Lessing's Philosophy of Religion and the German by Toshimasa Yasukata

By Toshimasa Yasukata

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-81) stands as a key determine in German highbrow background, a bridge becoming a member of Luther, Leibniz, and German idealism. regardless of his well-recognized value within the heritage of suggestion, Lessing as theologian or thinker of faith continues to be an enigmatic determine. students confer with the "riddle" or "mystery" of Lessing, a secret that has proved intractable as a result of his reticence as regards to the ultimate conclusions of his highbrow undertaking. Toshimasa Yasukata seeks to solve this secret. according to extensive research of the whole corpus of Lessing's philosophical and theological writings in addition to the large secondary literature, Yasukata's paintings takes us into the systematic center of Lessing's concept. From his penetrating and complex research of Lessing's constructing place on Christianity and cause, there emerges a clean photograph of Lessing as an inventive smooth brain, who's either formed via and provides form to the Christian history. the 1st finished examine in English of Lessing's theological and philosophical idea, this publication will entice all these drawn to the heritage of recent theology, in addition to experts within the Enlightenment and the German romantic stream.

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But because he was unable to extricate himself from this state by his own power, he appealed to the general public for rescue. He thus took it on himself to publish Reimarus's manuscripts anonymously so that the general public might be able to examine and judge them. Nevertheless, we cannot take Lessing's statements at face value. For his was an exceptionally ironical mind, and he had a genius for tactics. Furthermore, a glance at his “Editor's Counterpropositions” shows that he had already taken a definite stance toward Reimarus, or, rather, had already taken a stance at a certain distance from him.

4) Possession of the germ of higher truth and the necessity for its concealment caused the peculiar interweaving of exoteric and esoteric in his system. The exoteric and esoteric, however, were so closely related that one could not be isolated from the other. (5) Lessing was still in the ever-changing stream of historical process. Despite possessing the germ of advanced knowledge, he had not yet obtained the whole truth, but was waiting for its fuller manifestation in future. Our approach to Lessing thus owes a great deal to Thielicke's methodical refinement.

Good God! What a difference I perceived between myself and them! A boorish shyness, a neglected and awkward body, utter ignorance of the manners of society, a gloomy, unfriendly bearing in which every one believed he could read my contempt for him—these were the good qualities that my self-criticism disclosed. I felt such shame as I had never felt before. The effect was a fixed determination to better myself in this, cost what it may. You know what I started. I learned to dance, to fence, to vault.

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