Idealistic Studies 16 (3):274-275 (1986)

Abstract
From the first words of this book we are informed that if we want to understand Hegel’s philosophy we should study his lecture notes, Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, and that if we desire to understand Hegel’s view of Christianity, we should make the effort to comprehend the intellectual and social history of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Williamson then tells us that he has divided his work into three parts. In Part I we are given the necessary background material that allows us to deal intelligently with Hegel’s early religious thought. In Part II the problem of religion is integrated into the broader philosophical problems that were developed in the Phenomenology of Spirit: the dialectical process in and through which the mind evolves from consciousness to self-consciousness and, finally, to reason. Anchored in this section is the assumption that Christianity was the truth of philosophy and “that without the Christian religion, philosophy would be without true content and direction”. Part III is the speculative section where Hegel’s position is discussed from the different perspectives of atheism, pantheism, and what our author considers the more substantial position, panentheism. Williamson defines this position as “the belief that the Being of God includes and penetrates the whole universe, so that every part of it exists in Him, but that His Being is more than, and is not exhausted by, the universe”. The use of this term to describe Hegel’s position seemed appropriate because it mediated between the dualism of theism and the static identity of pantheism.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI idstudies198616356
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