Hugo Kołłątaj’s Concept of Natural Religion

Marek Blaszke

The article presents H. Kołłątaj’s ideas of the process of the development of religion in the historical context. Its main thesis is the conviction (where he agrees with N.A Boulanger) that the original cult from the earliest of days was deism limited to the faith in the Supreme Being i.e. the natural religion not laden with the ceremonial, liturgy and dogmas. Religion degenerated into polytheism after the Deluge, which he treats as a historic event. In this way, Kołłątaj builds a bridge between the prehistory of mankind and his contemporary times, projecting, popular in his days, religious awareness – the natural religion, the cult of wisdom, deism – into the remote past. Kołłątaj’s religious research, considering the historic development of societies, in this respect is characterized rather by ahistorism and a tendency towards apriorism through acceptation of predetermined schemes.

Keywords: Kollataj · natural religion

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