The History of Religion and the Absolute Religion
“History is no place for absolute religions and absolute personalities”. So, at least, we are told by Ernst Troeltsch, in his book Die Absolutheit des Christentums und die Religionsgeschichte2. And this affirmation in no way expresses a truism. Troeltsch’s book appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, and he is here giving expression to a point of view that gradually took shape and became accepted as the spell of Hegelian philosophy was broken during the second half of the 19th century. The statement does, however, become a truism if it defines the concepts of the Absolute and history in such a way that their incompatibility follows from the definitions themselves.And it then wins an easy victory over Hegel’s philosophy if it grasps his talk of absoluteness and history as merely juxtaposing them in this trite fashion.
KeywordsRepresentational Content Lecture Series Preceding History Christian Religion Metaphysical Grounding
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