9781855060876 / 1855060876

History of English Thought in the 18th Century (Philosophical works of Leslie Stephen)


Publisher:Thoemmes Press



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The author argues, in this book, that it was in the 18th century, that theology lost its lofty status as "Queen of the Sciences". Neither metaphysics nor history could provide a credible foundation for the central dogmas of the Christian creed. In these two volumes the author traces some of the causes and consequences of this intellectual crisis. Volume One begins with an extended discussion of the deist controversy - the deists, he shows, successfully undermined the key Christian thesis of a unique historical revelation, and forced apologists for orthodoxy into all manner of shifts and evasions. In Volume Two the author goes on to trace the consequences of the new ideas for moral and political philosophy. The author concludes with a chapter entitled "Characteristics", in which he draws on the works of preachers and poets to provide a mirror of the underlying beliefs and prejudices of the age.

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