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Lessing: Philosophical and Theological Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) Paperback – March 21, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0521138284 ISBN-10: 0521138280

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy
  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521138280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521138284
  • ASIN: 0521538475
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Lessing 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 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. They are translated and edited by H. B. Nisbet, who also provides an introduction that sets them in their historical and philosophical contexts.

About the Author

H. B. Nisbet has translated works by Kant and Hegel and is co-editor of the Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andy Hahn on December 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides a historical microcosm of the challenges to established theological dogma of the 18th century. Lessing's dependance on rationalization and his stressing of the obvious ambiguity present in interpretation of Biblical texts is covered. He highlights the disparity in belief structures caused by personal preference and perspectives in establishing acceptable tenets of religious thought. Provides an interesting take on the nature of ongoing religious debates of the time. Lessings's use of illustrative language and clarity of thought make for easy reading. I had hoped to find less of a theological presentation, but considering the times and Lessing's Lutheran upbringing the topics presented by Lessing should not be surprising.

Lessing's inquisitive approach and willingness to discuss issues with the appearance of an open mind is refreshing. It is easy to understand his points of discussion and one does not run into obscurity as in Hegel or Kant.

Recommended to those interested in theology during the 18th century, or wishing to have a better understanding of Lessing's thoughts and manner of reasoning.
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