Recent scholarship on Johann Georg Hamann has tended to focus on his relation to modernity, specifically the Enlightenment. His critique of rationalism, the obscurity of his style, and his pronounced influence on later figures are just several reasons for reconsidering his historical and literary significance. However, his writings also contain rich and relevant philosophical and theological ideas. This article demonstrates the centrality of Hamann's concept of creation for both his critique of rationalism as well as his ideas regarding aesthetics. Hamann understands nature as the book of creation. Human sensuousness, as an emergent feature of nature, indicates an intrinsic relationality underlying nature. By way of the senses, human beings discover themselves to be entangled with God through nature. Reason rejects this relationality when it seeks to purify itself from nature or the senses. In contrast, reason that is oriented to this fundamental relationality recognizes the beauty and friendliness that permeates nature. This recognition is an invitation whereby one is called to perpetuate these aesthetic ideals in the world.


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pp. 196-214
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