Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cfp: "Religion and Enlightenment: the Young-Hegelian Perspective," Centre for Philosophy of Culture, University of Antwerp, May 12, 2010.

The conflict between religion and enlightenment has never been more tangible than today. It returns time and again as a topic in the media,and is subject of countless debates on the intellectual scenery.Unfortunately, these discussions often tend to oversimplify the nature of this conflict by simply treating religion and enlightenment as mutually exclusive opposites. Matters, however, are far more complicated than this clear-cut distinction suggests. The enlightenment’s attitude vis-à-vis religion is by no means a straightforward anti-religious one. By the same token, religion may not be characterized as being principally irreconcilable with enlightenment. This conference returns to the way in which this complex relation is explored in the twilight of the age of Enlightenment. More specifically, it wants to pay attention to the way religion is seen by the immediate heirs of German Idealism, by focusing on the Young-Hegelian movement. The German Idealist view of religion is a unique and original one. It no longer sees religion exclusively as a body of semi-theoretical convictions that compete with the modern scientific worldview, but rather as a meaningful part of human culture and one of the important shapes of man’s attempt to understand himself and the world. In this way, German Idealism has tried for the very first time to determine the specific place and meaning of religion in human existence, human culture and history of humanity at large. Only against the background of this view the specificity of the attitude of Young-Hegelianism towards religion can come to the fore. To be sure the attitude towards religion of the members of this movement is a highly critical one. But at the same time the legacy of German Idealism is clearly present in their writings, shaping their views of the significance of religion in culture and history. This inheritance will be the focus of the present conference. Contact and information: Jeff Spiessens, University of Antwerp – City Campus, Dep. of Philosophy,Prinsstraat 13, B-2000 Antwerpen, Belgium jeff.spiessens@ua.ac.be

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