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Kant And Hegel Essay

3093 words - 12 pages

Hegel's view of Jesus changed noticeably during his life as his ideas developed. There were three important developments of Hegel's viewpoints between 1795 and 1807. These different transformations not only helped to strengthen his other works of the period but also the different Jesus' were reflected into those beliefs. The three distinctive views of Jesus are as such "" A) Jesus as a spokesperson for Kant's moral theory, B) Jesus as the voice of universal love, and C) Jesus at the stages of the cross during his suffering and death.Background is important when accessing Hegel's early beliefs. His beliefs were an amalgam of the views of those who studied before him such as Kant, Fichte and Schelling and the socio-political concerns following the French revolution. This was a turbulent time in philosophic thought. During Hegel's period writing on Jesus, the general philosophic spirit of the time changed from the search for enlightenment into a romantic attitude and finished up with a reintroduction of classical Greek thought and imagery into German culture. Religion appeared to be breaking down with the initiation of humanistic and scientific view, which were now replacing the Christian mysticism. The philosophers of the period realized that the last time a great belief structure fell, being the Roman Empire, the world was thrown into a period of intellectual barbarianism, also known as the dark ages. The philosophers were attempting to understand and update these religious beliefs to put them into scientific terms, which would enable a new level of understanding, thereby revitalizing the church.It is important to understand some of the terms that Hegel used in his works. One main concept was Hegel's view of the self. Which comes through frequently in his views. Prior to the German philosophers the self was very indualvidualistic. This was you basic "˜I am' a single consciousness. This view was held by philosophers such a Descartes as can be clearly shown in his meditations. Kant then developed this idea to a "˜We are'. This takes the form of a communal human consciousness or a group mind. It is the difference between "˜the Human Mind' and the previous "˜My Human Mind". Later Hegel took a cosmic stance to idea of human consciousness, instead deciding that we are all part of a larger cosmic being, and meaning that we all come from one thing. This in a way would make us part of God and therefore a reflection of Jesus and his virtues. In his lecture manuscript of 1821 Hegel stated that "This God was all powerful, and the sublimity of his power is such that it is expressed representationally not by physical force but by the pure word, which is pure light: "˜God said, Let there be light, and there was light,"¦ Light that is only a breath' (pp128-129, 134-137)." (Hegel Today, Bernard Cullen). This also introduces the idea within the concept of message over miracle as it becomes God saying the word / bringing the...

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