Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky

Was it possible to be an atheist in the days before the Enlightenment?

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Was it possible to be an atheist in the days before the Enlightenment? I run across this question from time to time. The answer always seems to be No, because post-Foucault it doesn’t seem possible to belong to a category before it exists. Yet — behaviors can exist before they have a label. Here we have Otloh of St-Emmeram in the 1070s saying, “I wholly doubted whether there was any truth or usefulness in the holy Scriptures, or if Almighty God existed.” Poor Otloh, to be an atheist before there were atheists. 

http://turbulentpriests.group.shef.ac.uk/the-doubting-monk-atheism-in-the-middle-ages///cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.js

Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky
Justin Swanstrom

Justin Swanstrom

Made in America. Retired attorney. Bookseller at Shining Lotus. No Nazis in Valhalla. He/him.

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