Conceiving Divine Transcendence

The Owl of Minerva 36 (2):111-130 (2005)
Abstract
Can the conception of God in Hegel’s philosophy of religion provide a resource for current philosophical theology? The argument in William Desmond’sHegel’s God: A Counterfeit Double? entails a strongly negative response. Desmond argues that the basic commitments of Hegel’s speculative philosophyentail a systematic inability adequately to conceive of divine transcendence. In this article, I address this claim by examining Hegel’s conception of God inrelation to the issues of (i) the religious representation and the philosophical concept, (ii) the nature of speculative thinking and the conception of God, (iii) the idea of creation, and (iv) affirming the truth about divine transcendence. In each case I argue that Desmond’s critique is unwarranted. A more appropriate attitude towards Hegel on the question of God combines critique with an effort at discovering and appropriating philosophical principles that are productive for current philosophical theology
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