On Chris L. Firestone and Nathan Jacobs's In Defense of Kant's Religion

Faith and Philosophy 29 (2):163-169 (2012)
In this comment on Firestone and Jacobs’s book, In Defense of Kant’s Religion, I take issue with (1) the authors’ strategy in demonstrating that it is possible to positively incorporate religion and theology into Kant’s critical corpus, and (2) their intention to focus on the coherence of Kant’s theory without necessarily recommending it for Christianity. Regarding (1), I argue that in pursuing their strategy the authors ignore the fact that Kant has transposed what appear to be traditional religious doctrines to a completely different level of reflection, in effect turning them into imaginary tropes intended to mask otherwise irreducible contradictions in his view of human agency. As for (2), I claim that the authors’ intention runs the risk of being disingenuous, since Kant presented his religion as the true religion, opposing it to historical Christianity (unless the latter, of course, is re-interpreted according to his own precepts).
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0739-7046
DOI 10.5840/faithphil201229216
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