Hobbes's Critique of Religion & Related Writings

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-05-15
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr

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Leo Strauss'sThe Political Philosophy of Hobbesdeservedly ranks among his most widely acclaimed works. In it Strauss argues that the basis for Hobbes's natural and political science is his interest in "self-knowledge of man as he really is." The writings collected in this book, each written prior to that classic volume, complement that account. Thus at long last, this book allows us to have a complete picture of Strauss's interpretation of Hobbes, the thinker pivotal to the fundamental theme of his life's work: the conflicting demands of philosophy and revelation, or as he termed it, "the theologico-political problem." It is no exaggeration to say that Strauss's work on Hobbes's critique of religion is essential to his analysis of Hobbes's political philosophy, and vice versa. This volume will spark new interest in Hobbes's explication of the Bible and in his understanding of religion by revealing previously neglected dimensions and motives of Hobbes's "theology." At the same time, scholars interested in the intellectual development of Leo Strauss will find in these writings the missing link, as it were, between his two early books,Spinoza's Critique of ReligionandThe Political Philosophy of Hobbes. In addition, this volume makes available for the first time in English a letter, a book outline, an extended review, an engagement with legal positivism, and an account of Strauss's work on Hobbes by Heinrich Meier, all of which shed light on Strauss's concerns and his approach to Hobbes in particular, as well as to modern political thought and life.

Table of Contents

Translators' Prefacep. vii
Introduction: The History of Strauss's Hobbes Studies in the 1930sp. 1
Hobbes's Critique of Religion: A Contribution to Understanding the Enlightenment (1933-34)p. 21
Introductionp. 23
Occasion and Purpose of the Studyp. 23
Hobbes's Politics and the Critique of Revelationp. 26
The Different Versions of Hobbes's Critique of Religionp. 30
The Critique of the Traditionp. 33
The Principle of Scripturep. 33
Spirits and Angelsp. 38
The Kingdom of God and Eternal Lifep. 39
Temporal and Spiritual Powerp. 45
The Kingdom of Darknessp. 53
Characteristics of the Critique of the Traditionp. 62
The Critique of Scripturep. 72
The Knowability and the Believability of Revelationp. 73
The Knowability and the Possibility of Revelationp. 81
The Knowability and the Possibility of Miraclesp. 85
Hobbes and Descartesp. 94
The Basis of Hobbes's Critique of Religionp. 109
Addenda: Two Passages Deleted from the Manuscriptp. 115
Shorter Writings by Strauss on Hobbesp. 119
Some Notes on the Political Science of Hobbes (1932)p. 121
Foreword to a Planned Book on Hobbes (1931)p. 137
Outline: The Political Science of Hobbes; An Introduction to Natural Right (1931)p. 151
Letter from Strauss to Hans-Georg Gadamer and Gerhard Kr├╝ger (1935)p. 159
Indexp. 165
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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