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God and Man in History


The influence of Jakob Böhme and G. W. F. Hegel on Ferdinand Christian Baur's Philosophical Understanding of Religion as Gnosis


Ferdinand Christian Baur’s thought about religion focuses on the idea of Gnosis in close connection with the notion of history, but rather than favor a traditional approach, he prefers a different path: a “new” understanding of religion which draws quite heavily on Hegel’s philosophy, promoting the idea that history is the realm where God and man exist and work together.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0228-6
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 12,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 334
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0228-6
$166.00
$99.60

In Baur's thought, Gnosis is connected with the field of religion which must be investigated through he mediation of philosophy. This is why, in Baur, the notion of Gnosis is an aspect which pertains to the philosophy of religion, rather than theology. The proof for this particular reading of Baur's idea of Gnosis is provided by his evident connections with Hegel's philosophy as well as what he himself calls Böhme's theosophy, a sort of theological philosophy which is really a philosophy of Christianity seen as religion. A proper understanding of Baur's idea of Gnosis, however, cannot be achieved unless the importance of history is given full attention as the context for the development of Gnosis. These three fundamental aspects — the idea of history, Hegel's philosophy, and Böhme's theosophy — are the key issues which constitute the foundation of Baur's perspective on religion as Gnosis. One of the most obvious facts emerging from a careful reading of Baur and his view of Gnosis has to do with his lack of originality concerning how he sees Gnosis. When it comes to delving into the field of Gnosis and how it relates to the reality of religion, Baur finds support in Hegel and Böhme but not in order for him to produce something distinctively new as compared with Hegel and Böhme. What he does, in fact, is use Hegel for his understanding of religion and then focus on Böhme to illustrate his Hegelian view of religion, as well as of Gnosis as a religious phenomenon. Despite his lack of originality concerning Gnosis and his heavy reliance on Hegel and Böhme, Baur does establish the foundation for what is known in later decades as liberal theology and in doing so he also decisively contributes to the development of non-traditional approaches to Christian theology.

Corneliu C. Simuţ (Ph.D. 2003, University of Aberdeen; Th.D. 2005, University of Tilburg; Dr. Habil. 2012, The Reformed University of Debrecen) is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Theology at Emanuel University of Oradea, Romania, and its Rector. His most recent books include Essentials of Catholic Radicalism: An Introduction to the Lay Theology of Vito Mancuso (2011) and Secularization in Contemporary Religious Radicalism: An Introduction (2013).

In Baur's thought, Gnosis is connected with the field of religion which must be investigated through he mediation of philosophy. This is why, in Baur, the notion of Gnosis is an aspect which pertains to the philosophy of religion, rather than theology. The proof for this particular reading of Baur's idea of Gnosis is provided by his evident connections with Hegel's philosophy as well as what he himself calls Böhme's theosophy, a sort of theological philosophy which is really a philosophy of Christianity seen as religion. A proper understanding of Baur's idea of Gnosis, however, cannot be achieved unless the importance of history is given full attention as the context for the development of Gnosis. These three fundamental aspects — the idea of history, Hegel's philosophy, and Böhme's theosophy — are the key issues which constitute the foundation of Baur's perspective on religion as Gnosis. One of the most obvious facts emerging from a careful reading of Baur and his view of Gnosis has to do with his lack of originality concerning how he sees Gnosis. When it comes to delving into the field of Gnosis and how it relates to the reality of religion, Baur finds support in Hegel and Böhme but not in order for him to produce something distinctively new as compared with Hegel and Böhme. What he does, in fact, is use Hegel for his understanding of religion and then focus on Böhme to illustrate his Hegelian view of religion, as well as of Gnosis as a religious phenomenon. Despite his lack of originality concerning Gnosis and his heavy reliance on Hegel and Böhme, Baur does establish the foundation for what is known in later decades as liberal theology and in doing so he also decisively contributes to the development of non-traditional approaches to Christian theology.

Corneliu C. Simuţ (Ph.D. 2003, University of Aberdeen; Th.D. 2005, University of Tilburg; Dr. Habil. 2012, The Reformed University of Debrecen) is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Theology at Emanuel University of Oradea, Romania, and its Rector. His most recent books include Essentials of Catholic Radicalism: An Introduction to the Lay Theology of Vito Mancuso (2011) and Secularization in Contemporary Religious Radicalism: An Introduction (2013).

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Contributor Biography

Corneliu C. Simut

Corneliu C. Simut (PhD Aberdeen, ThD Tilburg, Dr. Habil. Debrecen) is Professor of Historical and Dogmatic Theology at Emanuel University, where he currently serves as Rector. Professor Simu? is also the Editor-in-Chief of «Perichoresis», the theological journal of Emanuel University, which he has published for over a decade.

  • Dedication (page 5)
  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • Introduction (page 9)
    • Preliminary Considerations (page 9)
    • A General View of Baur's Methodology (page 12)
    • God as Spirit in Hegel (page 18)
    • The Fundamentals of Jakob Böhme's Theosophy (page 21)
  • Chapter 1. Gnosis and History: Baur's View of Religion as Gnosis Based on the Idea of History (page 29)
    • Understanding Gnosis as System (page 29)
    • Understanding Gnosis as History (page 33)
    • Understanding Gnosis as Church History (page 39)
  • Chapter 2. God and Man: Baur's View of Religion as Gnosis Under Hegel's Influence (page 57)
    • From God's Immanence to Man's Mortality through the Death of Christ (page 57)
    • Christ as the Human God and the Divine Man (page 79)
  • Chapter 3. God: Baur's View of Religion as Gnosis Based on Böhme's View of the Divine Being (page 99)
    • The Essence of the Divine Being (page 99)
    • The Trinitarian God (page 105)
    • The Features of the Divine Being (page 116)
    • The Trinitarian God Between Spirit and Nature (page 131)
    • God as a Human Idea Between the Antiquity of Moses and the Novelty of Christ (page 139)
  • Chapter 4. Man: View of Religion as Gnosis Based on Böhme's Anthropology (page 149)
    • The Image of Adam: Dualistic, Material, and Androgynous (page 149)
    • The Image of Man: Dualistic, Material, and Feminine (page 157)
    • God's Virgin as Adam: The Finitude of Humanity (page 167)
    • Adam Between Spirituality and Materiality (page 174)
    • God's Virgin as Christ: the Ideal of Humanity (page 183)
    • The Idea of Incarnation: From God's Virgin to the Virgin Mary (page 192)
    • God's Virgin as the Dualistic Image of Man: Between Maleness and Femaleness (page 200)
    • God's Virgin as the Dualistic Image of Man: Between Spirituality and Materiality (page 212)
  • Conclusion (page 223)
    • No Religion Without Philosophy (page 223)
    • Baur's Hegelian Christian Religious Philosophy (page 227)
    • The Devil as the Principle of Evil: The Key to Understanding Spirituality (page 234)
    • Between Gnosticism and Docetism (page 244)
    • Personal Remarks (page 252)
  • Bibliography (page 259)
    • Articles (page 259)
    • Book Chapters (page 268)
    • Books (page 290)