The Owl of Minerva

Volume 37, Issue 1, Fall/Winter 2006

Peter C. Hodgson
Pages 71-82

Theologian of Freedom

In response to O’Regan I defend the claims that Hegel is serious about theology, that this seriousness is most fully evident in the Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, that Hegel is an “open” thinker, and that pluralism is an implication of his way of thinking whereas radical relativism is not. I note that Williams supports the central theses of my book but believes that I have not appreciated the extent to which for Hegel eschatology is realized in the spiritual community. I argue that for Hegel eschatology cannot be fully realized because of his acute awareness of the presence of the tragic in history, and that therefore his claims on behalf of the consummateness of the Christian religion must be modified. Crites appreciates the emphasis I place on the experimental character of Hegel’s thinking, but believes that this quality is abandoned in the conclusion to my own work where I seem to embrace various postmodern freedom movements. I explain that in my view (and I believe in Hegel’s) God is the ultimate agent of freedom, not humanity, and that God’s freedom transcends and critiques all dogmatisms, including those of postmodernity.