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Between Dancing and WritingThe Practice of Religious Studies$
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Kimerer L. LaMothe

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780823224036

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823224036.001.0001

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The Rift in Religion

The Rift in Religion

René Descartes and Immanuel Kant

(p.21) Chapter 1 The Rift in Religion
Between Dancing and Writing

Kimerer L. LaMothe

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the moments of affirmation and critique to a distinction between reason and experience that Enlightenment thinkers borrowed from the natural sciences as a foundation for developing theories of religion. Focusing on René Descartes and Immanuel Kant, the discussion comments on the ways in which each man uses the term religion to affirm as rational an idea or belief that each confirms cannot be proven through rational means. In their respective accounts of religion, theology stands for that which must be rejected in order to ensure this critical affirmation of religion. One implication of Kant's strategy for stabilizing the study of religion is that dancing, and bodily expressions of religion, can appear only as derivative of religion's rationally-defensible core.

Keywords:   Descartes, Kant, Enlightenment, experience, reason

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