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Title: The incarnate God from Hegel to Marx
Author: Sullivan, Stefan
ISNI:       0000 0001 3489 5373
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1993
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The thesis argues that from Hegel's early critique of Kant to Marx's early critique of Hegel, the Judaeo-Christian incarnate God underlies a German metaphysical impulse to embody transcendental ideals in historical and political forms. Four motifs, alienation/humanisation, mediation, idealised Prussia and philosophical anti-Judaism, integrate the study's "incarnation thematic" into a secular framework. In terms of common Enlightenment values and a moralistic view of God, a Judaeo- Kantian convergence is developed as the "anticipatory" climate for Hegel's speculative thought. From the Pauline law/love dichotomy of the Frankfurt period, through the System, and three thematic components (the elevation of representations to concepts, becoming, and mediation), it is shown how the self-othering of God in Christ is reformulated by Hegel as the Absolute's coming to knowledge of itself in a particular historical form, the Prussian State. After challenging "liberal conventionalist" and hellenic interpretations of Hegel's political thought, the incarnation thematic is applied: 1) speculatively, as the ethical mediating realm between the individual and freedom; structurally, in that the supersession of law by love recurs in the morality/ethical life and civil society/State tensions of the Philosophy of Right. A transitional chapter revises the Prussian State to accord with Hegel's idealisation, and explores Young Hegelian speculative christology in terms of: 1) individual versus collective embodiments of the divine Idea and their political correlates (Strauss); future-orientated praxis (Cieszkowski); 3) the negation of Judaeo-capitalism (Hess). While hostile to institutional religion, Marx inherits the incarnation thematic via: 1) Feuerbachian christological love as communal being; 2) a proletarian rather than statist embodiment of freedom; 3) the communist transcendence of Judaeo-Kantian bourgeois Liberalism. Conclusions explore other variants of the incarnation thematic in political thought and argue that since the Second World War, liberal and secular prejudices have obscured the speculative theological and Christo-Germanic dimension of the Hegel-Marx lineage.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: God ; Incarnation