The Changing Faces of Religion in XVIIIth Century Scotland

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More About This Title The Changing Faces of Religion in XVIIIth Century Scotland


Secularization is often associated with the Enlightenment. However, not all Enlightenment thinkers defended it. This book aims to cast light on the problems and solutions that the thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment uncovered when studying the place of religion in society. In fact, Hutcheson, Reid, Hume, Smith, Ferguson and Millar saw the situation of religion in society from different perspectives and often reached very different conclusions. This complex understanding of religion is what led us to compile this book, which focuses on three questions: What is the role of religion in society? How does the existence of God and natural religion affect the social order? How should certain religious beliefs be understood in a secular context, and what are their social and moral repercussions? These three key issues are closely connected to the Scottish thinkers’ chief common concerns: defending natural human sociability from contractualist theories and determining whether religion hinders or strengthens the political and moral order of society.