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Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1770–1831)

  1. Kevin W. Hector

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0648

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Hector, K. W. 2011. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1770–1831). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Any interpretation of Hegel is bound to be controversial, but in order to understand his intellectual contributions to Christian civilization, we can safely begin by characterizing Hegel as a peculiarly modern thinker. Hegel's thought counts as “modern” in at least two respects. On the one hand, Hegel took seriously Kant's famous injunction to “think for oneself”: rather than believing or doing something because it is “what one does” or “what one has been told,” Hegel tries to determine the conditions according to which one could identify certain commitments as one's own. On the other hand, Hegel's thought counts as “modern” because he was concerned to explain how God and free human beings were related to a “world” now construed in causal-mechanistic terms. Hegel's intellectual contribution to Christian civilization can be understood as a response to these problems.


  • Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1770–1831);
  • modern thinker, on how God and free humans, related to a “world”;
  • Hegel, the “self-consciousness,” differential response to an object as belief;
  • Hegel's famous “historicism”