Hegel, Freedom, and Modernity

This book studies the intersection of Hegel’s political theory as developed in the Philosophy of Right with his philosophy of religion and his dialectical, holistic theory of knowledge. It explores both the methodological and theological dimensions of Hegel’s politics by placing him in dialogue with such traditions as Hinduism, the Protestant Reformation, and the contemporary Religious Right, and with such individual thinkers as Husserl, Gadamer, Pannenberg, and Tillich.

The author shows that Hegel’s philosophy outlines the dilemma of religion and society perhaps more clearly than any other modern thinker’s perspective. Namely that a religiously based society tends to be sectarian, exclusive, and intolerant, while a fully secular society tends to lose the conditions which make community in any meaningful sense possible. Hegel’s search for a nonsectarian spirituality of community poses the problem the contemporary world must solve if we are to uncover a humane society.

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