Eclipse of GraceDivine and Human Action in Hegel
Eclipse of Grace offers original insights into the roots of modern theology by introducing systematic theologians and Christian ethicists to Hegel through a focus on three of his seminal texts: Phenomenology of Spirit, Science of Logic, and Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. Presents brilliant and original insights into Hegel’s significance for modern theology Argues that, theologically, Hegel has been misconstrued and that much more can be gained by focusing on the logic that he develops out of an engagement with Christian doctrines Features an original structure organized as a set of commentaries on individual Hegel texts, and not just presenting overviews of his entire corpus Offers detailed engagement with Hegel’s texts rather than relying on generalizations about Hegelian philosophy Provides an illuminating, accessible and lucid account of the thinking of the major figures in modern German philosophy and theology
Acknowledgments ix Preface xi 1 Introduction 1 2 Absolute Knowing 17 3 The Absolute Idea 117 4 God Existing as Community 166 5 Eclipse of Grace 220 Bibliography 228 Index 235
“This is a really welcome book—original, careful, admirably clear and patient in exposition, fully engaged with contemporary debates, yet not simply reacting to the scholarship of others. This is a really welcome book—original, careful, admirably clear and patient in exposition, fully engaged with contemporary debates, yet not simply reacting to the scholarship of others . . . Both iconoclastic and profoundly constructive, it has the capacity to change quite radically—and for the better—the way theologians approach the Hegelian corpus." (Modern Theology, 16 September 2014) “Nicholas Adams has produced a ground-breaking book that charts a clear course through the philosophical morass of Hegel’s main works and discovers in Hegel’s system of logic – more so than in his explicitly “theological” writings – much that is of value for contemporary theology. While recognising that some of Hegel’s writings are formidably difficult, especially for those without prior acquaintance with Spinoza, Kant or Fichte, Adams offers a helpful guide for surmounting these obstacles and makes a compelling case about why Hegel merits the serious scholarly attention of theologians.” (European Journal of Theology, 1 October 2013) “Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and researchers/faculty.” (Choice, 1 January 2014)
Nicholas Adams is Senior Lecturer in Theology and Ethics at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Habermas and Theology (2006).
In order to gain an understanding of the great twentieth century theologians – anyone from Barth and Balthasar to Moltmann and Pannenberg – it is crucial to first grasp the ideas and influence of Hegel. The Eclipse of Grace brilliantly introduces systematic theologians and Christian ethicists to Hegel through a focus on three of the German theologian philosopher’s seminal texts: Phenomenology of Spirit, Science of Logic, and Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. Acknowledging that Hegel is often taken to be a liability for contemporary theological study, the author takes a groundbreaking new approach to an understanding of the roots of theology. He argues that Hegel’s importance for modern theology is best appreciated if one ignores his theological proposals and instead seeks to discern the logic that he develops out of an engagement with Christian doctrines. This logic is one in which false oppositions – between thinking and being, subject and object, individual and community, and faith and reason – are overcome. Innovative and scholarly, The Eclipse of Grace reveals how a close scrutiny of the works of Hegel remains vital for the study of contemporary theology and theologians.
“Nicholas Adams has a rare gift for explicating complex philosophical texts from the continental tradition with clarity and incisiveness. This book will be an indispensable tool for students in both philosophy and dogmatic theology who seek to understand the continuing significance of Hegel's philosophical challenge.”—Sarah Coakley, University of Cambridge “A formidably good book, and one of the best pieces of theologically-interested work on Hegel to appear in recent decades. Written with calm confidence and independence of mind, it enables students of Hegel to identify and undo persistent misconstruals of his philosophy, and shows by example how they might more profitably go to work on Hegel’s texts. Read at a good slow pace, the book is a conversation with an excellent teacher who unties knots in one’s mind and teaches one how to read and think well.”—John Webster, King's College, University of Aberdeen “A marvelously lucid and pedagogically canny study of the uses to which Hegelian thought can be put in theology ... With consummate analytic rigor, Adams patiently analyzes selected passages from the Phenomenology, as well as from Hegel’s logical works and his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. The interpretations are uniformly illuminating and some are quite brilliant.”—Cyril O'Regan, University of Notre Dame “Although approached through the care and modesty of closely reading of some key passages in Hegel's oeuvre, this study not only offers an exceptionally lucid account of Hegel's thinking, it is nothing short of a major re-evaluation. At last, Hegel's contribution to philosophical theology receives the treatment it deserves with both elegance and intelligence. A genuine achievement!”—Graham Ward, University of Oxford
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