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God in His character of love is self-communicative, man
spiritually receptive thereto. The coalescence of that act of communication and this act of reception, realized in actual life, is religion. God as a person being an indivisible spiritual totality, religion has its primary actuality not in any one of the spiritual faculties, but in the totality of man or the mind.
Bockshammer, Offenbarung U. Theologie, 1822. Schleiermacher, Reden über die Religion; Christlicher Glaube, Einleituny. On Schleiermacher's idea of religion: Elwert, Vom IV esen der Religion, Tüb. Zeitschr. 1835, 3. Kern, Das Leben in Gott., ibid. 1830, 2. Olshausen, Stud. u. Krit. 1830, 3. Stock, Die intellectuelle Auffassung der Religion, Tüb. Zeitschr. 1839, 4. Reiff, Verhältniss von Philosophie u. Religion, ibid. 1839, 4. Schweizer, Die Dignität des Religionst isters, Stud. u. Krit. 1834, 3. Ibid., Glaubenslehre der evangelisch-reformirten Kirche, I. 1863, p. 88 ff. Romang, System der natürlichen Religionslehre, 1841. Rothe, Ethik, 1 edit. I. § 144 ff., pp. 256–276; $ 107, p. 227. 2d edit. $ 115, pp. 462–482. Carlblom, Das Gefühl in seiner Bedeutung für den Glauben im Gegensatz gegen den Intellectualismus innerhalb der kirchlichen Theologie unserer Zeit, 1857. Erdmann,
Ueber Glauben u. Wissen, 1837. Göschel, Aphorismen über Nichtwissen u. absolutes Wissen, 1829. Pfleiderer, ut supra. Biedermann, ut supra, pp. 22–109. Köstlin, Der Glaube, sein Wesen, Grund u. Gegenstand, seine Bedeutung für Erkennen, Leben u. Kirche, 1859.
1. The result of the First Main Division (S$ 15-37) was to show that God's will is to communicate Himself, to communicate life and spirit from Himself; of the Second, to show
that in man God made a creature destined to receive His perfect self-communication. At present, we have to exhibit that act of self-communication and this act of reception in their concrete combination, or so blended that, despite the distinction between God and man, established in the first two main divisions, the unity of the two shall now come into view; and this is done by ineans of religion. Religion is first of all to be examined, as a general concept, on the basis of the results already gained, with respect to its subjective aspect and objective ground, as well as with respect to the laws of its progress up to its consummation, and then to be considered with respect to its actual realization. But the present section will, in the first place, by psychological examination, prepare the way in both a negative and positive respect, for an understanding of the nature of religion. We here touch upon the question, much discussed since Schleiermacher's days, respecting the seat of religion, which, however, for us is merely preliminary; for this question does not concern the essentials of the investigation, because in fixing the place where something resides, very little is learned of the thing itself. To this is to be added, that there is no spiritual faculty which, both as to contents and form, might not be other than religious in character,' even as the capacity of the super-sensuous itself is not religion, while its exercise may even be irreligious. Supposing what has been advanced to hold good, that man's collective faculties have a relation to religion, religion can occupy no particular place among our spiritual faculties. —That religion pertains to the complete idea of human nature, follows from the idea of God and man. Individuals or communities being found without any religion proves nothing to the contrary. We must not judge man by empirical man, but judge empirical man by his idea. All the radii of spirit converge to religion, so that a normal man can be no other than religious. Where religion is absent, there is either immaturity, barbarism, at least defect in culture of the rational nature, or self-mutilation. Even Atheists demonstrate man's essential destination for religion ; for no one can exist without religion, without substituting for it deification either of self or the world, and therefore perverted religion. Without an
With this Rothe agrees, ed. 2, p. 117, note 2.
Absolute, reason cannot subsist. But the true Absolute is the supreme good-God; and therefore reason can do no other than require a course of conduct in harmony with the idea of God, i.e. religion. True theory leads to practice.
2. The nature of religion cannot be defined by any one of the spiritual faculties. Hence it is not a mere knowing, willing, or feeling. That it cannot be defined as mere knowledge or will, Schleiermacher has shown in classical style; first, in reference to the contents, and then to the form of both.
It is admitted that neither the bulk of the contents of knowledge, even if relating to divine things, makes religious, as a general rule, nor the contents of the will, or its aim and result, everything depending on the disposition. But just as little does the form of knowledge or will make religious. For the former depends on clearness and completeness of thought, which would lead us back to the contents. But if knowledge were found in the feeling of conviction, and knowledge connected with such feeling were called religious, feeling would rather be made the characteristic element of religion. On the other side, were the form of the will—disposition-made to constitute religion, we should again fall back upon feeling, every movement of will springing from an agitation of feeling. Purity or excellence of disposition is known by the character of the pleasure or aversion in the feeling that gave impulse to the will. In fact, it must be granted that there is even a knowledge of God Himself, which may be destitute of religion, namely, when personal participation is wanting, as in bare Orthodoxy or Intellectualism. And in the same way, it is not every exercise of will, e.g. in favour of the divine law, that is religious. There is a mechanical, merely legal, exercise of will, which remains nothing but outward show so long as personal participation is wanting. Such participation being no doubt expressed in feeling, Schleiermacher has given vogue to the tendency to find religion mainly, although not exclusively, in feeling. But, supposing feeling as a third element, alongside knowledge and will, to be conceived as the faculty of existence-within-self in spiritual affection and self-perception, it can be shown that even this would be no definition of religion. If, as Schleiermacher supposes, the nature of a thing is defined by that which, according as it rises and falls, is the measure of its perfection, then must the strongest intensity of feeling, as concerns the form, be also the highest degree of religion. But if the perfection of everything is to be measured by its idea, or by its correspondence with its idea, while feeling alone is supposed to constitute the idea of religion, we must hold that feeling by itself is not adapted to form such a standard. The strength of feeling depending very much on individual mental temperament, this forms no security for the purity or healthiness of religious feeling Purity cannot be judged by feeling alone, because there are impure feelings as well. We are compelled to make the transition to an objective standard, to which religion, if it is to be perfect, must conform in the last resort to the idea of God, which has to do with knowledge. Were there no objective standard for feeling, it would be autonomous, and thus would be good, whatever its character. In feeling, as subjective excitement alone, we have not the idea of God. This we have, in some sort, in
i Christl. Glaube, p. 3.
. knowledge, although this knowledge need by no means be conceptual and scientific. Consequently the nature of pure religion cannot be defined without referring to knowledge as its standard, to which feeling must correspond. With respect to the contents of feeling, in religious feeling the reference to a definite idea of God will likewise exert an influence, and upon its accurate or confused character, in short, upon its completeness, will the nature of religion depend. A religion, for example, acquainted merely with God's physical attributes, will stand lower than one that has heard of His holiness, or still more of His love. Not merely will and intelligence, but feeling also, may in the abstract be the scene, as for the highest, so also for the most perverse, phenomena.
Observation. — In taking a general view of these three attempts to define religion as knowing, or willing, or feeling, another common peculiarity occurs to us. If in religion nothing but pure subjective feeling is to be taken into account, it is a pure relation to self. The object would then in turn be the subject, and religion would be a consciousness of one's own divinity, with which a pantheistic theory would very well consort. And just the same in the other two cases. The logical outcome of the theory, which finds religion in the will, is the position that God is the perfect world-order to be realized by means of the will, and therefore a problem and product of the future (Fichte). Just so, if religion is knowledge, or, viewed in its culmination, "absolute knowledge,” relation to God as another being likewise comes to an end. Absolute knowledge is thought thinking itself, aware of nothing outside itself. Each one of these theories, logically carried out, leads to one of the chief possible forms of idealistic Pantheism. The reason of this is, that these threethinking, willing, feeling-are spontaneous activities of the subject, in which it is granted the subject in different ways to constitute itself. Now if these functions are left to stand for what they are, secondary determinations of the spirit & the primary whole, itself a constituted, given quantity, it is then possible to say, that on the basis of constitution by another, of absolute dependence, they have the power of constituting themselves, each one in its sphere. But if any one of them, severed from the whole, is made to stand for the whole, and put as the highest power in the place of the whole, be it even under the name of religion, then their secondary position is denied, and there remains merely a self-constitution not based on the fact of constitution by another; and the fact of absolute constitution by another being taken away, by that very circumstance the fundamental prerequisite of religion is abolished. When, on the other hand, these functions are understood as the particular powers which they are, there remain the possibility and necessity of regarding them as limited by each other, and constituted by a higher freedom, which in turn cannot be constituted by them or by itself, but must be constituted by God.
*Cf. Martensen, De autonomia conscientice sui humanæ, 1837.
3. Nor for the same reason can we describe religion by a combination of any two of those three fundamental functions, and define it as a unity of knowledge and will, or of knowledge and feeling, or of feeling and will. The first would be the once current Wolffian definition of religion, as a modus Deum cognoscendi et colendi. But a knowledge of God, and a willing of His will, is still not religion, without personal participation in and communion with God. Nay, without such participation, even true knowledge of God is out of the question. Just so, the will only acquires a religious character by the inherence in it, as impulse and inclination, of feeling directed to God. The more speculative Mystics describe religion as knowledge