Monday, January 20, 2014

Hegel's Christianity: Why This Author Sought To Shine a Light On Christ

G.W.F. Hegel, author of such works as The Philosophy of Right and the monumental Phenomenology of Spirit (alternatively translated Phenomenology of Mind) has, notably, been demonized by conspiracy theorists upon the web as being a number of things.  Generally, these theorists such as Alex Jones and ilk connect Hegel loosely - somehow or for some reason or another - to the "New World Order".  I know little about what these hit journalists find so offensive in "The Philosophy of Right".  To proffer the young (or Neo-) Hegelian's communism I think would be far too generous.  What they more than likely object to in Hegel is his overwhelmingly influential hermeneutics, which have - according to many including myself - been the currency of not only philosophical thought ever since, but virtually every discipline from Law to Science.

But previously, there was a far more prescient question regarding Hegel's respectability. This was, of course, the question of whether or not the man himself was genuinely Christian.  

Hegel himself, at very least in his early "Phenomenology...", makes numerous references not only to God-as-such but to Christ himself.  Critics of Hegel at the time and Neo-Hegelian apologists have noted that these references were not so much wholeheartedly central aspects of Hegel's philosophy, but merely a way of avoiding Kant's fall from full intellectual authority due to the question of the authenticity of his Christianity - the main conclusion being drawn of course was that Kant was not - in fact - Christian.  The Neo-Hegelians surmise that any author at the time was, to be respected and taken seriously by the State, near required to proclaim their Christian faith...

I think this is, at very best, a troublesome claim.

The fact is, Truth as espoused by Christ was exactly what Hegel was doing in his "Phenomenology...". Shining a light upon God-as-such, or proclaiming the Word - in his own words.

Any other interpretation I'm afraid is far too inadequate for anyone who's actually immersed themselves in his "Phenomenology..." to take seriously for even a second.

Hegel, understood in the non-communist Christian mindset, was shining a light upon Christ and the Word-as-such.  He sought to, through his "born-again" Christianity, bring to light the manner in which God's word testifies to his Absolute truth.  Why was this not merely the veneer on a decidedly German expression of the Enlightenment's romanticism?  
Because Hegel talked - or more accurately 'wrote' - The Word.
It would be hard for your average Neo-Hegelian scholar to take this seriously, as well as offensive to many Christians today.  But the fact remains,  if it wasn't, as such, THE WORD itself, it was at very least the Word in-and-of-itself.

The Enlightenment was a born again Christian phenomenon, as far as I can tell.  Hegel saw his writing, his country, and his time as the culmination of all things - an historical epoche which had never before been seen.  And as much as philosophers love discounting the romanticism sweeping europe (and presumably the U.S.) at the time, this romanticism was clearly a born again Christian phenomenon!

Hegel wrote about Christ in some of the most influential works of, at very least, Western philosophy precisely because of his genuine "born again"-ness.


(I recommend not watching unless you'd like to be bored, however, I'm merely illustrating the existence of ACTUAL anti-Hegel conspiracy theories.)

...and it goes on like this!

DDU 2013 RT Stillwell

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