Religieuse geloof en Descartes se program


Enlightenment Project
Meaning And Rationality
Modernity And Post-Modernity


Religious faith and Descartes’ programme

In this article it is argued that an important source contributing to the secularisation of Western thought can be traced to the effects of the so-called “Enlightenment project” that originated in the philosophical programme of René Descartes. Although this project bore important fruits for Western thinking, it had a disastrous effect on the way the meaning and rationality of religious belief had been understood in Western society. On the one hand this project entailed a referential theory of meaning that tended to reduce all meaning to its epistemic dimensions. This theory could hardly account for the much broader role of religion in human life and thought. On the other hand this project entailed a foundationalist view on rationality that could not account for the rationality of religious belief. In this article it is attempted to indicate that the post-modern revolution in Western philosophy has produced new ideas on meaning and rationality which are able to account for the meaning and rationality of religion in a more satisfactory way.

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