Kant's Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason is one of the great modern examinations of religion's meaning, function and impact on human affairs. In this volume, the first complete English-language commentary on the work, James J. DiCenso explains the historical context in which the book appeared, including the importance of Kant's conflict with state censorship. He shows how the Religion addresses crucial Kantian themes such as the relationship between freedom and morality, the human propensity to evil, the status of historical traditions in relation to ethical principles, and the interface between individual ethics and social institutions. The major arguments are clearly and precisely explained, and the themes are highlighted and located within Kant's mature critical philosophy, especially his ethics. The commentary will be valuable for all who are interested in the continuing relevance of religion for contemporary inquiries into ethics, public institutions and religious traditions.
James J. DiCenso is Professor in the Philosophy of Religion at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Kant, Religion, and Politics (Cambridge, 2011), The Other Freud: Religion, Culture and Psychoanalysis (1999) and Hermeneutics and the Disclosure of Truth (1990) and has published several scholarly articles in international journals.
Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; 1. Introductory: religion through the lens of practical reason; 2. Kant's prefaces to the first and second editions; 3. Religion part one: concerning the indwelling of the evil principle alongside the good, or, of the radical evil in human nature; 4. Religion part two: concerning the battle of the good against the evil principle for dominion over the human being; 5. Religion part three: the victory of the good principle over the evil principle, and the founding of a Realm of God on Earth; 6. Religion part four: concerning service and counterfeit service under the dominion of the good principle, or, of religion and priestcraft; Bibliography.