The Owl of Minerva

Volume 47, Issue 1/2, 2015/2016

Douglas Finn
Pages 109-167

Spiritual Consumption
Eating and the Christian Eucharist in Hegel

This article seeks to gain a new perspective on Hegel’s Eucharistic theology by reading it through the lens of his philosophy of nature, specifically, his extensive discussion of animal eating, digestion, and excretion. This juxtaposition confirms Walter Jaeschke’s claim that Hegel, in offering a philosophical interpretation of the Eucharist, articulates a sacramental principle governing the whole of reality. In Hegel’s system, the biological process of assimilation serves as a master image of the work of Spirit across a number of natural, cultural, religious, and philosophical phenomena.