|About the Book|
Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) is sometimes referred to as the father of liberal Protestant theology, largely on the strength of his massive work of systematic theology, The Christian Faith. It is generally recognized that SchleiermacherMoreFriedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) is sometimes referred to as the father of liberal Protestant theology, largely on the strength of his massive work of systematic theology, The Christian Faith. It is generally recognized that Schleiermacher grounded his theological work in an innovative and historically important understanding of religion in general, and that the influence of his thought about religion has extended beyond the boundaries of theology.In Schleiermacher on Religion and the Natural Order, Andrew Dole presents a new account of Schleiermachers theory of religion. His purpose is to challenge a deeply entrenched tradition that characterizes Schleiermachers account of religion as subjective or individualistic. While many scholars view Schleiermacher primarily as a theorist of religious experience, Dole argues that Schleiermacher integrates the individualistic side of religion with a set of claims about its social dynamics, and that this takes place within a broader understanding of all events in the world as the product of a universal, law-governed causal nexus. Schleiermacher argued that religion emerges out of the interactions of cause and effect that constitute the natural order-or Naturzusammenhang-and is thus to be understood as naturally caused.Properly understood, says Dole, Schleiermachers account of religion is an early and important example of a combination of theology and the scientific study of religion. Dole focuses particularly on Schleiermachers lectures in ethics at Halle and Berlin, wherein he developed an understanding of religion as a process of the social formation of feeling, and also investigates the relationship between this account of religion and Schleiermachers theological account of Christianity in The Christian Faith. By calling attention to this under-discussed aspect of Schleiermachers work, Dole hopes to correct the historical record and stimulate interest in Schleiermacher outside the field of theological studies.