To Hegel, he was a "genius"; to Kierkegaard, he was the "greatest humorist in Christendom"; to Goethe, he was the "brightest mind of his day". Indeed, J. G. Hamann was widely admired as someone "totally unique" - a brilliant Christian critic, philosopher, and theologian of penetrating wit. Though less known than many of his contemporaries, Hamann is gradually being recognized as one of the most important and original critics of the Enlightenment. After Enlightenment substantiates Hamann's relevance, presenting him as the visionary founder of a 'radical orthodox' movement that fundamentally called into question some of the basic principles of modern secular thought. This much-needed, comprehensive introduction to Hamann's fascinating life and controversial works explores his views on a range of topics - including faith, reason, history, hermeneutics, aesthetics, politics, the origin of language, and the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. Focusing upon his engagements with famous contemporaries and friends, such as Kant, Herder, and Mendelssohn, it also offers a unique perspective on the intellectual debates of the time. Moreover, in and through these debates, Betz presents Hamann as the prophetic founder of a distinctly post-modern, post-secular theology, and as such, an alternative to the postmodern philosophies of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida. After Enlightenment demonstrates the continued relevance of Hamann today, reprising the debate between those defending his views and those labeling him the bete noir of the Enlightenment.