Peter Jonkers is a Professor of Philosophy at Tilburg University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
The Interest of Reason Is to Go Without God. Jacobi's Polemic Against Philosophical Theology
Article first published online: 28 MAR 2014
© 2014 The Author. Journal of Religious History © 2014 Religious History Association
Journal of Religious History
Volume 38, Issue 1, pages 20–34, March 2014
How to Cite
Jonkers, P. (2014), The Interest of Reason Is to Go Without God. Jacobi's Polemic Against Philosophical Theology. Journal of Religious History, 38: 20–34. doi: 10.1111/1467-9809.12135
- Issue published online: 28 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 28 MAR 2014
Jacobi's polemics against philosophical theology is meant to show that neither Spinoza, nor Kant, nor Fichte nor Schelling have been able to think God as a person, that is as a free, intelligent being. In order to elucidate Jacobi's position I focus on two less well-known texts of his, viz., A Few Comments Concerning Pious Fraud (1788) and Of Divine Things and Their Revelation (1811). In the second section I situate two key philosophical theological concepts — deism and theism — against the broader context of modern philosophy. The third section analyses Jacobi's polemic against deism, followed by an examination of his positive attitude towards theism and an explanation of the reasons why he, at the end of his life, came to identify theism with deism and extended the negative meaning of the latter term to the former. In the final section, I give an outline of Jacobi's alternative idea of philosophical theology.