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History of Christian Dogmaby Ferdinand Christian Baur$
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Peter C. Hodgson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198719250

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719250.001.0001

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History of Christian Dogma
Peter C. Hodgson
Oxford University Press

In the eighteenth century the Protestant principle liberates itself from the bondage of its own self-limitation, realizing its own insight into free self-consciousness, accomplished first by pietism and rationalism, but with limitations. With the emergence of a critical consciousness, the ground is prepared for Kant, Fichte, and Schelling in the early nineteenth century, each emphasizing the role of the self in constructing the world of consciousness. Schleiermacher and Hegel follow. A tension exists in Schleiermacher’s thought between immediate self-consciousness and the consciousness of being utterly dependent on an absolute causality. For Hegel, Christianity and self-consciousness are based on the self-explicating absolute itself, which is God as absolute spirit. The inwardizing of dogma is attained here because it has become identical with spirit as both subjective consciousness and objective actuality. Most church theologians react against Hegelian “speculative theology” and retreat into their confessional identities and irresolvable contradictions, as Strauss demonstrated.

Keywords:   pietism, rationalism, critical philosophy, speculative theology, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, David Friedrich Strauss

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