Philosophy, Theology, and Hegel's Berlin Philosophy of Religion, 1821-1827

By Philip M. Merklinger

Subjects: Religion
Paperback : 9780791414927, 250 pages, August 1993
Hardcover : 9780791414910, 250 pages, August 1993

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Table of contents


Introduction.    Relation of the Philosophy of Religion to Theology

Chapter One.   The 1821 Concept of Religion


The Inner Dialectic of the Religious Relationship

Natural Sensibility and Religious Sensibility

Representation and Cultus

Chapter Two.   Religion Within the Limits of Feeling Alone: Schleiermacher's The Christian Faith


The Relations between Schleiermacher and Hegel

Schleiermacher: On Religion

The Purpose of The Christian Faith

The Relation of Philosophy to Religion

Feeling, Doing, and Knowing

Feeling, Piety, and Immediate Self-Consciousness

The Relations of Religion and Cognition in Dogmatics

Mediate Self-Consciousness and the Christian Church

Chapter Three.   Unveiling Faith and Spirit: Hegel's Criticism of Schleiermacher in the Foreword


The Foreword

The Inner Dynamics of Faith

The Relationship of Feeling and Thinking in Faith

Luther's Faith: Its Source and Ground

The Subjectification of Objective Doctrine

Hegel's Philosophical Confirmation of Luther's Faith

The Principle of Subjectivity and the Witness of the Spirit

The Birth of the Science of Spirit out of the Science of Faith

Chapter Four.   Philosophy, Theology, and the Introduction to the 1824 Philosophy of Religion


Natural Theology

Rational Theology

The Letter and the Spirit

The Relationship of the Philosophy of Religion to the Doctrines of Positive Religion

Feeling and Thinking

The Mutual Determination of Philosophy and Theology

Chapter Five.   1827: The Conflict with Pietism and Hegel's Subjectification of Theological Reflection


Hegel's Trinitarian Response to Tholuck in the 1827 Concept of Religion

Introduction to the 1827 Consummate Religion

The First Element: The Idea of God in and for Itself

The Second Element: Representation, Appearance

Natural Humanity

The Story of the Fall

The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ

The Third Element: The Realization of the Spirituality of the Religious Community

Conclusion.   The Reconciliation of Philosophy and Theology



Index of Names and Subjects


This book examines Hegel's contribution to the debate about the relationship between philosophy and theology, reason and faith. The author locates the debate within the philosophy of religion, displaying that there is a need for philosophy to enter into dialogue with, and to reflect upon, the contents of theology. Utilizing the recently published critical editions of Hegel's Berlin Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, the author substantiates this insight by tracing dialectically the development of Hegel's notion of the philosophy of religion through the 1821, 1824, and 1827 lecture-series on religion. Not only does the author demonstrate that philosophy needs to incorporate theology in its thinking, but he also establishes that such incorporation means that the philosophy of religion will be a continuously developing mode of reflection. Indeed, the author notes this developing philosophy of religion can, for Hegel, only take place through dialectical interaction with the leading theologies and theologians of one's time. The book shows that this inner development of the philosophy of religion is also the inner development of the Spirit itself.

Philip M. Merklinger is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Augustana University College.


"The great merit of this book is that it sets the evolution of Hegel's thought about religion in the context of the controversies of the time. This can be done effectively now that we have a critical edition of Hegel's Lectures in which the best available text of what Hegel said in different years has been separated. This work is particularly timely because of the prompt appearance of this text in an excellent English translation. " — H. S. Harris, Glendon College of York University