Kurt Appel Jakob Deibl

Hegel, Hölderlin and the «Open» of the Question of God

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Interpreting selected key passages of Hegel’s «Phenomenology of Spirit» and Hölderlin’s poems «Patmos» and «Bread and Wine», this essay points out a specific conformance in thinking of both coevals. Both connect the question of God with the search for the «Open» – not expressible in conventional propositional language. On this threshold of what is conceivable and speakable, Hegel develops the dialectical method of his speculative philosophy, whereas Hölderlin develops his philosophical poetry of the hymns and elegies after 1800. Both Hegel and Hölderlin become aware of a rupture within the Absolute that refers to an absolute openness which is the other of any concluding representation. The «Open» which is connected with the index «God» requires an exercitium of theoretical (noesis noeseos, thinking of thinking), practical (self-emptying, being for, forgiving...) and aesthetic (opening up of new horizons of perception and language) nature.


  • Hegel
  • Hölderlin
  • Phenomenology of Spirit
  • Patmos
  • Question of God
  • Open
  • Openness
  • Philosophy of Religion


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