This is an analysis of the interpretation of Christian theology that is found in G. W. F. Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. Hodgson argues that these lectures are among the most valuable resources from the nineteenth century for theology as it faces the challenges of modernity and postmodernity. The author is also editing and translating the critical edition of the lectures, which are being published concurrently by Oxford University Press.
Peter C. Hodgson explores Hegel's bold vision of history as the progress of the consciousness of freedom. Following an introductory chapter on the textual sources, the key categories, and the modes of writing history that Hegel distinguishes, Hodgson presents a new interpretation of Hegel's conception of freedom. Freedom is not simply a human production, but takes shape through the interweaving of the divine idea and human passions, and such freedom defines the purpose of historical events in the midst of apparent (...) chaos. Freedom is also a process that unfolds through stages of historical/cultural development and is oriented to an end that occurs within history (the 'kingdom of freedom'). The purpose and the process of history are tragic, however, because history is also a 'slaughterhouse' that shatters even the finest human creations and requires a constant rebuilding. Hegel's God is not a supreme being or 'large entity' but the 'true infinite' that encompasses the finite. History manifests the rule of God ('providence'), and it functions as the justification of God ('theodicy'). But the God who rules in and is justified by history is a crucified God who takes the suffering, anguish, and evil of the world into and upon godself, accomplishing reconciliation in the midst of ongoing estrangement and inescapable death. Shapes of Freedom addresses these themes in the context of present-day questions about what they mean and whether they still have validity. (shrink)
An analysis of the interpretation of Christian theology that is found in G. W. F. Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. Peter C. Hodgson argues that these lectures are among the most valuable resources from the nineteenth century for theology as it faces the challenges of modernity and postmodernity.
Offering the only anthology of Hegel's religious thought, Vanderbilt University's Professor Peter C. Hodgson provides sympathetic and clear entree to the German philosopher's religious achievement through his major relevant texts starting with early theological writings and culminating with Hegel's1824 lectures on the philosophy of religion.