In enlightened European culture, religion, state and society as well as science, morality and art were gradually separated from one another under exclusively formal points of view, and subordinated to a critical reason that took on the role of a supreme judge. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, many Europeans began to question the self-understanding evoked by the principle of critical reason. This course will consider how enlightened freedom and reason moved European philosophers and theologians, artists and social theorists, to conceive of themselves historically, that is, to become conscious of the dissolution of tradition, and of the need to ground the divisions of culture in ideal forms of unity derived from the tradition. The course will pay particular attention to the relationship between religion and the demand that the unifying force in culture come from a dialectic residing in the principle of enlightened reason itself.
Cross-listing: EMSP 3220.03