Hegel's philosophy of religion /
Fullam, Everett L.
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This thesis has as its primary purpose the exposition of Hegel's philosophy of religion as set forth in the three-volume work entitled Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. A secondary purpose of this thesis is to place Hegel 1s reflections on religion in their proper place within his total system, with special attention to the particular sphere in which religion appears- the sphere of Absolute Mind. Hegel's entire philosophical system is an explication of the Notion or the Idea. In Art which constitutes the first stage of Absolute Mind the Idea is sensuously clothed. The Idea is presented in its immediacy in Art. In Religion, the second or middle stage of Absolute Mind, the Idea is manifested in terms of Vorstellung which is variously translated as picture thought or ordinary thought. The Idea is here manifested in its otherness. In Philosophy, the third and final stage of Absolute Mind, the Idea is at last manifested in a form adequate to its content, i.e., the form of thought. Hegel rejects feeling and sensuous intuition as the locus of religion in man in favor of thought by which he meant not one among many coordinate faculties, but rather that which runs through, characterizes, gives organic relation to, all our spiritual activities. Hegel proceeds to a consideration of the various positive (pre-Christian) religions. His method in the study of these religions involves two steps, namely (1) an attempt to comprehend the Idea of religion and its necessity and (2) an examination and interpretation of the mass of information gathered by empirical and historical methods in the light of this self-differentiating Idea. Christianity is the Absolute religion. In the language of Vorstellung the dogmas of the Christian Church express the very same truths which philosophy propounds. The content is the same; the form alone is different. Religion is vindicated for the thinking man by allowing its symbols to be translated into the larguage which alone is adequate to their expression- the language of pure thought. Hegel's developmental treatment of the various historic religions prepared the way for the science of comparative religions. Hegel performed a significant service to philosophy of religion by his analysis of the nature and validity of the various forms which religion takes in the human consciousness. His emphasis upon the symbolic character of religious doctrine and therefore of religious discourse is sympathetic with much contemporary thinking concerning this important problem.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University Missing page 100 in copy 1 and 2. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 164-166).