God - Beyond Me

From the I's Absolute Ground in Hölderlin and Schelling to a Contemporary Model of a Personal God


German idealism has attempted to think an absolute ground to self-conscious I-hood. As a result it has been theologically disqualified as pantheistic or even atheistic since many maintain that such a ground cannot be reconciled with a personal God. In the early writings of Friedrich Schelling (1775-1854), it is clear that he and his contemporaries were aware of this difficulty. His Tübinger fellow student, Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843), was convinced of the ultimate inadequacy of any philosophical system to grasp the unitary ground of all that is and turned to poetry. The metaphysical insights expressed in his poetry have been largely neglected in both philosophical and theological scholarship. Drawing on the 20th century metaphysics of Dieter Henrich and Karl Rahner, this book elaborates on Hölderlin's poetry. This results in a novel concept of God as both unitary and personal ground of I-hood.


EUR €189.00USD $235.00

Biographical Note

Cia van Woezik (1958), Ph.D., has studied theology and philosophy at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. She has published in Dutch on mysticism, and recently her first novel Een vrouw als Job [A Woman like Job] has come out (Berneboek, 2009).

Table of contents

Chapter 1 I-hood
1.1. A Brief Phenomenology of I-hood
1.2. Two Models of Self-Consciousness in German Idealism
1.3. Henrich’s Metaphysical Model of Self-Consciousness
1.4. From Here Onwards

Chapter 2 From the I to the Absolute
2.1. Connecting Kant and Spinoza
2.2. Baruch de Spinoza
2.3. The Early Reception of Spinoza’s Philosophy
2.4. Pantheism Controversy
2.5. Merging the Absolute with the God of the Bible
2.6. The I and the Absolute
2.7. From Here Onwards

Chapter 3 Schelling: Th e I and its Ground
3.1. Philosophical Stages and Teachers
3.2. The Absolute as I in the Early Schelling
3.3. Attempts at Cutting the Gordian Knot of Philosophy
3.4. Philosophy as the System of Freedom
3.5. From Here Onwards

Chapter 4 Hölderlin: Th e I and its Ground
4.1. Judgment and Being
4.2. Self-Consciousness
4.3. Worldly Echoes of Being
4.4. Religion
4.5. Life’s Conflicting Tendencies
4.6. Being and History
4.7. The Eschaton and Celebration of Peace
4.8. From Here Onwards

Chapter 5 Intellectual Intuition and Metaphysics
5.1. Fichte
5.2. Schelling
5.3. Hölderlin
5.4. From Here Onwards

Chapter 6 Th e Absolute Ground versus God
6.1. Henrich’s Metaphysics
6.2. Rahner’s Metaphysics
6.3. From Here Onwards

Chapter 7 God – Beyond Me
7.1. Who am I?
7.2. Who am I to God?
7.3. Who is God to Me?
7.4. Who are We?
7.5. Who is God?

Appendix A Wie wenn am Feiertage (1799)
Appendix B Natur und Kunst (1801)
Appendix C Friedensfeier (1802)


All those interested in metaphysics, in the critical study of German idealistic philosohies, and Hölderlin's poetry, as well as fundamental theologians.


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