By Bernard M. G. Reardon
Mr Reardon starts off with a considerable creation characterizing the age as a complete, contrasting it with the former century and assessing its everlasting achievements. The publication is split into components. the 1st offers with twelve writers from continental Europe, with an account of the selected author's lifestyles, paintings and critiques. the second one offers with British and American writers and back all the twelve chapters is brought via an essay of approximately 1500 phrases. Mr Reardon offers specific recognition to the philosophical interpretation of faith and of Christianity specifically. conventional dogma and ecclesiastical politics, even if Roman Catholic or Protestant, were shunned and emphasis is given to principles and pursuits which are attribute of the interval. now not all of the thinkers brought (e.g. Feuerbach, Comte, J. S. Mill) are themselves Christian. the result's a transparent photograph of the most currents of Western spiritual concept within the 19th century. it's a century which the scholar of faith at the present time is probably going to discover of serious curiosity and to which many will believe a detailed affinity.
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Additional resources for Religious Thought in the Nineteenth Century: Illustrated from Writers of the Period
What we know of God is what we know of him in Christ. Only in relation to Christ can our idea of the divine receive its full meaning and ethical content. Ritschl follows Kant in distinguishing between 'nature' and 'value' and insists that religion is concerned with the latter alone, for what man there seeks is a solution of the contradiction in which he finds himself as, at once, ' a fact of nature and a spiritual personality claiming to dominate nature'. The 21 INTRODUCTION aim of religion thus is practical: it is * the instrument man possesses to free himself from the natural conditions of life'.
If you will not believe, regard the case of women. You ascribe to them religion, not only as an adornment, but you demand of them the finest feeling for distinguishing the things that excel: do you equally expect them to know your ethics as a science ? It is the same, let me say at once, with action itself. The artist fashions what is given him to fashion, by virtue of his special talent. These talents are so different that the one he possesses another lacks; unless someone, against heaven's will, would possess all.
Regrettably Mohler's ideas were current only within a limited circle and were speedily forgotten until recovered by the Modernists at the end of the century. The historian Ignaz von Dollinger (1799-1890), whose long life nearly spanned the whole period, had in his younger days been a convinced ultramontane, but the actual development of ultramontanism disillusioned him and he became its determined opponent. His refusal to submit to the infallibility decree resulted in his excommunication. But although men like Mohler and Dollinger were little more than isolated instances they at least anticipated the more resolute attempt to expose the Church to contemporary intellectual and cultural influences associated with the published writings and personal example of, notably, such devout laymen as Maurice Blondel (1860-1949) and Baron Friedrich von Hiigel (1852-1925), as well as the more radical spirits among whom Alfred Loisy (1857-1940) and George Tyrrell (1861-1909), both of whom were priests, were the recognized protagonists.
Religious Thought in the Nineteenth Century: Illustrated from Writers of the Period by Bernard M. G. Reardon