Marco Menon

Leo Strauss and the Critique of Religion. From Enlightenment to Platonism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Leo Strauss; Plato; Critique of Religion; Enlightenment; Revelation.

This paper analyzes the concept of "Religionskritik" in Leo Strauss' thought. Firstly, through an investigation of "Die Religionskritik Spinozas", it distinguishes between Epicurean and Averroistic critiques of religion, and analyzes their main differences. Secondly, it shows how the Averroistic concept of "Religionskritik" was subsequently reformulated by Strauss as Platonic political philosophy, as well as the manner in which a Platonic critique of religion must be understood. Mostly drawing from Strauss' early German books, the paper argues that a moral and political approach to revealed religion is more radical than the one adopted by the moderns, who remain entangled in their polemics against Christian theology. The concluding paragraphs articulate the character of the Platonic critique and demonstrate its philosophical strength. The conclusion shows how the problem of omnipotence can be tackled by the examination of a necessary precondition of God's justice.

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