Philosophical Beastiality

30 10 2008

…What a difference there is between the justification of human free will in Pico della Mirandola’s Oration on Human Dignity and the agonizing sense of responsibility experienced by the Protestant Kierkegaard! The idea of liberty, which allowed man to belong to the higher beings, ends by becoming a crushing burden, for there are no longer any points of reference. As soon as God withdraws into his complete transcendence, every human attempt to examine his design runs into a ghastly silence. This ” silence of God” is, in reality, silence of the world, silence of Nature.

To read in the “book of Nature” had been the fundamental experience in the Renaissance. The Reformation was tireless in seeking ways to close that book. Why? Because the Reformation thought of Nature not as a factor for rapproachment but as the main thing responsible for the alienation of God from mankind.

-Ioan Couliano, Eros and Magic in the Renaissance
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