in Early Modern Europe
Research project at the Institute of Philosophy
of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków
Polish National Science Centre Grant No.
The Period of Realisation 2019–2022
The aim of the project is to investigate the process of the rationalization of religion, in particular the Christian one, which occurred in the late 17th century and the Enlightenment, from two perspectives: first, as one of the possible factors conducive to secularization, manifest on the level of both individual lives and political institutions; and, second, as an attempt to reform the existing religious institutions, especially within the Protestant world. By tracking the influence of the ´Spinozist´ ideas that promoted the rationalization of religion not only on the critics of the revealed religion, but primarily on radical religious reformers (e.g. ‘Christians without the church’ in the Netherlands or the German religious rationalists), the project aims to show that the radical vs. moderate Enlightenment distinction, reintroduced into the intellectual history of the ‘Age of Reason’ within (roughly) past two decades might reflect the current debates on the political role of religion in societies rather than the great ideological diversity of the epoch. We also investigate the consequences of the rationalization of religion, by focusing on such questions as whether the early-modern religious movements that emphasized mystical experience, such as the New Church and Quietism, were an opposing force to the rationalization of religion, or rather its implication. Combining individual research with bimonthly lectures and workshops by invited experts at the Institute of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, the project is also intended at furthering international collaboration between scholars of the Enlightenment.