The Veiled God, Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft offers a detailed portrait of Friedrich Schleiermacher’s early life, ethics, and theology in its historical and social context. She also critically reflects on the enduring relevance of his work for the study of religion.
The book analyses major texts from Schleiermacher’s early work. It argues that his experiments with literary form convey his understanding that human knowledge is inherently social, and that religion is thoroughly linguistic and historical. The book contends that by making finitude (and
not freedom) a universal aspect to human life, Schleiermacher offers rich conceptual resources for considering what it means to be human in this world, both in relations of difference to others, and in relation to the infinite.
Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft is a Research Fellow in Theology at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. She was previously a postdoctoral researcher on the ERC-funded project ‘Bible and Antiquity in Nineteenth-Century Culture’, having received her PhD from Cambridge in 2016.
Table of contents
Preface Acknowledgements Abbreviations of Frequently Cited Works Introduction
Freedom and Particularity in Schleiermacher’s Early Ethical Anthropology
Introduction to Part 1 Delineating the Ethical and the Theological 1Disciplinary Boundaries 2A Godless Europe Schleiermacher’s Religious Doubt 1From Barby to Halle 2‘To Cecilie’ Quarrels with Kant on Freedom 1Necessity, Freedom, and Human Identity 2Schleiermacher’s Kant and the Otherworldly Subject 3Schleiermacher’s Quarrel with Kant on Freedom 4Temporality, Dialogue and Human Identity 5On Desire and Moral Motivation Conclusion
Human Formation and Literary Form in Schleiermacher’s Soliloquies(1800)
Introduction to Part 2 Freedom and Formation Anew 1Beyond the Moral Law, and the Idea of Universal Reason 2Freedom and Rationality 3The Role of Language in the Ethical Life 4A New Approach to Freedom Schleiermacher’s Commitment to Bildung 1Bildung in Berlin 2The Meaning of Bildung 3The Self Negotiated in Society 4Schleiermacher, Bildung, and the Question of Gender 5Schleiermacher’s Project on the Colony in “New Holland” The Soliloquies 1An Idealistic Performance 2Imagination and Individualism 3Individuality and Immeasurability Conclusion
Dialogue and Incarnation
Introduction to Part 3 Schleiermacher’s Dialogic Vision 1A Household at Christmas 2A Platonic Scheme? 3Authorial Passivity 4A Review from Kierkegaard Seeking the Infinite in the Midst of the Finite 1Schleiermacher’s Speeches On Religion 2Interreligious Dialogue in Berlin A Theology of Finitude 1Barth’s Critique of the Christmas Dialogue 2Music and the Transcendent Conclusion Epilogue List of Cited Works Index
Postgraduates and scholars of theology, specialists in Schleiermacher studies, and all those interested in German intellectual history, German Romanticism, Religious Studies, and the links between religion and literature.