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  • Cited by 19
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2020
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Book description

This masterful work on Kant's Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason explores Kant's treatment of the Idea of God, his views concerning evil, and the moral grounds for faith in God. Kant and Religion works to deepen our understanding of religion's place and meaning within the history of human culture, touching on Kant's philosophical stance regarding theoretical, moral, political, and religious matters. Wood's breadth of knowledge of Kant's corpus, philosophical sharpness, and depth of reflection sheds light not only on Kant, but also on the fate of religion and its relation to philosophy in the modern world.


'In this penetrating study, Wood argues that Kant affirms neither traditional theism nor atheism. Rather, Kant interprets the central ideas of Christianity as invaluable symbols of the foundation of morality: that human beings are radically free, that because of their freedom they are capable of evil, but are equally free to undertake a lifelong ‘change of heart,' working unremittingly to put morality ahead of self-love. Wood has written a masterpiece.'

Paul Guyer - Brown University

'Very few scholars are able to write the definitive work in a subject area when they are in their 20's. Even fewer have the chance to do it again 50 years later. This book shows us where the author's views have changed and evolved since Kant's Moral Religion (1970), and also – as importantly – where they have stayed the same. Like their namesake, Kantians tend to age well; this book is vintage Allen Wood.'

Andrew Chignell - Princeton University

'Kant and Religion, by its topic's foremost living scholar, presents the upshot of Wood's half a century of ground-breaking research on Kant's engagement with religion, not merely as a topic in metaphysics, but as a major factor in the social and individual dimensions of a moral life. Organized around Kant's Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, this book deals insightfully with all three of Kant's Critiques and the major ethical works of his final years. This lively, accessible book combines Wood's engaging passion for his subject with carefully balanced judgment.'

Robert Merrihew Adams - Rutgers University

'… an original and exciting contribution to the literature on Kant’s understanding of religion.’

Jacqueline Mariña Source: Journal of the History of Philosophy

'Wood’s writing is … snappy, self-assured, and entertainingly bold …'

Jessica Tizzard Source: Journal of the American Academy of Religion

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