The Owl of Minerva 52 (1):117-135 (2021)

According to Hegel, the determinations of the absolute are conceptual properties that identify what the absolute is, and are related through logical entailments. The shapes of the absolute are historical configurations that religion takes as it appears in the domain of contingent existence. This essay claims that Stewart’s interpretation does not observe this distinction, and as a result transforms the determinations of the absolute into projections of a people’s self-understanding. I argue that Hegel himself takes a history of religions to be a logically necessary sequence in which the determinations of the absolute are articulated and proved, rather than a history of the cultural forms that the divine happens to have taken in the movement of human history. I examine as a test case the proper place of Islam in Hegel’s schema of determinate religions in order to show how Stewart’s conflation of determinations and shapes affects the possibility of determinate world-religions arising after what Hegel takes to be the consummate religion, Christianity.
Keywords Major Philosophers
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DOI 10.5840/owl20216239
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