Graduate studies at Western
Idealistic Studies 37 (1):15-28 (2007)
|Abstract||This essay interprets Hölderlin’s prose fragment On Religion as an extension of and response to The Oldest System Program of German Idealism. After a brief discussion of the historical reasons for considering these fragments in this relation, I argue that On Religion demonstrates Hölderlin’s sympathy to the goals of the System Program, but that it also provides a more satisfactory account of how Hölderlin planned to make good on the goals presented in the System Program. I argue that On Religion develops a conception of freedom that can only be ‘grounded’ through mythic, poetic discourse. I then explore the political implications of this point and claim that On Religion considers the creation of mythology as a public, communal event, in which the poet plays the role of giving measure and form, but not content, to the creation of mythology|
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