1st Edition

Hegel's Metaphysics of God The Ontological Proof as the Development of a Trinitarian Divine Ontology

By Patricia Marie Calton Copyright 2001
    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    Originally published in 2001, Hegel's Metaphysics of God presents Hegel's response to Kant's claim that metaphysics in general and, in particular, knowledge of God, is beyond the grasp of human knowledge. Calton argues that Hegel uses his version of the ontological proof not only to establish the existence of God, but also to develop a Trinitarian divine ontology. The book opens with a discussion of the traditional version of the ontological proof as it is set out by Anselm in his Proslogium and an analysis of the critiques of this traditional formulation of the proof offered by both Kant and Hegel. However, the main focus of the book concerns Hegel's reformulation of the ontological proof as a description of God's self-expression in the world and of God's attaining complete self-knowledge through human consciousness. Exploring Hegel’s proof as his description of God’s activity of self-expression and self-knowledge, Calton demonstrates that Hegel uses the ontological proof not only to establish that God exists, but also to articulate the Trinitarian structure of God, pointing to conclusions drawn by Hegel that human knowledge of God participates in the life of God by completing the Trinity. The book concludes by explaining the role played by human consciousness in completing the Trinity through the reasoning that takes place in the ontological proof. This book details the development of Hegel's argument for a Trinitarian metaphysics of God and establishes that the structure of Hegel's ontological proof encompasses Hegel's entire philosophical system, from the concept of God, to God’s self-expression in finitude, and, finally, to the recognition on the part of human consciousness that humans are an integral part of God’s being.

    Contents: Introduction: The tension between religion and philosophy; The Enlightenment and Romanticism on knowing God; Hegel’s solution to the problem of cognition of God; Hegel’s critique of the ontological proof: Introduction; Anselm’s formulation of the ontological proof; Kant’s critique of the ontological proof; Hegel’s rejection of Kant’s critique; Hegel’s criticism of Anselm’s ontological proof; Hegel’s ontological proof: Lessing’s ditch and Hegel’s ontological proof; The form that a proof for God’s existence must take; Hegel’s ontological proof: being is systematic mind; Bridging Lessing’s ditch: the truth of the finite is the infinite; Hegel’s proof takes the proper form; Hegel’s metaphysics of God: Hegel’s proof entails a trinitarian divine ontology; The Enlightenment’s empty concept of God; Hegel’s response to Enlightenment philosophy of God; Hegel’s deduction of God’s trinitarian structure; The deduction of the intrinsic trinity; the deduction of the extrinsic trinity; Knowledge of God: the kingdom of the spirit; A summary of Hegel’s ontological proof; Conclusion; Philosophy’s completion of the extrinsic trinity: Introduction; Humanity as alienated from God; The reconciliation of God and humanity; The kingdom of the spirit: the spiritual community; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.


    Patricia Marie Calton

    'Patricia Calton has identified a real lacuna in commentary on Hegel, and this book fills a real gap in the literature' Cyril O'Regan, University of Notre Dame, USA 'Calton's analysis of Hegel's Trinitarianism offers a prime example of what Hegel means by 'speculative theology', and emphasizes the inseparable relationship between philosophy and theology in Hegel's system.’ Howard Kainz, Marquette University, USA