The “Infinite Agony” of Spirit

The Owl of Minerva 34 (2):171-186 (2003)
Hegel suggests that spirit, in contrast to animal nature, can encounter infinite agony in the death of what was its center, and yet, by dwelling with this loss, emerge into a new form of existence. The paradigm for this move is described toward the end of the chapter on Revealed Religion in the Phenomenology of Spirit. An analysis of the key paragraph introduces a discussion of four questions: Why is this experience triggered by the death of a mediator? What characterizes the spiritual metamorphosis that results? Are such transformations restricted to revealed religion? And what does this defining characteristic tell us about the way spiritual life differs from the natural?
Keywords Major Philosophers
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ISBN(s) 0030-7580
DOI 10.5840/owl20033423
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