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Melancholy Duty : The Hume-Gibbon Attack on Christianity - Stephen Paul Foster

Melancholy Duty

The Hume-Gibbon Attack on Christianity

Hardcover Published: 30th November 1997
ISBN: 9780792347859
Number Of Pages: 362

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This book studies the complementary features of the thought of David Hume and Edward Gibbon in the complete range of its confrontation with eighteenth-century Christianity. The ten chapters explore the iconoclasm of these two philosophical historians - Hume as the premier philosopher, Gibbon as the consummate historian - as they labored to `naturalize' the study of Christianity, particularly with attention to its social and political dimensions. No other work deals as comprehensively or thoroughly with the attempt of philosophical history's challenge to Christianity. Belief in miracles and the afterlife, the dimensions of fanaticism and superstition, and the nature of religious persecution were the themes that occupied Hume and Gibbon in the making of their critique of Christianity. This book makes a valuable contribution to scholarship in a number of fields including the history of ideas, religious studies, and philosophy. It will be of interest to philosophers of religion, historians of ideas, eighteenth-century intellectual historians, scholars of the Scottish Enlightenment, and Hume and Gibbon scholars.

Preface and acknowledgmentsp. ix
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introduction: Hume, Gibbon, and the Attack on Christianityp. 1
Philosophic History and the Critique of Orthodoxyp. 55
"Of Miracles" at Work in the Decline and Fallp. 93
The Demise of Immortalityp. 129
Persecution, Platonism, and the Virulence of Metaphysicsp. 163
Monkish Virtues and Conventional Morality: The Moral Critique of Religionp. 191
Politics and Fanaticismp. 213
The Priest and the Prince: Co-opting the Churchp. 239
Naturalizing Religion: Superstition, Enthusiasm, and Religious Conductp. 265
Attacking Christianity: By Way of Islamp. 307
Conclusionp. 331
Bibliography of Sources Citedp. 337
Indexp. 351
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780792347859
ISBN-10: 0792347854
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 362
Published: 30th November 1997
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.15  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.75