God and the Self in Hegel

Beyond Subjectivism

By Paolo Diego Bubbio

Subjects: Hegel, German Idealism, Philosophy, Philosophy Of Religion
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438465241, 242 pages, July 2018
Hardcover : 9781438465258, 242 pages, July 2017

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Table of contents

Abbreviations for Hegel’s Primary Texts

1. Christ as Symbol in Kant’s Religion

2. Hegel’s Conception of God

3. The Reality of Religion in Hegel’s Idealist Metaphysics

4. Hegel’s Version of the Ontological Argument for the Existence of God

5. The Trinity and the “I”

6. The Death of God and Recognition of the Self

7. Beyond Subjectivism

8. The Relevance of Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion Today


Argues that Hegel’s conception of God and the self holds the key to overcoming subjectivism in both philosophy of religion and metaphysics.


God and the Self in Hegel proposes a reconstruction of Hegel's conception of God and analyzes the significance of this reading for Hegel's idealistic metaphysics. Paolo Diego Bubbio argues that in Hegel's view, subjectivism—the tenet that there is no underlying "true" reality that exists independently of the activity of the cognitive agent—can be avoided, and content can be restored to religion, only to the extent that God is understood in God's relation to human beings, and human beings are understood in their relation to God. Focusing on traditional problems in theology and the philosophy of religion, such as the ontological argument for the existence of God, the Trinity, and the "death of God," Bubbio shows the relevance of Hegel's view of religion and God for his broader philosophical strategy. In this account, as a response to the fundamental Kantian challenge of how to conceive the mind-world relation without setting mind over and against the world, Hegel has found a way of overcoming subjectivism in both philosophy and religion.

Paolo Diego Bubbio is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Western Sydney University, Australia. His books include Sacrifice in the Post-Kantian Tradition: Perspectivism, Intersubjectivity, and Recognition, also published by SUNY Press.


"Bubbio has produced an impressive and also challenging examination of Hegel's philosophy of religion. It is impressive for its meticulous analyses of an exceptionally wide range of recent commentaries on every aspect of his inquiry. " — Owl of Minerva

"God and the Self in Hegel makes two essential contributions to the understanding of Hegel's philosophical thought. The first and larger contribution consists in an interpretation of Hegel which, while figuring him as a post-Kantian who by and large accepts Kant's refutation of classical metaphysics, also sees him as correcting Kant's subjectivism. The second and narrower contribution lies in an analysis and recommendation of Hegel's philosophy of religion. " — Hegel Bulletin

"…this book offers clear and yet nuanced analyses of extremely complex issues and presents a very convincing argument in favour of an interpretation of Hegel's philosophy as a whole in terms of what Bubbio qualifies as a post-critical metaphysics. " — Critical Horizons

"The book situates itself expertly in the current landscape … it is a lucid introduction to the state of discussions in contemporary Hegel scholarship. " — Philosophy Today

"Bubbio has written an ambitiously argued book that offers meticulous scholarship on Hegel's philosophy of religion. " — Sophia

"…[a] fine book … [Bubbio] shows how to read Hegel well, and that Hegel repays the effort … God and the Self in Hegel not only shepherds readers through the fields of Hegel's (difficult) and his readers' (still more difficult) texts, but also commends grazing. Readers who seek Hegel's intellectual nutrients, delights, or both should follow Bubbio's crook. " — Reading Religion