In this paper I parse Hegel’s evaluation of Islam as a “fanatic” religion in his triadic dialectical structure as he applies it to God and religion: Hegel seeks three aspects for his assessment of Islam, namely (1) how the abstract divine concept—God—is conceived, (2) how finite human particularity functions, and (3) if and how the latter reconciles with the former. Hegel argues that in Islam God is a universal divine absolute, but man has no other function than to be a believer and a fearful servant. There is no sublation between God and man—that is, finite humanity is not truly raised to reconcile with the divine infinity. This is Hegel’s philosophical way to awkwardly address the untimeliness of Islam: in his teleological history, which moves toward progress from ancient East to modern West, Islam is problematic. As it arrives later than Christianity it can potentially qualify for being more evolved than it, thus challenging the very core of Hegel’s philosophy of religion. Finally, I bring two instances of applied Hegelianism: Zizek’s idea of Judaism—Christianity—Islam as a progressive dialectic triad in its own right, and John Oliver’s hilarious explanation on The Daily Show of Islam’s “age” and its current “awkward teenage phase.” Hegel would never agree to such interpretations, which is precisely why these expansions of Hegelian thought expose the weakness of his all-encompassing system.


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pp. 397-424
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