Reader's Guide to Schleiermacher's Christian Faith

Paragraph Headings

Home Previous: 20-31
Current: 32-35
Next: 36-49
Back to Reader's Guide

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


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.

The information on this page is copyright 1994 onwards, Wesley Wildman (basic information here), unless otherwise noted. If you want to use text or ideas that you find here, please be careful to acknowledge this site as your source, and remember also to credit the original author of what you use, where that is applicable. If you have corrections or want to make comments, please contact me at the feedback address for permission.