An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 317 pages of information about An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant.
It is from within this community of believers that men, in the rule, receive the impulse to the good.  The community is, in its idea, a society in which the conquest of evil is already being achieved, where the individual is spared much bitter conflict and loneliness.  Nevertheless, so long as this unity of the life of man with God is realised in the Church alone there remains a false and harmful opposition between the Church and the world.  Religion is faced by a hostile power to which its principles have no application.  The world is denounced as unholy.  With this stigma cast upon it, it may be unholy.  Yet the retribution falls also upon the Church, in that it becomes artificial, clerical, pharisaical.  The end is never that what have been called the standards of the Church shall prevail.  The end is that the Church shall be the shrine and centre of an influence by virtue of which the standard of truth and goodness which naturally belongs to any relation of life shall prevail.  The distinction between religion and secular life must be abandoned.  Nothing is less sacred than a Church set on its own aggrandisement.  The relations of family and of the State, of business and social life, are to be restored to the divineness which belongs to them, or rather, the divineness which is inalienable from them is to be recognised.  In the laws and customs of a true State, Christianity first penetrates with its principles the real world.  One sees how large a portion of these thoughts have been taken up into the programme of modern social movements.  They are the basis of what men call a social theology.  A book like Fremantle’s World as the Subject of Redemption is their thorough-going exposition in the English tongue.

We have no cause to pursue the philosophical movement beyond this point.  Its exponents are not without interest.  Especially is this true of Schopenhauer.  But the deposit from their work is for our particular purpose not great.  The wonderful impulse had spent itself.  These four brilliant men stand together, almost as much isolated from the generation which followed them as from that which went before.  The historian of Christian thought in the nineteenth century cannot overestimate the significance of their personal interest in religion.



The outstanding trait of Kant’s reflection upon religion is its supreme interest in morals and conduct.  Metaphysician that he was, Kant saw the evil which intellectualism had done to religion.  Religion was a profoundly real thing to him in his own life.  Religion is a life.  It is a system of thought only because life is a whole.  It is a system of thought only in the way of deposit from a vivid and vigorous life.  A man normally reflects on the conditions and aims of what he does.  Religion is conduct.  Ends in character are supreme.  Religions and the many interpretations of Christianity

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An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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