Kant, Divinity and Autonomy

Studies in Christian Ethics 32 (4):470-484 (2019)

Abstract

I suggest that in Kant’s conception of autonomy, we have a faithful variant of a perennial philosophical conception of divinity, distinctively re-configured by Kant’s own preoccupations and system, but still recognisably oriented around some philosophical conceptions of the divine, which have their origins in deep classical wells, with dreams and memories of thought-thinking-itself, and joyously diffusing itself, generating plenitude and harmony. If this is correct, then we might find that the most interesting dialogue in the realm of ‘public theology’ is not necessarily between Christianity and secularism, but between Christianity and a latent pagan religious philosophy, that draws upon a perennial strand of Platonism in Western philosophy.

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