Idealism Turned against Itself: From Hegel to Rosenzweig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This article was originally given as a key note at the conference Critique, Protest and Reform (Oslo, 2017), aimed at exploring the rich and complex philosophical, political and religious traditions that the Reformation gave rise to. Within this framework, I consider a philosophical example of this complexity. More specifically, I describe how the anti-Jewish strand of Protestant theology became part and parcel of German idealism, but also how this particular strand evolved in a way that later would inspire significant Jewish thinkers to turn against idealism itself. I proceed in three steps. First, I briefly discuss the particular relationship between Protestantism and subsequent German philosophy. Second, I give an overview of how Jews and Judaism are displayed as motifs in idealist philosophy, exemplified through some passages in the philosophies of Hegel and Schelling. Third, I show how Schelling, in particular, inspired Franz Rosenzweig in his seminal endeavour to break free from an idealist and determinist notion of history.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies


  • Hegel, idealism, Protestantism, Rosenzweig, Schelling
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Reformation of Philosophy
Subtitle of host publicationThe Philosophical Legacy of the Reformation Reconsidered
EditorsMarius Timmann Mjaaland
Place of PublicationTübingen
PublisherMohr Siebeck
ChapterII. Philosophy in the Wake of the Reformation
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameReligion in Philosophy and Theology
PublisherMohr Siebeck
ISSN (Print)1616-346X
ISSN (Electronic)2568-7425