The Christianization of Pyrrhonism

The Christianization of Pyrrhonism : Scepticism and Faith in Pascal, Kierkegaard, and Shestov

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Augustine's christianization of Plato and Thomas Aquinas's of Aristotle provided the two main foundations of medieval Judeo- Christian philosophy. In The Christianization of Pyrrhonism, Jose R. Maia Neto shows that Greek scepticism played a similar role in the development of a major strand of modern religious thought. From the Jansenist reaction of Molinism in the early 17th century to Shestov's resistance to the arrival of Kantian enlightenment in Russia in the late 19th century, Greek scepticism was reconstructed in terms of Christian doctrines and used against major secular philosophers who posed threats to religion. At the same time, the ancient sceptics' practical stance was attacked in order that it does not constitute a viable alternative to the modern secular philosophies. The resulting Christianized Pyrrhonism would be the basis for a genuine Christian or Biblical thought, for the first time emancipated from the rationalist assumptions and methods of Greek philosophy.
The Christianization of Pyrrhonism is extremely valuable for those interested in the modern developments of ancient scepticism, in the relations between religious and philosophical ideas in modernity, and for scholars and the general public interested in Pascal, Kierkegaard and Shestov.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 158 pages
  • 76.2 x 177.8 x 5.08mm | 136.08g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1995 ed.
  • XVIII, 158 p.
  • 0792333810
  • 9780792333814

Table of contents

Abbreviations. Introduction. 1: Before the Christianization of Pyrrhonism: Jansenism faces Sceptical Fideism. 1.1. The Pelagian and the Manichean Threats. 1.2. Michel de Montaigne. 1.3. Pierre Charron. 1.4. Saint-Cyran versus Garasse on Charron. 1.5. Francois de la Mothe Le Vayer. 2: Pascal's Christianization of Pyrrhonism. 2.1. Conversation with Sacy about Epictetus and Montaigne. 2.2. Undoing Ataraxia. 2.3. Undoing Intellectual Integrity. 3: Kierkegaard's Christianization of Pyrrhonism. 3.1. In Search of Genuine Sceptics: The Period before Authorship. 3.2. Abraham and the Sceptics: The Preface to Fear and Trembling. 3.3. The Christians and the Sceptics: The Works by Johannes Climacus. 3.4. Pascal and Kierkegaard. 4: After the Christianization of Pyrrhonism: Shestov's Irrationalism. 4.1. Shestov's Neo-Kantianism. 4.2. Scepticism, Belief, and the Doctrine of the Fall. 4.3. Shestov on Pascal. 4.4. Shestov on Kierkegaard. Conclusion Appendix. Works Cited.
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Review quote

`... this book is an excellent piece of scholarship, one which deserves to be read by anyone interested in the role of Greek philosophy in the development of either Christian or existential thinking.'
British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 8:1 (2000)
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