Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-81), thinker, dramatist and controversialist of many-sided interests, is the most representative figure of the German Enlightenment. His defence of Spinoza, who had traditionally been condemned as an atheist, provoked a major controversy in philosophy, and his publication of H. S. Reimarus' radical assault on Christianity led to fundamental changes in Protestant theology. This volume presents the most comprehensive collection to date in English of Lessing's philosophical and theological writings, several of which are here translated for the first time. They are edited and translated by H. B. Nisbet, who also provides an introduction that sets them in their historical and philosophical contexts.
H. B. Nisbet has translated works by Kant and Hegel and is co-editor of the Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.
The Christianity of Reason; On the Reality of Things outside God; Spinoza only put Leibniz on the Track of [his Theory of] Pre-established Harmony; On the Origin of Revealed Religion; Leibniz on Eternal Punishment; [Editorial Commentary on the 'Fragments' of Reimarus]; On the Proof of the Spirit and of Power; The Testament of St John; A Rejoinder; A Parable; Axioms; New Hypothesis on the Evangelists as Merely Human Historians; Necessary Answer to a Very Unnecessary Question of Herr Hauptpastor Goeze in Hamburg; The Religion of Christ; That More than Five Senses are Possible for Human Beings; Ernst and Falk: Dialogues for Freemasons; The Education of the Human Race; [Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Recollections of Conversations with Lessing in July and August].
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