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Analysis Of Schleiermacher 's ' On Religion

Decent Essays
The following essay shall consider the given extract from Schleiermacher’s “On Religion; Speeches to its Cultured Despisers”. Schleiermacher’s fifth and final speech explores the range of religions presentations viewed across the world and how this impacts the idea of the plurality of God. Not only this but in his conclusion, Schleiermacher puts forward the idea that Christianity can be viewed as separate from all other religions as the most accurate form of religion, and his reasons for this will take up the majority of this essay 's discussion.

While the following essay will focus on this discussion of the essence of Christianity, it is important to note that Schleiermacher recognises that there is the possibility, and reality, of
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This understanding of Schleiermacher’s religion will become important in our later discussion of the value of Christianity.

Furthermore, it is important to note that Christianity is not a religion, it is a form of religion. Schleiermacher understands all religions as pointing towards the same deity and essence, and so only values Christianity for its ability to more accurately portray the feeling of religion. Schleiermacher explains religion as an intuition towards the infinite, which has a strong connection to feeling, religion’s essence is neither thinking nor acting but “intuition and feeling” (Schleiermacher, 1799). Meaning that religion is “feeling which gives reality to knowledge and substance to morals” (Schleiermacher, 1799), this is important as it shows that what Schleiermacher values in a religion is that it adequately acts as intuition towards the infinite.

Now that one has discussed what it is Schleiermacher understands religion is and why he values it as a whole, one can consider why he values Christianity specifically. Schleiermacher values Christianity as a form of religion because the heart of Christianity is transcendence, wanting us all to be individual from the world. “The original intuition of Christianity is more glorious, more sublime, more worthy of adult humanity, more deeply penetrating into the spirit of systematic religion, and extending farther over the whole universe” (Schleiermacher, 1799, p115) meaning that
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