Schopenhauer's Philosophy of Religion: The Death of God and the Oriental Renaissance

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This book is the first comprehensive study of Schopenhauer's philosophy of religion. It develops a contextual account of Schopenhauer's relation to the religions of India by placing his interpretation of their main doctrines within the perspective of his diagnosis of the religious situation in nineteenth-century Europe, and his revised conception of the proper content and methods of metaphysical philosophy in the wake of Kant. It shows that Schopenhauer's encounter with the religions of India was the stimulus for...

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Overview

This book is the first comprehensive study of Schopenhauer's philosophy of religion. It develops a contextual account of Schopenhauer's relation to the religions of India by placing his interpretation of their main doctrines within the perspective of his diagnosis of the religious situation in nineteenth-century Europe, and his revised conception of the proper content and methods of metaphysical philosophy in the wake of Kant. It shows that Schopenhauer's encounter with the religions of India was the stimulus for his formulation of a novel theory of a revitalised modern Christianity. The possibility of an oriental renaissance prompted Schopenhauer to argue that Christianity's immanent or ethical teachings needed to be severed from its supernatural or metaphysical doctrines, so that European culture could continue to satisfy the human need for a metaphysical interpretation of the world and life. This book will be of interest to philosophers, theologians, students of religion and modern intellectual history.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements VII

Key to textual citations from works by Schopenhauer IX

Presentation of the text XI

Introduction 1

I The Death of God and the Oriental Renaissance 1

II Schopenhauer's Philosophy of Religion 7

III Hermeneutics vs. Comparison 15

Chapter 1 Europe and India 23

I The Scholars 23

II The Theorists 29

III Schopenhauer and India 44

Chapter 2 Metaphysical Need 59

I Philosophy and Religion 59

II Philosophy vs. Religion 64

III A Post-Kantian Synthesis 75

Chapter 3 The Death of God 85

I The Problem with Theism 85

II The Nature and Origin of Theism 97

III Natural Theology 104

Chapter 4 True and Original Christianity 123

I Evil, Freedom and Responsibility 123

II Ethics and Immortality 137

III Indian Christianity 150

Chapter 5 The Original Weltanschauung 157

I The Question of Influence 159

II India and its Wisdom in History 172

III Sources and Nature of Indian Wisdom 178

Chapter 6 The Oriental Renaissance 187

I Cosmogony and Metaphysics 187

II Evil, Karma and Rebirth 201

III Ethics and Immortality 208

Conclusion 221

Bibliography 233

Index 245

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