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Dialogues between Faith and ReasonThe Death and Return of God in Modern German Thought$
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John H. Smith

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449277

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449277.001.0001

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Logos as Spirit (Geist)

(p.95) Chapter 4 Hegel
Dialogues between Faith and Reason

John H. Smith

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel came to embrace the notion of God's logos as spirit (Geist). To understand Hegel's approach to religion, it shows how his conception of God is defined in terms of Geist and goes on to review the significance of that concept in terms of uniting the oppositions maintained by previous theologies. It also considers how Hegel arrived at this philosophical and theological concept himself through a process of intellectual development, from his theological manuscripts to his later philosophy of religion. It argues that Hegel's God is spiritual in a new sense defined by him, that is, religion is defined in terms of a living Geist that is both objective and subjective, transcendental and concrete. For Hegel, God reveals himself in the historical unfolding of a spirit, which is both substance and subject. His philosophy is one of the greatest modern attempts to save Christianity by grounding the identity of logos and God in a notion of absolute spirit.

Keywords:   spirit, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, God, logos, religion, Geist, philosophy of religion, Christianity

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