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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter charts the transformation of metaphysics across the nineteenth century as a series of prodigious swerves: first, it maps the move away from Christian dogmatics in the rationalist theology of Kant and his followers; second, it tracks the professed but problematic return to Christianity’s symbolic universe in the Idealism of Schelling and Hegel; third, it describes a veer ‘back to Kant’ in the attempts to disentangle Christian theology from metaphysics by such theologians as Ritschl and Herrmann; and finally, it addresses the recognition by some prominent Christian thinkers (e.g., Green in Britain, and Peirce in America) that some kind of metaphysical articulation of the Christian world-view is not only inevitable but also vital. The chapter concludes with a chastened reconceptualization of theological metaphysics as the hermeneutical explication, critique, and open-ended reassessment of the philosophical contours of Christian claims about ultimate reality.

Keywords: American Pragmatism, anti-metaphysics, British Idealism, consciousness, German Idealism, God, metaphysics, speculation, Spirit, world

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