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Humanism and religion in the works of Johann Gottfried Herder
Khadyev Dinislam Vladislavovich

Post-graduate student, the department of Philosophy of Religion and Religious Studies, M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University

119991, Russia, g. G. Moskva, ul. Leninskie Gory, D.1


This article examines the concept of humanism of the German philosopher-enlightener J. G. Herder in the context of his philosophy of religion. The doctrine of this thinker presents interest as an important stage in the history of European freethought. Herder, being in the epicenter of German Enlightenments and actively participating in literary life of the country, has laid the foundation for the subsequent flourishing of the German thought. It significantly affected the establishment of liberal theology and distribution of the pantheistic ideas in Germany. Primarily on the materials of the mature works of Herder, particularly his fundamental composition “Outlines of a Philosophy of the History of Man”, the author attempted to identify the specific features of humanism of the German philosopher and refer him to a certain historical-philosophical type. The author concludes that Herder considered religion a product of anthropogenesis, i.e. the emergence and evolution of religion was viewed by him from the materialistic perspective. Supranaturalism is practically excluded. This point of the teaching puts the philosopher in well-known opposition to the Orthodox Christian doctrine. Freethought with regards to religion, however, does not make Herder an ardent anti-clerical and atheist. He finds in religion multiple positive aspects, as well as claims that the religious contemplation of the world is primary, and human culture takes its roots namely in religion. Although Herder’s teaching is not free from the religions elements as a whole, he defends human dignity, his right to happiness in earthly life, and therefore, his views can be characterize as the secular humanism.

Keywords: culture, pantheism, atheism, supranaturalism, humanity, anthroposociogenesis, free-thinking, secular humanism, Herder, religion



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