By By (author) John R. Betz
To Hegel, he was once a genius; to Kierkegaard, he was once the best stand-up comedian in Christendom; to Goethe, he was once the brightest brain of his day. even though much less recognized than lots of his contemporaries, A.G. Hamann is steadily being well-known as essentially the most very important and unique critics of the Enlightenment.
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Extra info for After Enlightenment: Hamann as Post-secular Visionary (Illuminations: Theory & Religion) (Hardback) - Common
1837), (Pap. , 1837), (Pap. II A 623). , 1837): “Now I perceive why genuine humor cannot be caught, as irony can, in a novel and why it thereby ceases to be a life-concept, simply because not-to-write is part of the nature of the concept, since this would betray an all too conciliatory position toward the world (which is why Hamann remarks somewhere that fundamentally there is nothing more ludicrous than to write for the people). Just as Socrates left no books, Hamann left only as many as the modern period’s rage for writing made relatively necessary, and furthermore only occasional pieces”; cf.
In any case, it represented a direct challenge to his at this point nominal Christian faith – one that eventually led him to study the Koran in Arabic. For not only does the work exalt Islam as approximating a natural religion of reason, it directly implies that the Hebrew (and Christian) Scriptures, like the Vedas, are a “collection of ill conceived fables that are without connection, without order, as outlandish as they are depraved, which offend the senses as well as reason, 17 N IV, p. 466.
21 From Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, I, 21, in Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 7 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994). , his willingness to believe certain incredible, indeed, scandalous stories about the divine in the Vedas. The author then claims that the religion of Mohammed and the testimony of the Koran are, by comparison, the picture of sound reason. , Pharaoh’s hardened heart). Whatever Hamann may have thought of Radicati’s work at this point in his life, it revealed that the Enlightenment had a favorable attitude toward Islam (as approximating a religion of reason) and a corresponding hostility toward Judaism (arguably even an anti-Semitism) and Christianity (inasmuch as it rests upon Judaism), thus setting the stage for Hamann’s conversion and passionate defense of the Hebrew Bible against the “enlightened” critics of the age.