Introduction: Hegel’s protestant principle
The present dissertation tries to examine the beginnings of Hegel’s so called„protestant-principle”, placing it into historical and philosophical context.We are following the way on which Hegel’s view of religion advanced until theprotestant principle appeared, as well as examining Hegel’s view of reformedreligions, in the state, as they are apparent in the early writings. In order tounderstand the substance of this philosophical problem it is worth quoting aprominent disciple of Hegel himself:„Hegel’s philosophy is protestant in its relation to religion. I call thatform of religion protestant, which grounds the reconciliation betweenGod and Man on conscience, based on the fact that the substance of human consiousness incorporates God’s consiousness, therefore theform of freedom.” -so writes Karl Rosenkranz in his famous Hegel-biography, first published in1844
.Our work attempts to shed light on this very quote of Rosenkranz, becausethis is in accordance with Hegel’s own claims in Berlin. Not to mention that theemphasis on protestantism’s historical-philosophical importance-although invarious enigmatic forms-was already present in Hegel’s Jena-period. Let us take acloser look first at Rosenkranz’s text, to bring out what we are really looking forhere.After the above quoted sentences Rosenkranz states that religion, politicsand philosophy should be separated, but in the sphere of the political, this isusually not the way things are. Hegel was attacked precisely because of hisconfessionally christian philosophy, by the catholic church, the „well-financed,
Rosenkranz: Hegels Leben, Vorrede XXXIII.
My translation. If otherwise not indicated, I use all text of foreignlanguage in my translation.