Ernest Renan: In the Shadow of Faith

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9780715627204: Ernest Renan: In the Shadow of Faith
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Ernest Renan was one of the most sophisticated intellects of the 19th century, and the author of the controversial "Life of Jesus". Through his decision to abandon his seminary training and to recommit his career to the academic disciplines of philology and historiography, he affords a personal instance of the setting aside of the sacred in post-Enlightenment European society and the adoption of an alternative secular culture. This text explores the conflicts surrounding the process of secularization, arguing that the Jesus biography owes its nature and success to the religious nostalgia that haunts Renan's writings and pervades the literature of his age. Although it uses biographical evidence and traces Renan's development, the book is not centrally a biography. Its subject is the history of the dilemma which Renan was acute at defining and of which "post-modern" thought has only become truly aware a century after his death: that of the social, moral and spiritual vacuum confronting post-religious man.

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David C.J. Lee
Published by Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (1996)
ISBN 10: 0715627201 ISBN 13: 9780715627204
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