Introduction -- Tending the dark fire: the Boehmian notion of drive -- The night-side of nature: the early Schellingian unconscious -- The speculative psychology of dissociation: the later Schellingian unconscious -- Schellingian libido theory.
The early Schelling and the romantics constructed the unconscious in order to overcome the modern split between subjectivity and nature, mind and body, a split legislated by Cartesian representationalism. Influenced by Boehme and Kabbalah, the later Schelling modified his notion of the unconscious to include the decision to be oneself, which must sink beneath consciousness so that it might serve as the ground of one's creative and personal acts. Slavoj Zizek has read the later Schelling's unconscious as a prototype of (...) Lacan's reactive unconscious, an unconscious that only exists as the excluded other of consciousness. This reading, though close to the text of Schelling, misses something essential: the unconscious for Schelling is not a repression but a condition of the possibility of life and love. (shrink)
In the academic year 1920-1921 at the University of Freiburg, Martin Heidegger gave a series of extraordinary lectures on the phenomenological significance of the religious thought of St. Paul and St. Augustine. The publication of these lectures in 1995 settled a long disputed question, the decisive role played by Christian theology in the development of Heidegger’s philosophy. The lectures present a special challenge to readers of Heidegger and theology alike. Experimenting with language and drawing upon a wide range of now (...) obscure authors, Heidegger is finding his way to Being and Time through the labyrinth of his Catholic past and his increasing fascination with Protestant theology. A Companion to Heidegger's Phenomenology of Religious Life is written by an international team of Heidegger specialists. (shrink)
Building on recent research exposing Hegel’s debt to esoteric Christianity (both Gnostic and Hermetic traditions), the aim of this paper is to show how Hegel and Schelling resolve an ambiguity in Boehme’s theology of evil in opposing ways. Jacob Boehme’s notion of the individuation of God through the overcoming ofopposition is the central paradigm for both Hegel’s and Schelling’s understanding of the role of evil in the life of God. Boehme remains ambiguous on the question of the modality of evil: (...) Is it necessary to God’s self-unfolding, or is it rather an anarchic act that God permits in the interest of preserving the autonomy of finite freedom? If the former, Boehme becomes much more closely aligned to Gnosticism by identifying finitude with evil. This identification is shown to be exactly Hegel’s solution to the ambiguity, one Hegel opts for in the interest of maintaining the absolute rationality of the system. Hermeticism opposes Gnosticism on this point: for the Hermeticist, finitude / material being / nature is not evil but ‘of God,’ the means of his individuation. This conflict in interpretations of Boehmeilluminates an often overlooked but essential difference between Gnosticism and Hermeticism. Schelling remains faithful to the Hermetic tradition by sacrificing system for the sake of preserving the contingency of evil, and disidentifying finitude and evil. (shrink)
The ‘death’ of German Idealism has been decried innumerable times since its revolutionary inception, whether it be by the 19th-century critique of Western metaphysics, phenomenology, contemporary French philosophy, or analytic philosophy. Yet in the face of two hundred years of sustained, extremely rigorous attempts to leave behind its legacy, German Idealism has resisted its philosophical death sentence. For this exact reason it is timely ask: What remains of German Idealism? In what ways does its fundamental concepts and texts still speak (...) to us? Drawing together new and established voices from scholars in Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling, this volume offers a fresh look on this time-honoured tradition. It uses myriad of recently developed conceptual tools to present new and challenging theories of its now canonical figures. (shrink)