A Post-Enlightenment Imago Hominis: The Theological Anthropology of Douglas John Hall

David Monge

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 1/1/1991

Issue: Death and Resurrection (Vol. 11, No 1, Winter, 1991)

Hall’s search for a new anthropology is a search also for a new social and political theory cognizant of its own limitations. The Enlightenment drive for autonomy, Hall argues, freed humanity from what Kant described as humanity’s self-incurred tutelage. Yet autonomy itself contains a lie: the notion that we are wise enough and good enough for self-mastery and world-mastery. Far from being the realm of perfectibility, history “is the territory of hungry, selfish, fearful man.” Since Hall writes with a view toward the North American context, this article first describes briefly how Enlightenment philosophy shaped the North American ethos, and secondly, sketches the contours of Hall’s post-Enlightenment anthropology.

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