The Living God: Schleiermachers Theological Appropriation of Spinoza

Paperback | June 11, 2004

byJulia A. Lamm

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German theologian F. D. E. Schleiermacher's doctrine of God-the first to be developed in the post-Kantian era-fundamentally changed the course of Christian theology. The degree to which his doctrine of God was influenced by the philosophy of Benedict de Spinoza remains in dispute, however. This study examines the ways in which Schleiermacher actively adopted elements of Spinoza's thought in the development of his own theological doctrine of God. Julia Lamm's analysis of little-known but seminal essays by Schleiermacher reveals his young creative genius in daring to go beyond the neo-Spinozism of Herder and the post-Kantianism of Fichte by developing his own post-Kantian Spinozism. Schleiermacher's unique simultaneous appropriation of Kant and Spinoza is characterized by four themes: an organic monism, an ethical determinism, a critical realism, and a nonanthropomorphic view of God, which Lamm traces through his two major theological works, On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers and The Christian Faith. Ultimately, Lamm finds that Schleiermacher departs from Spinoza in significant ways. Most notably, he talks about "the living God" who is best expressed through the divine attributes of love and wisdom. This living God is what Schleiermacher refers to as the "third alternative" to, on the one hand, the anthropomorphized God of orthodox Protestantism and, on the other hand, Spinoza's natura naturans.

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German theologian F. D. E. Schleiermacher's doctrine of God-the first to be developed in the post-Kantian era-fundamentally changed the course of Christian theology. The degree to which his doctrine of God was influenced by the philosophy of Benedict de Spinoza remains in dispute, however. This study examines the ways in which Schleier...

Julia A. Lamm is Associate Professor of Theology at Georgetown University.

other books by Julia A. Lamm

Format:PaperbackDimensions:260 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.59 inPublished:June 11, 2004Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271025069

ISBN - 13:9780271025063

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“The relation between Schleiermacher and Spinoza is generally recognized as an important and complex question in Schleiermacher studies, yet the only previous monograph dedicated to this subject is a piece of German scholarship dating from 1903. The Living God is a comprehensive survey of the issue and argues its thesis with single-mindedness, clarity, and cogency.”

—Albert L. Blackwell, Furman University