On burying the dead: Funerary rites and the dialectic of freedom and nature in Hegel's phenomenology of spirit


Authors
David Ciavatta
Ryerson University
Abstract
Hegel’s specific interpretation of burial rituals in the Phenomenology is an important part of his general understanding of the development of human freedom and of spirit. For Hegel, freedom is not something immediately given, but something that must be realized by way of the self’s ongoing practical engagement with the world, and in particular by way of the self’s transformation of the otherwise meaningless realm of nature into a vehicle for realizing a specifically human meaning. The practice of burial rites is construed as accomplishing such a transformation, and thereby as a crucial manner in which this dialectic between freedom and nature is played out. Attention is paid to Hegel’s conception of the earth as the material condition for freedom’s self-realization, and the symbolic dimension of burial rites is shown to have implications for Hegel’s overall theory of human agency
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI 10.5840/ipq200747322
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Death, Sacrifice, and the Problem of Tradition in the Confucian Analects.Hans Ruin - 2018 - Comparative and Continental Philosophy 10 (2):140-150.

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