Saturday, September 13, 2014

For Hegel, it's clearly quid est, not just an est

"In the Christian religion God has revealed Himself, that is, He has given us to understand what He is [(was er ist)]; so that He is no longer a concealed or secret existence [(ein Verschlossenes, Geheimnis)].  And this possibility of knowing Him, thus afforded us, renders such knowledge a duty. . . . That development of the thinking spirit, which has resulted from the revelation of the Divine Being as its original basis, must ultimately advance to the intellectual comprehension [(auch mit dem Gedanken zu erfassen)] of what was presented in the first instance, to feeling and imagination.  The time must eventually come for understanding that rich product of active reason, which the history of the world [(Weltgeschichte), which 'universal history' (Weltgeschichte)] offers to us."

     Hegel, Philosophy of history, Introduction III, trans. J. Sibree (GBWW, vol. 46, p. 159); ed. Karl Hegel, pp. 19-20.
     It should be noted that this entire section is, like the preceding one on the doctrine of providence, anti-classical.  Hegel explicitly rejects the "the doctrine that it is impossible to know God" ("was [Gott] ist"), for readily available to us is the "reason" that "governs and has governed the world", Spirit becoming conscious of itself via world history.
     There is no emphasis in the original.

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