Shokhin Vladimir

The narrative of secularism and the religion of German Enlightenment

Shokhin Vladimir (2021) "The narrative of secularism and the religion of German Enlightenment ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2021, vol. 96, pp. 61-76 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI202196.61-76


It is a wide spectrum of the interrelations between philosophy and religion in Germany during the Enlightenment as disclosed in the newest book by Ludmila Kryshtop Morality and Religion in the Philosophy of German Enlightenment — from Thomasius to Kant regarded in the lenses of German studies whrerefrom those of Konrad Feiereis and Albrecht Beutel could be selected, that makes up the subject-matter of this article. The author highly estimates both Kryshtop’s successful endeavour to uproot the cliché of the enlightenment secularism (based on the pattern of French Enlightenment) and introducing of numerous philosophers to the Russian reader hardly familiar to him. In many details the author of the paper concerns himself with exposition of Christian August Crusius’ and Moses Mendelssohn’s philosophical ideas and approves Kryshtop’s exposition of deepening the movement to the left in German religious thought of the eighteenth century. Nevertheless, the author of the paper comes also to disagreement with the author of the book because of her underrating of the spread and influence of deism in “the age of reason” and refers to several signifi cant avenues whereby deism came from England to Germany. As to how to identify deism itself the author refers to a typological approach of Christoph Gestrich, which he considers as highly productive. The question is about 13 essences of deism whereby any thinker can be judged as one capable of being enlisted into the deists, the fi rst of them being negation of any religion’s claim at absoluteness, the last one infi delity to the doctrines of the Holy Trinity and Incarnation.


Enlightenment, Germany, religion, philosophy, pietism. Wolffianism, the Neologians, theology, ontology, Ludmila Kryshtop


  1. Beutel A. (2006) Aufklärung in Deutschland. Göttingen.
  2. Cottret D. (2010) Histoire de la Reforme protestante. Paris.
  3. Feiereis K. (1965) Die Umprägnung der natürlichen Theologie in Religionsphilosophie. Ein Beitrag zur deutschen Geistesgeschichte des 18. Jahrhunderts. Leipzig.
  4. Gestrich Chr. (1981) “Deismus”, in Theologische Realencyclopedie, Bd. 8, Berlin / New York, pp. 392–406.
  5. Kant I. (1994) Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Moscow (Russian translation).
  6. Kryshtop L. E. (2020) “Kant o moral’noi religii razuma i religioznom pliuralizme” [“Kant on Moral Religion of Reason and Religious Pluralism”]. Filosofiia religii: analiticheskie issledovaniia, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 42–63 (in Russian).
  7. Kryshtop L. E. (2019) Moral’ i religiia v filosofii nemetskogo Prosveshcheniia: ot Khr. Tomaziia do I. Kanta [Moral and Religion in Philosophy of German Enlightenment: from Chr. Thomasius to I. Kant]. Moscow: Kanon+ (in Russian).
  8. Kryshtop L. E. (2019) “Nemetskie prosvetiteli o Bozhestvennom Otkrovenii i Sviashchennom Pisanii” [“German Enlightenment on Divine Revelation and Holy Scripture”]. Filosofiia religii: analiticheskie issledovaniia, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 39–56 (in Russian).
  9. Lalor S. (2006) Matthew Tindal, Freethinker. An Enlightenment–Century on Religion. London-New York.
  10. Orr J. (1934) English Deism: Its Roots and Its Fruits. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  11. Schröder W. (1992) “Religion bzw. Theologie, natürliche bzw. vernünftige”, in Ritter J., Gründer K. (eds) Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, Bd. VIII, Basel, pp. 714–727.
  12. Shokhin V. K. (2020) “Epistemologicheskii i religioznyi fundamentalizm v kontekste interkul’turnosti” [“Epistemological and Religious Fundamentalism in Intercultural Context”]. Filosofiia religii: analiticheskie issledovaniia, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 5-26 (in Russian).
  13. Shokhin V. K. (2016) Filosofskaia teologiia: dizainerskie fasety [Philosophical Theology: Design Facets]. Moscow (in Russian).
  14. Zhuchkov V. A. (1996) Iz istorii nemetskoi filosofii XVIII v. Predklassicheskii period (ot vol’fovskoi shkoly do rannego Kanta) [From the History of German 18th Century Philosophy. Preclassical Period (from Wolffi an School to Early Kant]. Moscow (in Russian).
  15. Zhuchkov V. A. (1989) Nemetskaia filosofiia rannego Prosveshcheniia (konets XVII — nachalo XVIII v.) [German Philosophy of Early Enlightenment (End of the 17th — Beginning of the 18th Centuries]. Moscow (in Russian).

Information about the author

Shokhin Vladimir

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in Philosophy;
Academic Rank: Professor;
Place of work: Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences; Goncharnaya Str. 12/1, Moscow 109240, Russian Federation;
Post: Head of the Sector of Philosophy of Religion;
ORCID: 0000-0002-2111-8740;
Email: vladshokhin@yandex.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.