Hegel explains in his works how the Geist is evolving during history towards a kind of consciousfreedom. It seems to me initially that in the end our own minds has evolved to a rational God, but I'm not sure of this. But in what religion is the interpretation of a God similar to the definition of Geist according to Hegel?

  • Why do you think it might be related to a specific religion? (Is there a specific passage you're reading that has made this an interesting problem in your study of philosophy?) – Joseph Weissman Jul 16 '17 at 12:36
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    See Hegel and Religion: "the implications of Hegel’s philosophy for religious belief had been contentious since his rise to prominence in the 1820s. While officially declaring that philosophy and religion had the same content - God - Hegel claimed that the conceptual form of philosophy dealt with this concept in a more developed way than that which was achievable in the imagistic representational form of religion. 1/2 – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Jul 16 '17 at 18:05
  • Many opponents were suspicious that the concept of God was emptied of its proper meaning in the process of Hegel’s philosophical translations and Hegel was suspected by some of pantheism or atheism. Ultimately, then, the source of the corrosive effects of Hegel’s philosophy on religion indeed could appear to be the insistence that the content of religious belief, like everything else, be grounded on rational, in fact logical, considerations—the logical coherence of the system of philosophy itself—rather than on anything like revelation." 2/2 – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Jul 16 '17 at 18:05
  • marxism (boom tish) – user25714 Jul 16 '17 at 18:22
  • I see Hegel as rejecting theism and groping towards the philosophy of Buddhism and the Perennial philosophy. His logic certainly takes us in this direction. This would be nondualism, which some would see as a form of religion. The ur-text would the Upanishads. – user20253 Jul 17 '17 at 15:55

Hegel seemed to believe that Christianity was the particular religion relatively closest to his rational religion ideal. Hegel was attracted to the structure of the Christian Trinity, the mystical union between God and Man, which appeared to match nicely the movement of Hegel's own trinitarian logic (the so called thesis - anti thesis - synthesis movement). The self-sacrifice of Jesus also fitted well with the idea of self-negation, which is the central operator of Hegel's logic. Hegel therefore thought that e.g. Judaism and Islam were less developed than Christianity. The following quotes are from Hegel's Smaller Logic.

It is no doubt to be remembered, that the result of independent thought harmonizes with the import of the Christian religion:—for the Christian religion is a revelation of reason...

But God, far from being a Being, even the highest, is the Being. This definition, however, though such a representation of God is an important and necessary stage in the growth of the religious consciousness, does not by any means exhaust the depth of the ordinary Christian idea of God. If we consider God as the Essence only, and nothing more, we know Him only as the universal and irresistible Power; in other words, as the Lord. Now the fear of the Lord is, doubtless, the beginning,--but only the beginning, of wisdom. To look at God in this light, as the Lord, and the Lord alone, is especially characteristic of Judaism and also of Mohammedanism...

The movement of the notion is as it were to be looked upon merely as play: the other which it sets up is in reality not another. Or, as it is expressed in the teaching of Christianity: not merely has God created a world which confronts Him as another; He has also from all eternity begotten a Son in whom He, a Spirit, is at home with Himself.


You have substituted god for spirit. What Hegel is referring to is the fundamental ability of humans to use and modify abstractions. Mind/Giest signifies the qualities of both mind and spirit that defines most of the subjective skills we pursue and possess as humans. Religion is another form of subjective abstraction that serves a cultural need to refine mind and spirit usage to adhere to actions within limitations of practices and beliefs. The abstraction of subjective religion fits within the distinction for Mind/Giest, but not the other way around.

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