Johann Georg Hamann Philosophy and Faith by W.M. Alexander

By W.M. Alexander

THE challenge OF the translation OF HAMANN Johann Georg Hamann is an fascinating yet poorly recognized determine within the modern highbrow international. but this can be the guy whom Kierkegaard saluted as "Emperor!", whose writings have been to were prepared for booklet by means of none except Goethe himself, and whom Dilthey numbered one of the primordial figures within the upward push of contemporary ancient cognizance. There are purposes for the endurance of this normal lack of know-how. Hamann is deep. And, moreover, there's his forbidding type. The readers of Kierkegaard and Dilthey, different giants who them­ selves completed overdue acceptance, haven't needed to face this type of implementing concern. not just does Hamann anticipate his readers to address themselves in deep water, yet to intuit their means among his rules which bob up like islands with out seen connection among them. Like Kierkegaard too, Hamann has had his problems with the general public. He himself pointed out the desire that he will be understood by means of a "better posterity". in reality purely the previous few years have visible the printing of a few of his extra arguable writings, particularly his theories at the nature of human sexuality.

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313). Commenting on some CONTENT (FAITH) 43 contemporary thought in writing to Jacobi, 2 November I783, Hamann says: In spite of that this seems to me to be digging a little Ii la Pascal in that enormous hole, that dark, enormous abyss. Not that I have the least doubts about the depths of human nature. But this probing of the abyss, or attempting to communicate to another what one sees, is misconceived. It is this "infinite incongruity" which makes all imperatives, no matter how categorical, only witnesses to man's damnation.

1759). There is nothing outside the sphere of the Holy Spirit. " This extends even to the provision for latrines for the children of Israel in the wilderness (III, 27). But in condescending with such omnipotent humility, the Spirit does not suspend man's humanity or his individual characteristics, or even man's errors and sin. (Cf. II, I7I; I, II, I2, I4). Hamann is not in the least concerned with theories of inspiration. His principal point is the humility of God and the corresponding humility of man which is the sine qua non for understanding the Bible.

Although the central problem of his concern with reason, language, and philosophy will require the elaboration of this entire study - for, if it is true of anyone, it is true of Hamann that truth is never found 1 Wilhelm Koepp, "J. G. Hamanns Absage an den Existenzialismus ('Fliegender Brief' Erste Fassung), nebst Anbahnung einer Gesamtsicht", Wissenscha/tliche Zeitsch,ijt der Unive,sitiit Rostock. S Jahrgang. 19Ss/s6. GeseIIschafts - und sprachwissenschaftliche Reihe. Heft I, p. lI4. 2 Hamann avoided the term" theology" because for him it suggested professional dogma tics.

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