Religious Studies 3 (2):499-512 (1968)

A problem which was widely recognised during Schleiermacher's life, and one which I think is not yet satisfactorily solved, concerned the integration of feeling and concepts within human consciousness. Within the domain of philosophy of religion it may be phrased as follows: How does religious feeling relate to rational reflection such that each complements and enriches the other? Schleiermacher was convinced that religion never originates in human understanding or autonomy and that one's understanding of the world is not necessarily dependent on religious faith. But he was equally convinced that reflection and religion ought to enjoy a harmony which reflects the harmony of the universe, and this ideal motivated his continuous attempt to construct a complementary philosophy and theology. His hope was to show that ‘understanding and feeling… remain distinct, but they touch each other and form a galvanic pile.… The innermost life of the spirit consists in the galvanic action thus produced in the feeling of the understanding and the understanding of the feeling, during which, however, the two poles always remain deflected from each other.’
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412500003176
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