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Early Theological Writings

By G. W. F. Hegel. Translated by T. M. Knox and Richard Kroner. Introduction by Richard Kroner

Publication Year: 2011

This volume includes Hegel's most important early theological writings, though not all of the materials collected by Herman Nohl in his definitive Hegels theologische Jugendschriften (Tuebingen, 1907). The most significant omissions are a series of fragments to which Nohl give the general title "National Religion and Christianity" and the essay "Life of Jesus."

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Prefatory Note

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pp. v-viii

0 F THE translations in this volume, Professor Kroner is responsible for the Fragment of a System and the speech On Classical Studies, while I am responsible for The Positivity of the Christian Religion, The Spirit of Christianity and Its Fate, and the...


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pp. ix-xi

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Introduction: Hegel's Philosophical Development

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pp. 1-66

Hegel was born in Stuttgart in 1770, when the Age of Reason and Enlightenment was closing and the day of the Romantics was at hand. Both these contemporary influences affected his thinking, and he derived another...

I. The Positivity of The Christian Religion

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pp. 67-181

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Part 1. How Christianity Became The Positive Religion

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pp. 67-145

You may advance the most contradictory speculations about the Christian religion, but, no matter what they may be, numerous voices are always raised against you, alleging that what you maintain may touch on this or that system of the Christian religion...

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Part II. Materials for a Continuation of Part I

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pp. 145-167

Every nation has its own imagery, its gods, angels, devils, or saints who live on in the nation's traditions, whose stories and deeds the nurse tells to her charges and so wins them over by impressing their imagination. In this way these tales are given...

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Part III. Revised Form of Sections 1-4 of Part I

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pp. 167-181

The conception of the "positivity" of a religion has originated and become important only in recent times. A positive religion is contrasted with natural religion, and this presupposes that there is only one natural religion, since human nature is one and single, while there may...

II. The Spirit of Christianity And Its Fate

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pp. 182-301

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i. The Spirit of Judaism

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pp. 182-205

With Abraham, the true progenitor of the Jews, the history of this people begins, i.e., his spirit is the unity, the soul, regulating the entire fate of his posterity. This spirit appears in a different guise after every one of its battles against different forces or...

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ii. The Moral Teaching of Jesus

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pp. 205-224

Jesus appeared shortly before the last crisis produced by the fermentation of the multiplex elements in the Jewish fate. In this time of inner fermentation, while these varied elements were developing until they became concentrated into a whole and until...

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iii. The Moral Teaching of Jesus

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pp. 224-253

Over against the positivity of the Jews, Jesus set man; over against the laws and their obligatoriness he set the virtues, and in these the immorality of "positive" man47 is overcome. It is true that "positive" man, in respect of a specific virtue which in him and...

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iv. The Religious Teaching of Jesus

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pp. 253-281

It is of the greatest interest to see how and with what teaching Jesus directly confronts (a) the principle of subjection and (b) the infinite Sovereign Lord of the Jews. Here, at the center of their spirit, the battle must have been in its most stubborn phase...

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v. The Fate of Jesus and His Church

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pp. 281-301

With the courage and faith of a divinely inspired man, called a dreamer by clever people, Jesus appeared among the Jews. Ne appeared possessed of a new spirit entirely his own. We visualized the world as it was to be, and the first attitude he adopted...

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III. Love

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pp. 302-308

[Hegel probably wrote the following fragment on Love (Nohl, pp. 378- 82) late in 1797 or early in 1798, a year or eighteen months before The Spirit of Christianity. The surviving manuscript begins in the middle of a sentence, and the meaning of the opening paragraph and its connection with what follows is a matter for conjecture....

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IV. Fragment of a System (1800)

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pp. 309-319

Absolute opposition holds good2 [in the realm of the dead.] One kind of opposition is to be found in the multiplicity of living beings. Living beings must be regarded as organizations. The multiplicity of life has to be thought of as being divided against itself...

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Appendix: On Classical Studies

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pp. 321-330

The spirit and purpose of our foundation is preparation for learned study, a preparation grounded on Greece and Rome. For more than a thousand years this has been the soil on which all civilization has stood, from which it has sprung, and with which...

Biographical Note

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pp. 331-334


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pp. 335-340

E-ISBN-13: 9780812206135
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812210224

Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2011