Hegel’s Phenomenology of Religion
The chapter on Religion in the Phenomenology of Spirit has been overshadowed in the general literature on the subject by the Berlin lecture courses on the philosophy of religion. Sometimes it is studied in the context of Hegel’s early concern with the forms of cultural “happiness” and unhappiness; and sometimes comparisons are made between the Jena period and the Berlin lectures. Sometimes, alas, everything is lumped together, and appealed to indifferently as “Hegel’s views”, as if all his talk of a self-forgetful immersion in the Sache selbst was merely hypocritical, or at best a folly of self-deception; or else as if the Sache selbst in which he was immersed — the “forms of Union” (1798), the “Science of experience” (1806) and the “self-exposition of Absolute Spirit” (1821–31) — was always identically one and the same. These different concerns are (needless to say) intimately related; but they are not quite identical.
KeywordsReligious Experience Christian Tradition Practical Judgement Absolute Knowledge Natural Religion
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