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

Second Section: The Divine Attributes which are related to the Religious Self-Consciousness so far as it expresses the General Relationship between God and the World


50 All attributes which we ascribe to God are to be taken as denoting not something special in God, but only something special in the manner in which the feeling of absolute dependence is to be related to him.

51 The Absolute Causality to which the feeling of absolute dependence points back can only be described in such a way that, on the one hand, it is distinguished from the content of the natural order and thus contrasted with it, and, on the other hand, equated with it in comprehension.

First Doctrine: God is Eternal

52 By the Eternity of God we understand the absolutely timeless causality of God, which conditions not only all that is temporal, but time itself as well.

Second Doctrine: God is Omnipresent

53 By the Omnipresence of God we understand the absolutely spaceless causality of God, which conditions not only all that is spatial, but space itself as well.

Third Doctrine: God is Omnipotent

54 In the conception of the divine Omnipotence two ideas are contained: first, that the entire system of Nature, comprehending all times and spaces, is founded upon divine causality, which as eternal and omnipresent is in contrast to all finite causality; and second, that the divine causality, as affirmed in our feeling of absolute dependence, is completely presented in the totality of finite being, and consequently everything for which there is a causality in God happens and becomes real.

Fourth Doctrine: God is Omniscient

55 By the divine Omniscience is to be understood the absolute spirituality of the divine Omnipotence.

Appendix: Some Other Divine Attributes

56 Among the divine attributes usually mentioned, the Unity, Infinity, and Simplicity of God especially might conveniently come in here, as having no relation to the antithesis in the excitations of the religious consciousness; only they could not be regarded as divine attributes in the same sense as those already dealt with.

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