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Daniel von Wachter

Daniel von Wachter (www.von-wachter.de) is professor and director of the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein (www.iap.li). He is German and studied philosophy and theology at Munich, Liechtenstein, Innsbruck, Hamburg, and Oxford. Before he moved to Liechtenstein, he was a professor in Chile. Metaphysics and philosophy of religion are the main areas of his research. His method is within what is associated with analytic philosophy, but he places himself in the broader tradition of European philosophy, especially Protestant scholasticism and the non-deterministic philosophers of the 18th century.

 

 

Workshops


How 'the Enlightenment' Was Invented

It is generally taught that the Enlightenment happened between 1680 and 1800 and that this time therefore is “the age of Enlightenment”. While the church had prevented the development of reason and progress during the “dark ages”, so the story goes, because the heroes of the Enlightenment employed reason (in contrast to the Christians who submitted to the Bible and to authority), the natural sciences developed, philosophy came to flourish, and freedom of opinion and freedom of religion were introduced. This talk will demonstrate that there is nearly no truth in this widespread and powerful story. It was created in order to make the church look anti-rational and in order to make the ground infertile for the gospel. More generally, it will criticise the tradition of approaching history in terms of “epochs” and “progress” and sketch an alternative, Christian approach.

 

The Key Presupposition of the Enlightenment and Liberal Theology

Liberal Theology assumes that there are no divine interventions. Often this is presented as the result of research, but in fact it is derived from determinism (also called ‘the causal nexus‘), i.e. the doctrine that every event is necessitated by preceding events. I shall examine the function this doctrine plays in authors of the Enlightenment and of Liberal Theology, argue that it is wrong, and explain why it is important to see that it is wrong.

 

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