Man’s Knowledge of God
I have said that Hegel may justly be regarded as the founder of the philosophy of religion as a systematic study. His interest in religion was indeed so strong that it is scarcely an exaggeration to claim that his entire scheme of thought was in a sense a vindication of the religious consciousness as affording a unique insight into the nature of reality.1 Yet given the great variety in the historical forms of religion itself the question one is moved to ask is whether it is possible to discover in them a common basis. No doubt to speak in this way of the ‘basis’ of religion is somewhat vague. Thus each of the great positive religions has its own historical origins, which can be accounted for in more or less precise factual terms, even when allowing for the claim of at least some of them to have been divinely revealed. It is much the same too in the case of the individual, whose personal religious faith may depend on a whole nexus of circumstances largely peculiar to himself. But what Hegel has in mind is something deeper, as also more general, than this. His presiding interest is that neither of the historian nor the phychologist nor the sociologist, but of the philosopher. Religion at any level is a human phenomenon and hence must have some kind of bearing on man’s destiny as a rational being.
KeywordsUltimate Reality Ontological Argument Cosmological Argument Religious Philosophy Teleological Argument
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References and Notes
- 3.Cf. C. C. J. Webb, Kant’s Philosophy of Religion (1926) p. 20.Google Scholar