Beyond Tradition and Modernity

The Owl of Minerva 37 (1):29-56 (2006)
Abstract
Although Hegel has been rediscovered frequently, few have focused on Hegel’s speculative theology. Since Hegel criticizes traditional theology, it is widely assumed that he must be an atheist. But Hegel rejects the alternatives of a fossilized orthodoxy and a post-religious secularity. Hegel’s speculative philosophy has profound significance for Christian theological reconstruction. This essay focuses on Hegel’s philosophy of religion as a philosophical theology in the post-Kantian, post-Enlightenment context. Hegel rejects philosophies of finitude as nihilistic. Second, it examines how Hegel’s attempt to provide a logical map of world religions demonstrates the impossibility of such a logical mapping. Third, it concludes with an examination of eschatology: Hegel criticizes the dualist eschatology of religious representation because it undermines the actuality of reconciliation. The eschatology of the concept can only be taken up in the context of Hegel’s views concerning tragedy and the death of God. The suffering God excludes any triumphalist realized eschatology or end of history culmination
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