And there would be a final reward for good and punishment for evil (6) Revelation is unnecessary (=> Deism) e) Deism i) Revelation is unnecessary
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