Secularization between Faith and Reason: Reinvestigating the Lowith-Blumenberg Debate

Sjoerd Griffioen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The contemporary “postsecularism debate” has reintroduced the problem of the relation between modernity and religion to philosophy. In this context, attention is also paid to earlier debates on secularization—notably, the Löwith-Blumenberg debate—in the hope that it will illuminate the contemporary discussion. This article contends that such an endeavor would first require a critical reinvestigation of this debate to correct two widespread misinterpretations: that Hans Blumenberg “decisively refuted” Karl Löwith and that their positions are more similar than their polemic suggests. The debate should be seen as an unresolved dispute between incompatible philosophical positions, in which Löwith represents a “Stoic retreat” from modernity and Christianity and Blumenberg a modest defense of modernity against the metaphysical burden of its Christian past.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-101
Number of pages31
JournalNew German Critique : an Interdisciplinary Journal of German Studies
Issue number1 (136)
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2019



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