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HIST144 - FOUNDATIONS MOD THOUGHT
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"God is dead," declared Friedrich Nietzsche, "and we have killed him." Nietzche's words came as a climax of a longer history of criticism of, and dissent toward, the religious foundations of European society and politics. The critique of religion had vast implications for the meaning of human life, the nature of the person, and the conception of political and social existence. The course will explore the intensifying debate over religion in the intellectual history of Europe, reaching from the Renaissance, through the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, to the twentieth century. Rousseau, Voltaire, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. These thinkers allow us to trace the varieties of irreligious experience that have emerged in modern European thought and their implications for both historical and philosophical understanding. Rather than drawing a straight line from belief to non-belief, however, we will also consider whether religion lingers even in secular thought and culture.
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