Judeochristianity in Kant and the German Enlightenment
Wojciech Kozyra (University of Warsaw)

March 24, 2022, 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Institute of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University in Krakow

Grodzka 52


Jagiellonian University
Jagiellonian University

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Kant claims in the Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason that there is no „essential connection” (wesentliche Verbindung) and no “unity of concepts” (Einheit nach Begriffen) between Judaism and Christianity. Kant wants to say here that there is neither a moral nor a theological link between the Testaments. Accordingly, he eliminates the Old Covenant together with its God from the progressive history of Christian revelation. He thus rejects the Judaeochristian tradition which insists, in Kant’s own words, that “every Christian must be a Jew whose Messiah has come” (RGV 6: 166; original emphasis). Apart from supporting these statements, I will show that the radicality with which Kant denied the existence of any substantive affinity between Judaism and Christianity was uncommon in the German Enlightenment, and rather than being a view unreflectively absorbed by Kant from others, it constitutes a deliberate attempt on his part to consistently realize the essence of Christianity, as he understood it. To this purpose, I will depict the Enlightenment landscape concerning the notion of Judeochristianity present in it and talk briefly about later reception of Kant’s effort to sever Christianity from its Jewish roots.

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March 22, 2022, 11:45pm CET

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