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Friedrich Jacobi held a position of unparalleled importance in the golden age of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century intellectual history. Nonetheless, the range and style of his thought and its expression has always posed interpretative challenges that continue to hinder his reception. This volume introduces and evaluates Jacobi's pivotal place in the history of ideas. It explores his role in catalyzing the close of the Enlightenment through his critique of reason, how he shaped the reception of Kant's critical philosophy and the subsequent development of German idealism, his effect on the development of Romanticism and religion through his emphasis on feeling, and his influence in shaping the emergence of existentialism. This volume serves as an authoritative resource for one of the most important yet underappreciated figures in modern European intellectual history. It also recasts our understanding of Fichte, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and others in light of his influence and impact.
This examination begins with the poetical exploration of human alienation from nature. It then examines the resilient capacity of aesthetics, particularly aesthetic realism, to disrupt and critique the anthropocentrism that is the cause of this alienation. Aesthetic realism is elaborated through three central, recurrent and evolving concepts: methexis, mimesis and poesis. Taken together, these articulate and enact a relationship between humans and nature that recognises nature’s own inherent meaning and value apart from those imposed upon it by human minds. These dimensions of aesthetic realism are explored through poetry, painting, music and architecture, each in its own way challenging anthropocentrism. In doing so, aesthetics presents itself as a resource for overcoming the disconnection from nature that is essential to addressing the environmental crisis.
This chapter introduces the reader to the volumes focus upon the human-nature relationship and the role Christianity has played in shaping it. Further, it considers the challenge of terminology around words such as ‘environment, ‘nature’, and others. A rationale for the volume’s focus upon Western Christianity is also set out. Finally, this chapter presents an introductory outline of the companion.
Christianity has understood the environment as a gift to nurture and steward, a book of divine revelation disclosing the divine mind, a wild garden in need of cultivation and betterment, and as a resource for the creation of a new Eden. This Cambridge Companion details how Christianity, one of the world's most important religions, has shaped one of the existential issues of our age, the environment. Engaging with contemporary issues, including gender, traditional knowledge, and enchantment, it brings together the work of international scholars on the subject of Christianity and the Environment from a diversity of fields. Together, their work offers a comprehensive guide to the complex relationship between Christianity and the environment that moves beyond disciplinary boundaries. To do this, the volume explains the key concepts concerning Christianity and the environment, outlines the historical development of this relationship from antiquity to the present, and explores important contemporary issues.
Platonism has played a central role in Christianity and is essential to a deep understanding of the Christian theological tradition. At times, Platonism has constituted an essential philosophical and theological resource, furnishing Christianity with an intellectual framework that has played a key role in its early development, and in subsequent periods of renewal. Alternatively, it has been considered a compromising influence, conflicting with the faith's revelatory foundations and distorting its inherent message. In both cases the fundamental importance of Platonism, as a force which Christianity defined itself by and against, is clear. Written by an international team of scholars, this landmark volume examines the history of Christian Platonism from antiquity to the present day, covers key concepts, and engages issues such as the environment, natural science and materialism.
This chapter frames the complex and contested concept of Christian Platonism explicated throughout this volume. Here, it is introduced as an object of theological and philosophical contention, the subject of historical and conceptual communication, and a theme of compulsory knowledge for the student of intellectual history.
Christian Platonism has the capacity to serve as a resource for addressing the present-day environmental crisis. Drawing upon a diverse range of thinkers, including Augustine, Aquinas, Hildegard, Traherne, Coleridge, and Novalis, the chapter illustrates how the tradition envisions a non-anthropocentric conceptualisation of nature.