The Book of God: Secularization and Design in the Romantic Era

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University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007 - 274 páginas

The Book of God is a penetrating study of the argument from design as it emerged and circulated in the romantic era. This argument holds that the intricacy and complexity of the natural world points to a divine designer and that nature is to be read as God's book. A literary and philosophical study of this idea, The Book of God revisits the familiar equation of romanticism, modernity, and secularization. Colin Jager eschews classic formulations of the thesis that societies secularize as they modernize, arguing instead that secularization is complexly interwoven with modernity rather than simply opposed to it. This revised concept of secularization reveals how arguments about God's designing intentions structure a romantic modernity that is neither progressive nor entirely secular.

Tracing this understanding through diverse texts, ranging from philosophy and theology to poetry and fiction, Jager argues that the idea of design functions as both source and interlocutor for many of romanticism's most famous topics. The book concludes with current controversies over intelligent design and evolution, arguing for a historically informed approach to modernity's attempts to divide the religious from the secular.

The book's chronological and thematic range will make it of interest to students of religion and of intellectual and cultural history, as well as literary scholars.

 

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Contenido

The Argument Against Design from Deism to Blake
41
Natural Theology in Humes Dialogues
58
Theory Practice and Anna Barbauld
73
William Paley Immanuel Kant
102
Mansfield Park and the End of Natural Theology
124
The Shape of Analogy
158
Secularization and Evil
188
Religion Three Ways
201
or the Difference Between Theory and Literature
216
Notes
229
Selected Bibliography
259
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Acerca del autor (2007)

Colin Jager teaches English at Rutgers University.

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