published on December 17, 2022
History and Philosophical Method
Hegel, Stewart, and Chinese Religion
Here, I consider three issues in Jon Stewart’s Hegel’s Interpretation of the Religions of the World chapter on Hegel’s treatment of Chinese religions in the Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. First, I show how Stewart’s compilation of multiple courses into one unified entity hides the substantial promotion of its status in the 1831 lectures. Second, I contend that rather than identifying Hegel’s Chinese religion with the ancient Zhou practices as Stewart does, Hegel sees it as referring to state Ruism up to and including Hegel’s time. Finally, I posit that the main challenge is distinguishing Hegel’s method of philosophical history from other forms of history and the consequences this has for evaluating the determinate religions. In the process, I argue for a broad dialectical interpretation over one committed to each step in Hegel’s treatment of these religions.