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Lessing's Philosophy of Religion and the German Enlightenment$
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Toshimasa Yasukata

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195144949

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195144945.001.0001

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Lessing's Basic Thought in The Education of the Human Race

Lessing's Basic Thought in The Education of the Human Race

Chapter:
(p.89) 6 Lessing's Basic Thought in The Education of the Human Race
Source:
Lessing's Philosophy of Religion and the German Enlightenment
Author(s):

Toshimasa Yasukata

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195144945.003.0007

Explicates Lessing's basic thought as set forth in his theological and religious‐philosophical manifesto, The Education of the Human Race. A meticulous and thoroughgoing analysis of the text unravels Lessing's dialectical conception of the relationship between revelation and reason. For Lessing, the human race finds fulfillment in a developmental process induced and propelled by divine revelation. Hence he introduces the novel concept of the development of human reason as a gradual appropriation of divine revelation. The chapter concludes that the ideal of Lessingian enlightenment is the attainment of an “autotheonomy” in which “autonomy is at the same time theonomy.”

Keywords:   autotheonomy, development, dialectical conception, education of the human race, gradual appropriation, Lessingian enlightenment, revelation and reason

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