BOOK THREE BERLIN
The Polemic against the Theology of
For a long time you can pay with promises,
But in the end you have to put your hand in your pocket.
- Revelation, as fact
- the doctrine of the Church
- Biblical tradition
are simply used by him to interpret or confirm the original feeling that is his subject-matter. He tends to cite them in footnotes in this way. His followers and defenders missed this central point, not of his preaching, but of his theology. Yet, notes Rosenkranz, the rejection of the outwardly historical was something he shared with Hegel.
It has never been a Protestant dogma that expression of pious feeling be taken as a principle. It was a pure chance that in Schleiermacher's case his piety repaired much of the damage inherent in the principle. He uses an idea of coherence which relates to psychological analysis; whilst Christ for him becomes an ideal. He describes a dualism of sin and grace, good and evil, that is overcome in Christ. His conclusions on immortality, resurrection and the last judgement were slender and owed something to the Enlightenment. The Trinity was little more for him than a unity of formulation, an aggregate. As a result, his defenders found it difficult to project orthodoxy in interpreting his views.
"A Feeling of absolute Dependence"
"What in this latter surpasses, or at least is worthy of surpassing, the general knowledge of religion that belongs to everyone possessed of general culture, is what this science has in common with philosophy." (528)
"What is intensity in feeling must deploy itself in objectivity, in determinate representation of faith, in a sufficient body of religious practices, in worship, in science, all things fundamentally impossible if one had to stay with feeling as the exclusively true form of religion." (528)
"The dog would be the best Christian."