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Re: [hegel] Re: Hegel's "mysticism" and Christian doctrine

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  • greuterb
    ... John, In this sense you should found a secrete society which is devoted to Hegel as a theologian with its members looking at him as their master. With this
    Message 1 of 88 , Sep 13, 2011
      Am 12.09.2011 20:21, John writes:

      > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Robert
      > Wallace <bob@...> wrote:
      >
      > > I respect Hegel's effort to show that Christianity best embodies the
      > > ideas that he has developed in SL. I just doubt that he's right about
      > > this. I didn't want to go through the details of the Phil of Religion
      > > lectures. I agree that to that extent, my treatment of the System as
      > > Hegel presents it is incomplete. But supposing I'm right that Hegel
      > > was mistaken in regarding Christianity as "the consummate religion," I
      > > very much doubt that his system requires that a comparable piece of
      > > "work" should be done with other religions in order to hold the system
      > > together. Because once you acknowledge (as you seem perhaps willing to
      > > acknowledge) that Hegel may have been mistaken in thinking that
      > > Christianity _best_ embodies the ideas that he developed in the SL,
      > > and if we assume that no other religion does this best, either, then
      > > the kind of "work" that Hegel tries to do in the Lectures just can't
      > > be done.
      >
      > Dear Bob,
      >
      > I certainly don't acknowledge that Hegel was mistaken in that regard.
      >
      > As I mentioned in a recent post, it is certainly true that true
      > infinity as the union of human and divine is quite simply what
      > religion, and mysticism in particular, is all about.
      >
      > What is particularly distinctive about Christian theology is that
      > there was a philosophical effort lasting several hundred years to
      > establish the dialectical and speculative nature of true infinity. In
      > fact it was through this process that the dialectic was developed in
      > the first place. And it was through this process that the speculative
      > was established in the first place. The dialectical nature of true
      > infinity was developed in regard to the dual nature of Christ. The
      > speculative nature of true infinity was developed in regard to the
      > Holy Trinity.
      >
      > As much dialectical and specualtive thought as there undoubtedly is in
      > Plato and Aristotle, this never came to such explicit development as
      > it did in the theology of the first 300 years of Chrisitianity.
      >
      > This is what particularly interests Hegel in regard to Christianity:
      > the Trinity and the dual nature of Christ. Things of this sort may,
      > perhaps, be available in other traditions. And Hegel deals with these
      > approximations to the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of the
      > dual nature of Christ as they appear to arrise in other traditions. He
      > explains why these thoughts are not expressed so clearly in these
      > other places as they are in Chrisitian theology. Of course people will
      > often say that, although Hegel knew about as much about these other
      > traditions as it was possible to know in his day, he didn't know much
      > about them at all compared to what we know today. But this isn't
      > really true. Hegel actually did know about Chrisitianity. He did have
      > a real, indepth knowledge of one religion. Most people today,
      > especially the sort of people who might study philosophy, don't even
      > know one religion.
      >
      > I personally have spent much time studying other religions. For me to
      > study other religions is similar to studying various philosophies.
      > Just to take a general, vague idea of the philosophies of Spinoza,
      > Kant, Schelling and Hegel and, on this basis, coming up with a general
      > philosophy--well, that wouldn't interest me at all. But to have an
      > indepth knowledge of these various philosophers, to have studied each
      > of them in depth and detail, then on that basis what they say will
      > undoubtedly resonate in many ways.
      >
      > To gain an indepth knowledge and appreciation of any given religion
      > takes many years of study and practice. To then gain an equally
      > indepth knowledge and appreciation of a second religion would be
      > almost impossible. There just aren't enough years in a life. But
      > efforts made in this direction are, for me, the true mysticism.
      >
      > At any rate, Hegel did have an indepth and profound knowledge of
      > Christian theology. This theology isn't an embodiment of his logic.
      > His logic is a secularization of this theology. And all the questions
      > that you raise in this regard he answers.
      >
      > But the real problem isn't that you just don't have any interest in
      > Christianity. The real problem is that all the vast amount of
      > scholarship devoted to Hegel over the past thirty years knows
      > absolutely nothing about Hegel's Christian theology (not including
      > students of Hegel at divinity schools). I believe the vast amount of
      > this scholarship isn't even aware of the theological dimension of
      > Hegel's thought. So in this regard you are far ahead of the pack. So
      > why is there this complete inability to engage with Hegel's Christian
      > theology (or, actually, for the most part, with the theological
      > dimension of his thought in general)? The only way I can explain it is
      > that for the sort of people who might be interested in studying
      > philosophy in college, all this sort of thing is just absolutely
      > incomprehensible to them. They are just incapable of understanding it.
      > And yet, for all that, I think Hegel expresses himself quite clearly
      > on the matter. If they can't understand Hegel, I know they wo n't be
      > able to understand me. I suppose it is best to just leave this part of
      > Hegel's work in the obscurity to which it has undoubtedly become
      > accoustomed.
      >
      > John
      >



      John,

      In this sense you should found a secrete society which is devoted to
      Hegel as a theologian with its members looking at him as their master.
      With this perhaps you will agree with me you destroy Hegel as a
      philosopher of reason. This is a great pity since after Analytical
      Philosophy has become caught in its cul-de-sac Hegel has become (at
      least for some of its adherents) a kind of anchor for having prepared
      the philosophical resources to overcome its intractable contradictions,
      a light in the history of interpretation of Hegel's philosophy, a light
      which you intend to blow out again as so many did before in the history
      of Hegel reading.

      Regards,
      Beat Greuter


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    • Alan Ponikvar
      What is curious about Hegel s discussion of Christianity is that he finds that he has to go back to its inception point as he does in Revealed Religion to find
      Message 88 of 88 , Jan 6, 2012
        What is curious about Hegel's discussion of Christianity is that he finds
        that he has to go back to its inception point as he does in Revealed
        Religion to find an evident but ignored truth: the truth of Christianity is
        not Christ, his message, or the promise of his return. The truth is the
        living Christian community in that early time poised between the past event
        and the future hope. It is this being poised between that most interests
        Hegel as he then moves into Absolute Knowing in the Phenomenology.

        The Unhappy Consciousness which comes earlier in the exposition actually is
        a Christianity that has moved beyond its own communal truth to become about
        the divide between a finite individual and the divine as the bad infinite.
        So the speculative truth of Christianity is no longer a living truth for
        Christians but something that itself has passed. Hegel may have had some
        quixotic interest in reinvigorating this original truth or he may more
        cynically have been appropriating it for his own philosophic interests. I do
        not know.

        But the appeal of viewing Christianity as a death of god religion is that
        such a reading facilitates one of Hegel's main philosophic interests: to
        move from the divide between man and a transcendent god to a true infinite
        for which the divide freed of its theological setting is inherent to the
        true infinite itself as the truth about the human condition. God then is
        relegated to being nothing but this divide inherent to the absolute. It does
        not name what is normally meant by god. The meant god has died on the cross.
        Christianity speculatively comprehended has god die not so that we might
        await his return but rather so that we might find the speculative kingdom
        within and cease our futile attempt to grasp the void.

        - Alan

        From: Paul Trejo <petrejo@...>
        Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 09:28:46 -0800 (PST)
        To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Hegel's "mysticism" and Christian doctrine






        In response to the Tue13Sep11 post by Beat Greuter:

        > John,
        > In this sense you should found a secret society which is devoted to
        > Hegel as a theologian with its members looking at him as their master.
        > With this perhaps you will agree with me you destroy Hegel as a
        > philosopher of reason. This is a great pity since after Analytical
        > Philosophy has become caught in its cul-de-sac Hegel has become
        > (at least for some of its adherents) a kind of anchor for having
        > prepared the philosophical resources to overcome its intractable
        > contradictions, a light in the history of interpretation of Hegel's
        > philosophy, a light which you intend to blow out again as so many
        > did before in the history of Hegel reading.
        > Regards,
        > Beat Greuter

        Beat, the choices you offer are too dualist -- too Either/Or.
        It is not a one-sided matter of: 'Either Theology Or Philosophy
        and No Middle Ground', because Hegel offers a Third Way.

        The Analytical school, I have found so far, has a fixed idea about
        Religion. That fixed idea arrests the concept of Religion at its
        lowest and most primitive forms. Yet there is an organic aspect
        to Religion - an organic aspect that Hegel attempted to reveal in
        his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (1818-1831).

        Religion is not all one thing - i.e. the superstitions that circulated in
        Europe for so many centuries. There are aspects of Religion that
        you evidently have not explored.

        For example, as Hegel showed in his theory that Christianity is
        the Consummate Religion (volume 3), Christianity is the only
        Religion to have grown up alongside Greco-Roman Philosophy,
        in particular the Stoic ideology and Neoplatonism.

        For the reason, the Early Fathers of the Second Century were
        skilled not only in NT dogma, but also in Plato and Aristotle.
        These are the beginnings of a movement that carried Western
        Civilization along for nearly 20 centuries.

        All the European superstitions in the world cannot devalue a
        movement so strong and vital as this culture.

        Best regards,
        --Paul Trejo, MA

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