Hegel examines the "religious consciousness", by taking into considerations its history evolving from the "natural religious consciousness", which was primitive and saw God as nature or multiple gods. For example in natural religion God in the form of fire was worshiped. Then the "religious consciousness" evolves from nature, animals, sun and so forth to what the human create with his hands, this comes from the idea of creator, that it is divine. Religion was sought in works of humans like temples and the arts inside it as sculptures, ritualistic music and dances, paintings, etc. which gave birth to the "artistic religious consciousness". This also gave rise to the confusing contradiction of whether things were object of worship and object of art. Hegel agrees with Aristotle on a "hierarchy of the Arts" where literature and music are the highest forms of art as they are closely similar to consciousness itself in carrying not only the words but also thoughts, ideas, relationships and sacred events via literature. Hegel believes that this revered literature enables humans to consciousness realize the "revealed religion consciousness" which is the highest form of religious consciousness for Hegel. For this level of consciousness, Love, Word and Morality are highest principles.
At this point, one might think that Hegel's phenomenology would reach its completion as the summit of the Revealed Religion is now Christianity. However he continues on to say that there is an even higher form of consciousness that the "revealed religion consciousness". This Hegelian claim meant that there is something that rose above religion and superseded it. Hegel held an advanced idea of the Christ, which transcended over the normal minister. For Hegel religion methods did not come top of the list. There was a higher method to use as religion loaded as it is by the "picture thinking" from the arts, the images and pictures, hence calling it "pictorial religion". For Hegel the...
Bibliography: Desmond, William. Hegel 's Philosophy of Spirit, Art as "Aesthetic" and as "Religious" In Hegel 's philosophy of Absolute Spirit. New York: State University of New York Press, 1987. 170-197. eBook.
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