Kantian Ngrams

On a superficial level one can see the impact of […] Kantian ideas on the ethical discourse on the ethical discourse of modern Christians who now speak as much or more about “persons,” “dignity,” “rights,” and “respect” than about sin, redemption, compassion, Heaven, and hell. (Robert Kraynak, Christian Faith and Modern Democracy, p. 148)

I tried to see whether Kraynak’s “superficial level” could be graphed using the blunt instrument of Google Ngrams; this was the most interesting graph that I could come up with:

Kantian N-grams

Note how “sin” suddenly spikes up at the beginning of the 19th century, and then declines again. This has to do with early Evangelicalism, the final phase of what Msgr. Knox calls “Enthusiasm:"

For a hundred and fifty years [Enthusiasm] becomes the major preoccupation of religious minds, obscuring from contemporary view the rise of atheism. (Ronald Knox, Enthusiasm, p. 4).

One thought on “Kantian Ngrams

  1. Pingback: Links R & C 4 | Sancrucensis

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