New PDF release: Introduction to Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion

By Raymond K. Williamson

ISBN-10: 0873958276

ISBN-13: 9780873958271

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Extra info for Introduction to Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion

Sample text

Therefore, it was consistent with his chief interest in Bern that he returned to his historical considerations in the second postscript, Jedes Volk hat ihm eigene Gegenstánde,44 which, however, like the first, shows signs of the groundwork for his as­yet­unanticipated move away from Kant.  Gradually this freedom was lost, however, as a ruling class emerged through the acquisition of wealth and power; then government and authority were imposed from without, bearing down upon the individual, who came to regard his life as an individual possession that had to be preserved irrespective of the community that had previously given him fulfillment.

49 But it is in the second postscript—when, in examining the cause of the loss of the freedom of antiquity and the triumph of Christianity, his thoughts returned to the Greek ideal—that he came to consider seriously the needs of human sensibility, for he believed those needs to have been truly and adequately catered for in the classical period.  (ETW, 149) Page 36 In this connection Hegel thought that Catholics had done better than Protestants, for they placed great stress on local saints and miracle stories; but even so, they failed to adequately satisfy the needs of imagination, since the legends of such people or events were made to appear as historical realities rather than being left as myths.

However, this claim about Christianity posed a further difficulty: since the contemporary expression of Christianity did not show signs of having such a rational basis, the obvious task was to analyze the cause of the deterioration.  But the two postscripts must, in an equally significant way, be separated from the essay because they reflect the development of a new dimension in Hegel's thought that marks the end of the period in which Kant exerted a dominant, though never exclusive, influence on his thought.

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Introduction to Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion by Raymond K. Williamson


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