Show Summary Details

p. 1016. Religionlocked

  • Ritchie Robertson


Goethe was brought up in Frankfurt, a Protestant city where the Lutheran Church held sway, but was also introduced to key Enlightenment texts through his father’s extensive library. ‘Religion’ explains that an early Pietist phase strengthened the value that Goethe placed on tolerance in religious matters. Goethe’s standpoint was what the 18th century called ‘natural religion’. Goethe’s allegiance to the Enlightenment is seen in his work, including the poem ‘Prometheus’ (1774) and the neoclassical drama Iphigenie in Tauris (1786–7). Goethe seems to anticipate Nietzsche in viewing human life as ‘beyond good and evil’. What mattered to Goethe was individuality, which brings him close to the greatest contemporary philosopher, Immanuel Kant.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.