‘I Don’t Know Why We Take so Much Pleasure in Thinking That People Are Damned’: Leibniz and the Question of the Salvation of Pagans

  • Lucy SheafEmail author
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées book series (ARCH, volume 229)


Leibniz believed that amor Dei super omnia – a love for God above all things – is sufficient for salvation. He commends intellectual enlightenment as the surest way to attain to such a love but he acknowledges that this is not the only path to eternal happiness. Although Leibniz is more willing to challenge the view that pagans must be damned than to explicitly endorse the view that they can be saved, his account clearly suggests that pagans can attain to amor Dei super omnia and that various other paths to salvation are open to them. This paper examines this account and discusses Leibniz’s attempts to accommodate the claim that knowledge of Christ is necessary for salvation.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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