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Title: Redeeming the Enlightenment: Christianity and the Liberal Virtues
Author: Ward, Bruce K
Publisher: Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Co; Publication Date: 2010
Paperback; ISBN: 9780802807618
Volumes: 1; Pages: 264
List Price in Paper: $26.00 Our price: $17.99
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As we move further away from the historical period known as the Enlightenment, it seems the debate about its impact becomes increasingly polarized. Arguments focus on either rejecting or reclaiming its legacy. In this book Bruce Ward contends that the concern should be neither to reject or claim the Enlightenment but to see how it can be redeemed. However, he cautions, this possibility is dependent on a recollective rethinking of the inner connection between the moral aspirations of the Enlightenment and Christianity.Ward sets up a three-sided dialogic encounter among primary thinkers and critics of modernity--philosophical, theological, and literary. Three figures dominate this encounter: Rousseau serves as the source of liberal humanism, Nietzsche as both antithesis and culmination of Rousseau's thought, and Dostoevsky as Christian immanent critic of Rousseau and Christian enemy-confr�re of Nietzsche. Ward does not neglect other significant thinkers--notably Kant, Heidegger, Tolstoy, Charles Taylor, Locke, Kafka, Ren� Girard, and Martha Nussbaum--but uses them to illumine the questions at issue among the primary three.Though each chapter of this clear, careful book can be appropriated as a relatively independent reflection, the book taken as a whole offers innovative redemption of the Enlightenment values of equality, authenticity, tolerance, and compassion.