British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (4):711 - 740 (2011)
Recent scholars have examined the important role of English Deism in the formation of a modern naturalistic approach to the study of human religiosity. Despite the volume of important studies of various aspects of his thought, the role of Francis Hutcheson (1694?1746) in this development has been overlooked. The aim of this paper is to show how Hutcheson develops his own account of the origins of religion, consonant with his more well-known theories in aesthetics and moral philosophy, that diverges sharply from the then-prevailing Deist views. Hutcheson pioneers a psychological account of religion that anticipates the work of nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholars in important ways. At the same time, Hutcheson incorporates his account of the origins of religion into an overall vision of human flourishing
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