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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 80, Issue 4, Fall 2006

Andrew Cummings
Pages 521-541

Hegel and Anselm on Divine Mystery

This article explores the relationship between religious and philosophical thought, taking the kindred approaches of Anselm and Hegel as illustrations of one particular approach to the issue. It is argued that both thinkers employ a “logic of unity” which tends to subordinate the religious to the philosophical. The most important result of this approach, for the purposes of this paper, is the blurring of the distinction between the human and the divine. The logic of unity, which ultimately implies the “unity” of the human and divine, renders the traditional understanding of God’s mystery problematic. Yet, while Hegel is comfortable with this eradication of mystery, Anselm proceeds to offer a somewhat cryptic argument for divine mystery, which nevertheless respects the logic of unity to which he adheres.

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