Hegel on Religion and Politics
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: State University of New York Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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The connection between religion and politics is a hot and controversial topic in today’s political and intellectual discussion as it was in Hegel’s time—that is, during the first decades of the nineteen century and in the first reception of Hegel’s philosophy in the second half of that same century. Indeed, issues pertaining to this topic are daily at the center of ...
1 Hegel and the Consecrated State
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Edmund Burke, the eighteenth-century statesmen and political theorist of conservatism, characterizes the state as “consecrated.”1 To say the state is sacred, for Burke, is to say it fills an existential need. It provides “hope and sure anchor in all storms” and “an order that keeps things fast in their place.”2 Man, who is “by his constitution a religious animal,” is naked ...
2 The State as a“Temple of Human Freedom
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The topic of this essay is Hegel’s understanding of the relationship between religion and politics as manifested in the “rational state” that Hegel outlines in the Philosophy of Right. This topic is a subset of a much wider and long-standing debate about the role of religion, particularly of Christianity, in Hegel’s philosophy. Although my analysis will address ...
3 Religion and the Dialectic of Enlightenment
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The chapters of the Phenomenology which unfold the dialectic of the Enlightenment period are famous. However, rather than addressing them, I will be employing the notion of a dialectic of enlightenment in an expanded sense. First, I will indicate how the Phenomenology as a whole unfolds a larger, more comprehensive dialectic of enlightenment, one which is important...
4 Hegel’s Defense of Toleration
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One of the central aims of political liberalism is to secure for individuals the conditions necessary for the pursuit of their own reflectively determined religious and moral interests. Indeed, one prominent strand in the liberal tradition identifies protecting this capacity for individual selfdetermination in moral and religious matters as the most fundamental...
5 Hegel, the Political, and the Theological
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The issue that I would like to consider in what follows concerns the relationship between the political and the theological in Hegel’s thought.1 Specifically, I want to raise what is certainly an old question—the question of the relationship, for Hegel, between Christianity, and, more precisely, Protestantism, and a rightful state—but I want to do so in what...
6 The Active Fanaticism of Political and Religious Life
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Hegel says so much, about so many things, that his rare silences are conspicuous and significant. Among the topics about which he remains largely silent, Islam stands out as one of the most surprising. Indisputably a world-historical phenomenon for well over a millennium before Hegel’s birth, Islam would seem to deserve a prominent place in his ...
7 The Inseparability of Love and Anguish
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Hegel’s concept of reconciliation is often misunderstood; it is frequently assumed that his view of reconciliation is a conflict-free harmony that excludes tragedy and vice versa. Otto Pöggeler believes that reconciliation and tragedy are mutually exclusive, and that tragedy signifies the non-arrival of reconciliation.2 Martha Nussbaum charges that reconciliation...
8 The Place of Nationality in Hegel’s Philosophy of Politics and Religion
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Hegel’s treatment of the relation between the state and religion can appear inconsistent: Hegel sometimes seems to give religion priority (defending the authority of the religion against the state), while at other times he seems to do the reverse. For example, revealed religion for Hegel is absolute spirit, which presupposes objective spirit (whose highest form ...
9 Philosophy, Religion, and the Politics of Bildung in Hegel and Feuerbach
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In 1828 a twenty-four-year-old Ludwig Feuerbach, who had previously spent two years listening to Hegel lecture in Berlin, sent his teacher a copy of his recently completed doctoral dissertation along with what Laurence Dickey has described as a “monumentally important letter”1 in which he suggested that Hegel might detect in his dissertation “traces ...
10 Religion, Civil Society, and the System of an Ethical World
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Hegel advances a unique and nuanced account of the relationship of religion and politics.1 On the one hand, he espouses a view of the relationship of church and state that exhibits important affinities with liberal positions on the issue.2 He rejects the idea of a state religion, he condemns religious interference in the affairs of state and political life ...
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Page Count: 247
Publication Year: 2013