Atheism in France, 1650-1729: Volume I: The Orthodox Sources - download pdf or read online

By Alan Charles Kors

ISBN-10: 0691055750

ISBN-13: 9780691055756

Although such a lot historians have sought the roots of atheism within the background of "free thought," Alan Charles Kors contends that assaults at the lifestyles of God have been generated peculiarly by means of the energy and controversies of orthodox theistic tradition itself. during this first quantity of a deliberate two-volume inquiry into the resources and nature of atheism, he exhibits that orthodox lecturers and apologists in seventeenth-century France have been obliged by way of the common sense in their philosophical and pedagogical structures to create many versions of speculative atheism for heuristic reasons. strange in its extensive sampling of the non secular literature of the early-modern realized global, this booklet unearths that the "great fratricide" between bitterly competing colleges of Aristotelian, Cartesian, and Malebranchist Christian idea inspired theologians to refute every one other's proofs of God and to depict the tips in their theological rivals as atheistic. Such "fratricide" was once now not new within the background of Christendom, yet Kors demonstrates that its impact used to be dramatically amplified through the increasing literacy of the 17th century. taking pictures the eye of the examining public, theological debate supplied highbrow grounds for the disbelief of the 1st new release of atheistic thinkers.

Originally released in 1990.

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Additional resources for Atheism in France, 1650-1729: Volume I: The Orthodox Sources of Disbelief

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In that sense, the atheist was presented as a distorted mirror image of the idealized believer. The ideal of Christian intellectual life was faith in search of understanding. The Christian, in his own self-portrait, believing by the will in revelation (with many a different view of the relationship between grace and volition), sought to understand, and discovered in the content of belief, to the delight of the mind, a satisfying, true knowledge of what otherwise made no or little sense. The atheist, in Christian portrait, disbelieving in God only by his will, sought intellectual justification for that disbelief but could go no further than ignorance and self-contradiction.

1576), 172-75. 26 Pierre Viret, Deux dialogues: L'alcumie du purgatoire; L'homme naturel [first pub­ lished, respectively, in 1544 and 1561], ed. Jacques Courvoisier, (Lausanne, 1971), 32. ATHEISTS WITHOUT ATHEISM 27 dogma, who was denounced by his contemporaries as an atheist for his notorious condemnation of existing creeds and churches, in fact held views similar to those of the orthodox on the subject of atheism. 27 Toward the end of the sixteenth century, two works in particular un­ dertook a systematic analysis of atheism and its causes: Pierre Charron's Les trois viritez (1595) and Laurent Pollot's Dialogues contre la pluraliti des religions et I'athiisme (1595).

ATHEISTS WITHOUT ATHEISM 33 Moliere's critic, de Rochemont, saw this portrait as only too accurate. He noted, "I know that one does not fall into atheism in one blow. One descends only by degrees into this abyss. One goes there only by a long sequence of vices and by a chain of evil behavior that leads from one to the other. 52 By the late seventeenth century, then, theologians and other commen­ tators on the scandals of irreligion had a well-defined character in place: the wicked atheist without real conviction.

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Atheism in France, 1650-1729: Volume I: The Orthodox Sources of Disbelief by Alan Charles Kors


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