The concept of secularization has grown to become one of the most important features of contemporary religious thought. This book introduces and examines the thinking of sixteen key theologions, philosophers and historians of religion to explain (a) why by the late nineteenth century the traditional concept of God as an ontologically real being came to be considered no longer necessary and (b) how the new perspective on God, which accepts him only as an idea, turned into the preferred approach of today’s religion and philosophy, namely “religious radicalism”.
In this book, Professor Simuț shows how Christian theology started to be understood as a Gnostic philosophy of religion in the thought of the 19th-century scholar F. C. Baur. Although Baur was seen traditionally as a theologian and biblical exegete, Simuț argues that he was in fact a philosopher of religion, and it was his philosophical reading of Christian theology that informed his biblical preoccupations. Specifically, Baur’s perspective on Christian theology was heavily influenced by Jakob Böhme’s esoteric theosophy and Hegel’s religious philosophy in some key issues such as creation, Lucifer, dualism and the connection between spirit and matter coupled with that between philosophy and religion.