The purpose of this research is to examine the issues and ideas about Hegel's Philosophy of Religion that are raised by articles on the subject by Fackenheim and Min. The plan of the research will be to set forth the principal features of each essay in turn on the relationship between philosophy and religion, and then to discuss how the commentators approach the synthesis that Hegel develops.
In critiquing Philosophy of Religion, Fackenheim develops the thesis that Hegel's philosophical system is permeated by the notion of religion as a fundamental analytical component. To establish that thesis, furthermore, Hegel analyzes the components of religion in a way that serves to connect what might be called the religious and secular (Hegelian) Spirit(s), through the agent of philosophy. The tight construction of Hegel's philosophical argument is consistent with the line of thought present elsewhere in his work.
The overarching idea is a deceptively simple one, that, as Fackenheim quotes Hegel, "philosophy cannot exist without religion" (1:160). Why this thesis is deceptively simple is contained in the way that Hegel discusses the nexus of secular and religious thought. For Hegel does not make a simple-minded declaration in favor of either faith or an emotionalistic, if secular, mysticism. As Fackenheim puts it, "In Hegel's time as in ours, demythologizing philosophies sought simply to destroy myth and symbol. Hegel's own philosophy is not among these. In his view, myth and symbol do not cover but rather uncover religious Truth" (1:161). The basis for the statement, then, goes to what might be called the historiography of spirituality in a secular universe, and Fackenheim, after Hegel, describes the philosophical content of the spiritual component in the universe.
Hegel's approach creates what Fackenheim calls a dilemma, for if philosophy is the agent of connection between religious and secular thought, its own secular nature means t...