Hegel’s Dialectic And Geist From Christian Hermeneutics

Hegel is a continental philosopher who is famous for having brought about his version of dialectics and the philosophy of the Geist.

Now what is Hegelian dialectic? Hegel’s dialectic stems from three propositions and they are: at first there is the thesis, then the anti-thesis and finally the synthesis.

Hegel is famous for having propounded the Master Slave dialectic. This he referred to as the Phenomenology of the Spirit. Both the master and the slave are contents of consciousness and one is a dominant spirit and the other is a submissive one. However the master is dependent on the slave and the slave vice-versa. The master is the proposition of the thesis and the slave is the proposition of the anti-thesis and wisdom and knowledge become the fusing synthesis of the master-slave dialectics.

What does Hegel mean by the term Geist? Geist for Hegel refers to the mind, consciousness and the spirit.

In this essay, I would like to apply Christian hermeneutics to the reasoning and philosophy of Hegel’s master-slave dialectics and his conception of the Geist.

From a Christian point of view, the Geist can be considered to be the Spirit of God and also called a Super consciousness. It says in the Bible: ‘in the beginning was the Word: the word was with God and the word then became flesh.’ The infinite Geist of God became a finite flesh as an earthly incarnation. God preached the gospel of redemption from sin and he was persecuted and treacherously hung on the cross for the salvation of sins. Yes, God is the Spirit of super-consciousness. From a finite point of view what can be considered as the Geist? Geist is the breath of life that God breathed into the nostrils of Adam and by the very act the consciousness of God became the spirit in man. It became a man-embodying consciousness.

Now what is the Hegelian master-slave dialectic? The master dominates the slave and the slave is dependent on the master. How can we consider it from a Christian perspective? From a Christian perspective, the Master is God and there is no presence of the slave. The relationship of man to God is one of being a friend, a philosopher, a guide. God had made us in his image and we are given the choice to follow him or reject him. Our will is free but it paradoxically determine. Hegel uses another German term Aufebubng to decipher the relationship of the master-slave dialectic. Aufebung as term as contradictory meanings and it means to preserve, abolish and uplift. How can Christology be incorporated into the Aufebung? God through is son Jesus Christ, became mortal flesh and by shedding his blood on the cross, he abolished sin and by his resurrection he gave eternal life to humanity. God becoming the flesh is thesis, and God dying on the cross for the remission of sins is the anti-thesis and his resurrection to life for eternity of humanity is the synthesis.

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