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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 31, Issue 2, 2021

Do We Need a New Enlightenment for the 21st Century?

Evgeniy Bubnov
Pages 163-184

The Idea of Miracle in the Enlightenment and Enlightenment in the Idea of Miracle
The Dialectics of Theological Narrative and Philosophical Discourse

The article is devoted to the problem of comprehension of the idea of miracle by the encyclopaedists and other enlighteners. The definitions of the concepts we use to designate the miraculous, the amazing and the magic change with the time. This fact may seem trivial at first glance. However, if we draw our sight to the material world we will see that the evolutionary changes taking place with some engineering devices do not affect the functions these devices were invented for. Entirely different is the situation with the semantics of some words denoting abstract concepts. The core function of the word is to convey a certain sense to the addressee. But, as may be seen from the speculations of the miraculous, it is the sense of the word which is gradually changing. The changes mentioned are due to the collisions between different world views at the turn of the epochs. However, the stereotype ideas of the Enlightenment as the period of fighting religious doctrines by means of applying to the reason as the only criterion of the truth, cannot be used to describe the processes in question. Our analysis will also point out at the problem of the periodization of the Age of Enlightenmen

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