Reimarus and the religious Enlightenment: his apologetic project

Birch, J. C.P. (2018) Reimarus and the religious Enlightenment: his apologetic project. Expository Times, 129(6), pp. 245-253. (doi: 10.1177/0014524617744991)

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Intellectual history abounds with writers who were celebrated figures in their own time but who are scarcely remembered today; whereas others emerge from obscurity to become canonical figures in their disciplines. Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694–1768) does not quite fit either model: he was a respected scholar in his own lifetime and, as other contributors to this issue demonstrate, he was certainly not forgotten. But his posthumous reputation, whether as innovator or infidel, has often been narrowly conceived, focused as it was on (literally) fragments of his work.1 In this article I shall attempt to do three things: (1) contextualise the renewed interest in Reimarus for eighteenth-century intellectual history; (2) foreground the robust natural theology he promoted in his lifetime; and (3) show the continuities between that positive programme, and some of Reimarus’s more famous writings attacking Christianity.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Birch, Dr Jonathan
Authors: Birch, J. C.P.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Journal Name:Expository Times
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1745-5308
Published Online:05 December 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Author
First Published:First published in Expository Times 129(6):245-253
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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