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Transcending Subjects: Augustine, Hegel, and Theology

ISBN: 978-1-119-16308-4
256 pages
April 2016, Wiley-Blackwell
Transcending Subjects: Augustine, Hegel, and Theology (1119163080) cover image


Transcending Subjects: Augustine, Hegel and Theology engages the seminal figures of Hegel and Augustine around the theme of subjectivity, with consideration toward the theology and politics of freedom. 
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Citations and Abbreviations x

Introduction 1

Part I Hegel—Self-Transcending Immanence 15

1 Hegel in Contemporary Political Philosophy 17

Introduction 17

Evolutionary Social Practices: Autonomy through Sociality 19

Revolutionary Radical Act: Autonomy against Sociality 27

Conclusion 38

2 Consciousness and Freedom: Logic and Phenomenology of Spirit 43

Introduction 43

Nothing Is Infinite: Science of Logic 45

Infinite Self ]Consciousness: Phenomenology of Spirit 62

Beyond Nothing and the Unfathomable 89

Conclusion 93

3 Society and Freedom: Philosophy of Right 103

Introduction 103

The Subject and Substance of Politics 104

The Institutions of Ethical Life: Family, Civil Society, and State 115

The Limits of Self-Transcending Immanence 118

Conclusion 124

Part II Augustine—Self-Immanenting Transcendence 129

4 Augustine in Contemporary Political Theology 131

Introduction 131

Ontological Peace: Transcendence against Liberalism 133

Ordered Love: Transcendence for Liberalism 144

Conclusion 151

5 Conversion and Freedom: Confessions 155

Introduction 155

Conversion of the Will: Conflict and Intervention 160

Conversion of the Will: Community and Intervention 169

Conversion of Creation: Christ as Intervention 178

Conclusion 185

6 Society and Freedom: City of God 192

Introduction 192

Earthly City and the Lust for Domination 198

Justice and Res Publica 205

Justice, Love, and Sacrifice 208

Love and the World 215

Conclusion 222

Conclusion 230

Index 239

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Author Information

Geoffrey Holsclaw is an Affiliate Professor of Theology and Director of Master of Arts in Theology and Mission at Northern Seminary. He is the co-author of Prodigal Christianity (2013), as well as the author of articles in theology and political philosophy, examining major figures such as Hobbes, Badiou and Žižek, and integrating Eucharistic and Trinitarian themes to political practice. 
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This book is a worthy effort to rethink a robust sense of divine transcendence, which helpfully highlights important philosophical, theological, ethical and political dimensions relevant to contemporary discussion. I particularly liked how it takes seriously a sense of divine transcendence that is not reducible to the forms of immanent transcendence currently more common, and that is also fully intimate with the immanent world, in a way more dualistic conceptions often failed to be in the past.  The book importantly challenges a negative view of Augustine and a positive predilection for a non-metaphysical version of Hegel among some contemporary thinkers. It is very well versed in the works of Hegel and Augustine, and informed by the relevant scholarship. It is a readable and engaging book which insightfully and deftly unfolds a significant dialogue between Augustine and Hegel, as well as between the author and their significant contemporary interpreters.
William Desmond, Professor of Philosophy, Katholieke Universiteit, David Cook Chair in Philosophy, Villanova University

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