Reader's Guide to Schleiermacher's Christian Faith

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First Part of the System of Doctrine: The Development of that Religious Self-Consciousness which is always both presupposed by and contained in every Christian Religious Affection

Introduction

32 The immediate feeling of absolute dependence is presupposed and actually contained in every religious and Christian self-consciousness as the only way in which, in general, our own being and the infinite Being of God can be one in self-consciousness.

33 This feeling of absolute dependence, in which our self-consciousness in general represents the finitude of our being (cf.  8, 2), is therefore not an accidental element, or a thing which varies from person to person, but is a universal element of life; and the recognition of this fact takes the place, for the system of doctrine, of all the so-called proofs of the existence of God.

34 The feeling of absolute dependence is contained in every Christian religious affection, in proportion as in the latter, through its co-determining stimuli, we become conscious that we are placed in a universal nature-system, i.e. in proportion as we are conscious of ourselves as part of the world.

35 According to the criterion of the three forms established in  30 we shall have to treat, first, the relation present in the religious self-consciousness between the finite being of the world and the infinite Being of God; then, in the second section, the attributes of God in relation to the world as they appear in that self-consciousness; and lastly, in the third section, the constitution of the world as therein conceived in virtue of its absolute dependence on God.

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