Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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Georg W F Hegel (1770-1831) was born in Stuttgart. He was a German philosopher, and a major figure in German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.

Hegel developed a comprehensive philosophical framework, or "system", of Absolute idealism to account in an integrated and developmental way for the relation of mind and nature, the subject and object of knowledge, psychology, the state, history, art, religion, and philosophy. In particular, he developed the concept that mind or spirit manifested itself in a set of contradictions and oppositions that it ultimately integrated and united, without eliminating either pole or reducing one to the other. Examples of such contradictions include those between nature and freedom, and between immanence and transcendence.

Some of Hegel's writing was intended for those with advanced knowledge of philosophy.


Hegel's dialectic was most often characterized as a three-step process, "thesis, antithesis, synthesis"; namely, that a "thesis" (e.g. the French Revolution) would cause the creation of its "antithesis" (e.g. the Reign of Terror that followed), and would eventually result in a "synthesis" (e.g. the constitutional state of free citizens). However, Hegel used this classification only once, and he attributed the terminology to Immanuel Kant. The terminology was largely developed earlier by Johann Fichte.



Georg W F Hegel is the primary source of Emergent theology and the key source of Emergent philosophy

It is said that Hegel is one of the most difficult philosophers to understand.

The Hegelian synthesis denies absolutes, such as absolute truth or knowledge, and instead claims that everything evovles as incompatible ideas, such as good and evil, combine and evolve into an improved third option that surpasses both.

Hegel proposed a comprehensive philosophical theory of evolution before Charles Darwin suggested a biological one.

Emergent simply is what a church would look like if it rejected the scriptures and looked to Hegel as its prophet.

Suggested further reading: "The Emergent Church" by Bob DeWaay, chapters 1 and 9.

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