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Rousseau's Interpretation of Sovereignty of Religion

The purpose of this research is to examine Jean-Jacques Rousseau's interpretation of the ethics of Christianity through the filter of the Enlightenment, principally in The Social Contract and Julie ou La nouvelle HTloise, but also with reference to other key ethical documents in the Western tradition, notably Plato's Apology and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in addition to the Bible.

The research will set forth the philosophical and social context of Rousseau's examination of the sovereignty of religion and then to discuss how the pattern of ideas in Julie and The Social Contract reorganizes and reconciles a commitment to religious belief in a way that conforms currents of Enlightenment thought to the Christian ethical tradition, or more exactly legitimates the sovereignty of a reinterpreted Christianity in an ideal of secular social organization. Rousseau's reorganization of religious themes, especially in Julie, ou La nouvelle HTloise, will be seen to provide a symbolic system meant to use the content of Christian ethical thought to interpret and shape the content of the social and political ethical systems that were being secularized during the Enlightenment.

By the 18th century, the intellectual ground had been prepared for the Enlightenment. The Reformation had long since been successfully employed against the rigidity of the Roman Church, but, by the 18th century, Protestantism had achieved quite as much an institutional authoritarianism as Catholicism, and monarchy remained the principal form of government throughout Europe. But the revolutions in England in 1642, 1660, and 1688 had, after all, traded one absolutist regime for another. Rumblings of social and moral discontent of the later period were to find expression in the American and French Revolutions, and the atmosphere and content of Enlightenment thought and its more flamboyant philosophical twin, Romanticism, that gave philosophical substance to the sea change...

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Rousseau's Interpretation of Sovereignty of Religion. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 21:22, June 26, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1712090.html