Lessing Philosophical and Theological Writings

ISBN-10: 0521538475

ISBN-13: 9780521538473

Edition: 2005

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Description:

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing is the most representative figure of the German Enlightenment. His defense of Spinoza, who had traditionally been condemned as an atheist, provoked a major controversy in philosophy, and his publication of Reimarus' radical assault on Christianity led to fundamental changes in Protestant theology. This volume presents the most comprehensive collection in English of Lessing's philosophical and theological writings, several of which are translated for the first time.
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Book details

List price: $54.99
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 2/17/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 284
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

Lessing, one of the outstanding literary critics of all time, was "the first figure of European stature in modern German literature." The son of a Protestant pastor, he was educated in Meissen and at Leipzig University, then went to Berlin as a journalist in 1749. While employed as secretary to General Tauentzien (1760--65), he devoted his leisure to classical studies. This led to his critical essay Laocoon (1776), in which he attempted to clarify certain laws of aesthetic perception by comparing poetry and the visual arts. He fought always for truth and combined a penetrating intellect with shrewd common sense. He furthered the German theater through his weekly dramatic notes and theories, found mainly in the Hamburg Dramaturgy (1769), which he wrote during his connection with the Hamburg National Theater as critic and dramatist (1768--69). His plays include Miss Sara Sampson (1755), important as the first German prose tragedy of middle-class life; Minna von Barnhelm (1767), his finest comedy and the best of the era; and his noble plea for religious tolerance, Nathan the Wise (1779).

Acknowledgements
Chronology
Further reading
Note on texts and translations
Introduction
Philosophical and theological writings
The Christianity of reason (c. 1753)
On the reality of things outside God (1763)
Spinoza only put Leibniz on the track of [his theory of] pre-established harmony (1763)
On the origin of revealed religion (1763 or 1764)
Leibniz on eternal punishment (1773)
[Editorial commentary on the 'Fragments' of Reimarus, 1777]
On the proof of the spirit and of power (1777)
The Testament of St John (1777)
A rejoinder (1778)
A parable (1778)
Axioms (1778)
New hypothesis on the evangelists as merely human historians (1778)
Necessary answer to a very unnecessary question of Herr Hauptpastor Goeze of Hamburg (1778)
The religion of Christ (1780)
That more than five senses are possible for human beings (c. 1780)
Ernst and Falk: dialogues for Freemasons (1778-80)
The education of the human race (1777-80)
[Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Recollections of conversations with Lessing in July and August 1780 (1785)]
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