In a Post-Hegelian Spirit
Philosophical Theology as Idealistic Discontent
700 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- ISBN: 9781481311595
- Published: April 2020
Hegel broke open the deadliest assumptions of Western thought by conceiving being as becoming and consciousness as the social-subjective relation of spirit to itself, yet his white Eurocentric conceits were grotesquely inflated even by the standards of his time. With In a Post-Hegelian Spirit, Gary Dorrien emphasizes both sides of this Hegelian legacy, contending that it takes a great deal of digging and refuting to recover the parts of Hegel that still matter for religious thought.
By distilling his signature argument about the role of post-Kantian idealism in modern Christian thought, Dorrien fashions a liberationist form of religious idealism: a post-Hegelian religious philosophy that is simultaneously both Hegelian—as it expounds a fluid, holistic, open, intersubjective, ambiguous, tragic, and reconciliatory idea of revelation—and post-Hegelian, as it rejects the deep-seated flaws in Hegel’s thought. Dorrien mines Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel as the foundation of his argument about intellectual intuition and the creative power of subjectivity. After analyzing critiques of Hegel by Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Karl Barth, and Emmanuel Levinas, Dorrien contends that though these monumental figures were penetrating in their assessments, they appear one-sided compared to Hegel. In a Post-Hegelian Spirit further engages with the personal idealist tradition founded by Borden Parker Bowne, the process tradition founded by Alfred North Whitehead, and the daring cultural contributions of Paul Tillich, W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosemary Radford Ruether, David Tracy, Peter Hodgson, Edward Farley, Catherine Keller, and Monica Coleman.
Dispelling common interpretations that Hegel’s theology simply fashioned a closed system, Dorrien argues instead that Hegel can be interpreted legitimately in six different ways and is best interpreted as a philosopher of love who developed a Christian theodicy of love divine. Hegel expounded a process theodicy of God salvaging what can be salvaged from history, even as his tragic sense of the carnage of history cuts deep, lingering at Calvary.
1. Introduction: Modern Theology as Religious Philosophy
2. Kantian Foundations: Creative Reason and Moral Freedom
3. Post-Kantian Feeling: Romantic Idealism as Theology
4. Hegelian Intersubjectivity: Dialectics of Spirit
5. Against Hegelian Spirit: Marxism, Existentialism, and Wholly Otherness
6. Personal Idealism: Why Subjectivity Matters
7. Whiteheadian Ordering: God and Creativity
8. Neo-Hegelian Theonomy: Religious Socialism as Theology
9. Struggling for Liberation: Breaking White Supremacy and Sexism
10. Rethinking Relationality: Theologies of Becoming
11. In a Post-Hegelian Spirit: Divine Becoming and Discontent
The scope of Dorrien's book is enormous, running from Kant, Hegel, and Schleiermacher to liberation theology to Whiteheadian process theology. It is a book that truly deserves to be called a tour de force.~David Ray Griffin, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University
In this book, lifelong aficionado of Hegel and pre-eminent historian of American religious thought, Gary Dorrien takes us on a journey through the philosophical and theological foundations and developments of modern and contemporary theology, viewed through a Hegelian lens. With characteristic wit, incisive critique, and synthetic agility, he dips into the deep storehouse of his own discoveries and reflections on the movers and shakers of liberal and liberationist movements, and provides a more compact treatment of much of his earlier work in this arena.~Jennifer G. Jesse, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Truman State University
This narrative of modern Western thought is comprehensive and nuanced, yet also exemplifies Dorrien's characteristic clarity. A thorough delight to read, Dorrien is deeply insightful and thought-provoking as he challenges us here to rethink what the tradition of Kant and Hegel contributes to our efforts to live well in our time. If ever a book deserved to be called a tour-de-force, it is this one.~Mary Doak, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego
Gary Dorrien has written a masterpiece of religious philosophy. Building upon all of his previous works, the book lays open the philosophical roots of modern systematic theology, emphasizing the crucial role of Hegel’s challenge to secular philosophy and Christian theology alike. He does not merely write a history but narrates it anyway, with the constructive purpose of renewing Christian theology with philosophical rigor and passion for truth.~Hille Haker, Richard McCormick Endowed Chair of Ethics, Loyola University Chicago
Gary Dorrien’s In a Post-Hegelian Spirit: Philosophical Theology as Idealistic Discontent effectively demonstrates why we are never done reading Hegel. Dorrien lays out the challenge of liberal theology from its trinity of Kant, Schleiermacher, and, particularly, Hegel through the history of liberal and liberation currents of theology in exquisite detail. His book is a beautiful argument for the continual relevance of idealistic discontent.~James M. McLachlan, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Western Carolina University