Feeling of absolute dependence or absolute feeling of dependence? (What Schleiermacher really said and why it matters)

Religious Studies 34 (4):471-481 (1998)

Abstract

Friedrich Schleiermacher is known as the theologian who said that the essence of Christian faith is a state of mind called 'the feeling of absolute dependence'. In this respect, Schleiermacher's reputation owes much to the influential translation of his dogmatics prepared by Mackintosh, Stewart and others. I argue that the translation is misleading precisely as to the terms which Schleiermacher uses in order to refer to the religious state of mind. I also show that the translation obscures a problem of some substantive depth regarding what Schleiermacher thought to be the nature of pious feeling

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