Staffan Bengtsson, Heinrich Clairmont, Robert Norton, Johannes Schmidt, and Ulrike Wagner: Herder and Religion. Contributions from the 2010 Conference of the International Herder Society at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. Heidelberg: Synchron, 2016. 260 pages.
Those interested in the nature and wide-ranging impact of Herder’s religious thought will find this volume to be a valuable companion. The contributors participated in the 2010 meeting of the International Herder Society at the University of Notre Dame, and they approach the question of what religion actually meant for Herder by examining the relationship between the shifting nature of his response and his angle of vision. Interdisciplinary in scope, the essays testify to how his position on religious questions changes, depending on his field of inquiry. Herder the historian, concerned with defining the origin of the Greek and Hebrew Bible, develops answers that differ from those by Herder the anthropologist, concerned with operations of cognitive processes; these in turn diverge from those by Herder the poet and aesthetician. Readers curious about Herder’s positions on religious and theological matters in conversation with others, and how others felt inspired by him, will find contributions ranging from his engagement with figures such as Spinoza and Kant to the influence of his thinking on nineteenth-century Anglo-American religious debates.