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On the Happiness of the Philosophic LifeReflections on Rousseau's Rêveries in Two Books$
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Heinrich Meier

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226074030

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226074177.001.0001

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Rousseau and the Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar

Rousseau and the Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar

Chapter:
(p.223) Rousseau and the Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar
Source:
On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life
Author(s):

Heinrich Meier

, Robert Berman
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226074177.003.0008

This chapter examines Jean-Jacques Rousseau's confrontation with the question of the right life, with faith's demand for obedience and the promises of religion, in Profession de foi du Vicaire Savoyard (Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar). Profession de foi occupies a special place in Rousseau's œuvre. It found its permanent place in the fourth book of Émile, where it shows how an homme vulgaire can be instructed in matters of religion, in accord with reason, corresponding to his nature, and taking into account historical circumstances. This chapter considers the belief that the Vicar's profession of faith is the profession of faith of Rousseau, that Rousseau and the Vicar are of one mind, that both pursue essentially the same end. It also discusses the Vicar's views about truth, the right life, the philosophic life, God, Natural Religion, faith in revelation, and, revealed religions. It argues that the Natural Religion of the Vicar is fundamentally different from Rousseau's Natural Theology.

Keywords:   right life, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, faith, Profession de foi du Vicaire Savoyard, Émile, philosophic life, God, Natural Religion, revealed religions, Natural Theology

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