Philosophy and Theology

Volume 10, Issue 1, 1997

Mark D. Gedney
Pages 33-63

Reasonable Faith and Faithful Reason
The Central Role of Freedom in Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion

In this paper I have attempted to develop Hegel’s philosophy of religion in light of his critical appropriation of both Kant and Schleiermacher. My purposes for doing so are two-fold. On the one hand, I think that many of the difficulties in interpreting Hegel’s philosophy of religion stem from a failure to see his position as a response to both of these key figures. On the other hand, I wished to give emphasis to the fact that Hegel’s philosophy of religion can only be understood as a continution of Kant’s and Schleiermacher’s attempts to reinterpret religion in the light of the strong notion of subjective freedom arising out of the Enlightenment. In short, my position is that Hegel’s conception of religion presents a clearer and more coherent account of God’s aseity or transcendence and of his relation to the world in general and humanity within the limits imposed by the Enlightenment understanding of human subjectivity and freedom.