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Hegel’s Criticism of Schleiermacher and the Question of the Origin of Faith

Filozofia, 2018, vol. 73, No 3, pp. 179-190.
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Hegel’s criticism of Schleiermacher represents an important episode in his general critical campaign against Romanticism. In this article I explore his objections to Schleiermacher’s theory of faith as the feeling of absolute dependency. The different statements of Schleiermacher’s view in On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers and The Christian Faith are outlined. Then an account is given of Hegel’s various criticisms of this view. I wish to argue that what is ultimately at stake in the discussion is not just the nature of faith and knowing, but something more fundamental: philosophical anthropology. By focusing on intuition and immediate feeling as the locus for religious faith, Schleiermacher, according to Hegel, reduces the human to the subhuman. For Hegel, by contrast, the faculty of religious faith should not be the lowest but the highest, which in his view means speculative reason.

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