Last Thoughts on Philosophy of Religion
Allusion has already been made to Kant’s Der Streit der Facultäten,1 in which he discussed, in regard to university teaching in Germany, the relations of philosophy, studied only in the ‘lower’ faculties, to the subjects of the three ‘higher’ — or as we might say today ‘vocational’ — faculties of theology, law and medicine; and it will be recalled that, as touching the first of these, he entered a protest against the prevailing tendency for theologians, on the ground of the allegedly presiding authority of scripture, to dominate the whole field of religious thought to the virtual exclusion of the philosophers. Accordingly, in order to lend substance to his objection, he recapitulated the views already expressed in Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone, i.e. on what constitutes true religion when the presiding role of ethics has been acknowledged, and on how Christian doctrines are, in the light of this, properly to be understood and assessed. There is therefore no need to rehearse them as they reappear here, in merely summary form, although Kant also refers to objections that had been raised concerning his interpretation of Christianity and he seeks to answer them. But the work as a whole, though not without touches of ironic humour, makes dry reading and adds nothing of significance to what had been more fully said before.
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