International Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 61, Issue 1, March 2021

Jonathan Head
Pages 101-119

Kant’s Religion as a Response to the Pantheism Controversy
Between Mendelssohn and Jacobi

This paper places Kant’s Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason within the historical context of the pantheism controversy between Mendelssohn and Jacobi. I argue that reading Religion with this context in mind shines new light upon passages connected with the need for a moral archetype and prototype in the form of Christ, as well as various comments upon the relation between Christianity and Judaism. Within this new viewpoint, we can also see Religion as ultimately concerned with promoting Christianity, broadly understood, as the most appropriate historical vehicle for the promulgation of rational religion, and thus as a cornerstone of the Enlightenment project.