Judaism and the Jews in the British Deists’ Attacks on Revealed Religion

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Abstract: This article deals with the conceptualization of Judaism, Jewish history, and the Jewish people that characterized the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British deists’ criticism of revealed religion, from Herbert of Cherbury to Peter Annet. Although all the British deists aimed at setting aside revelation and at asserting the primacy of natural religion, they developed various epistemological methodologies in their analyses of positive religions. This article hence points out the similarities and differences in the deists’ works concerning revealed religion, with special focus on their considerations of Judaism.

Biography: Diego Lucci is Assistant Professor of European Intellectual History and Philosophy at the American University in Bulgaria. He received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Naples Federico II in 2004. He has taught at Boston University and the University of Missouri, and has done research and lectured in numerous institutions in the United States and Europe. He is the author of a number of writings on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophy and intellectual history, including the book “Scripture and Deism: The Biblical Criticism of the Eighteenth-Century British Deists” (Lang, 2008) and the article “Judaism and Natural Religion in the Philosophy of William Wollaston” (BJECS, 2007).

Volume 3, Number 2 (Spring 2008) pp. 177