By Michael Allen Gillespie

Exposing the non secular roots of our ostensibly godless age, Michael Allen Gillespie unearths during this landmark examine that modernity is far much less secular than traditional knowledge indicates. Taking as his place to begin the cave in of the medieval global, Gillespie argues that from the very starting moderns sought to not do away with faith yet to aid a brand new view of faith and its position in human lifestyles. He is going directly to discover the information of such figures as William of Ockham, Petrarch, Erasmus, Luther, Descartes, and Hobbes, exhibiting that modernity is healthier understood as a chain of makes an attempt to formulate a brand new and coherent metaphysics or theology.

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Extra resources for The Theological Origins of Modernity

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In emphasizing the centrality of divine 27 28 chap ter one will, however, they both also gave a new prominence to and justification of the human will. Humans were made in the image of God, and like God were principally willful rather than rational beings. Such a capacity for free choice had always been imagined to play a role in mundane matters, but orthodox Christianity had denied that humans were free to accept or reject justificatory grace. Still, if humans were truly free, as many nominalists believed, then it was at least conceivable that they could choose to act in ways that would increase their chances of salvation.

Petrarch recognized that such individuals might surround themselves with friends or join with others as citizens, but he was convinced that they could only do so effectively if they were autonomous individuals first. It was this ideal of human individuality that inspired the humanist movement. Such a focus on the individual was unknown in the ancient world. The ideal for the Greek artist and citizen was not the formation of individual character or personality but assimilation to an ideal model.

To use the language that Heidegger later made famous, general metaphysics was concerned with ontological questions, while special metaphysics was concerned with ontic questions. The nominalist revolution was an ontological revolution that called being itself into question. As we saw above, it thus gave rise to a new ontology, a new logic, and a new conception of man, God, and nature. All succeeding European thought has been shaped by this transformation. While nominalism undermined scholasticism, it was unable to provide a broadly acceptable alternative to the comprehensive view of the world it had destroyed.

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