Lessing's Theological Writings: Selections in Translation

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Stanford University Press, 1957 - Enlightenment - 110 pages
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The writings of Lessing translated in this book are intended to provide representative specimens of his mind for the use of students of theology and the history of ideas who may have insufficient German to read them in the original language. There exist in English valuable studies of Lessing as critic, poet, and dramatist, but they have less to say about his religious questionings. Theology was one of the major interests of his life, and his last decade was largely devoted to theological debate. His writings not only do much to illustrate the thought of the German Enlightenment. His treatment of the Gospels as historical documents begins to break new ground. He raises problems concerning the difficulty of uncertainty in Christianity as a historical religion which have profoundly affected modern theology since his time. Paul Tillich has described modern apologetics as "answering theology." I venture to hope that this volume may prove useful to students of European religious thought since the eighteenth century who wish to investigate the background of some of the questions--from Preface.

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