In recent years, the close coupling between the concepts of modernity and secularization has loosened. At the same time, the interest in the relationship between religion and the Enlightenment has been growing, and so has the interest in the academia in critically examining the concept of an ‘enlightened Christianity’: What is the record of the Enlightenment? What has been achieved? What, historically speaking, was its program of religious criticism? What insights can still be gained from the approaches of that time? And what significance can we still ascribe to them today? These questions are relevant not only from the perspective of theology and political philosophy but also regarding modern societies and their challenges of coping with religious plurality, including the difference between orthodox forms of religion and increasingly free-floating religiosity. The purpose of this workshop is to find some answers to these pressing questions by analyzing and discussing the history of enlightenment with regards to its criticism of religion in general and Christianity in particular.
Program, Thursday, 27.02.2020
10.30-11.30 Luke Collison (London): Thomas Hobbes: Critique, Eschatology and the Katechon
11.45-12.45 Ieva Motuzaite (Berlin): The practical, natural and positivist critique of religion in Leo Strauss’ interpretation of Thomas Hobbes
14.00-15.00 Herbert de Vriese (Antwerp): “Thou shalt not revile the gods.” On the status of radical critique of religion in a postsecular society
15.30-16.30 Anna Tomaszewska (Crakow): Kant’s liberal religion and the relations between church and state
17.00-18.00 Dagmar Comtesse (Frankfurt): The two political programs of religious criticism in 18th century France: skeptical founded secularization and materialist founded scientism