Friedrich Schleiermacher 's Understanding Of Religion And His Work On Religion Essay

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Known as the father of modern liberal theology, Friedrich Schleiermacher was a German theologian, philosopher and biblical scholar who focused his attention on the nature of religious experience from the viewpoint of the individual and human nature itself (Mariña 3). Influenced by German Romanticism, Schleiermacher attempted to reconcile the criticisms of the Enlightenment with traditional Protestant Christianity (Crouter 261). By doing so, he abandoned the pietistic Moravian theology that had failed to satisfy his increasing doubts and he adopted the rational spirit of Christian Wolff and Johann Salomo Semler. He then became acquainted with the techniques of historical criticism of the New Testament and of Johann Augustus Eberhard, from whom he acquired a love of the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. As a result, he began applying ideas from the Greek philosophers to a reconstruction of Immanuel Kant’s system (Mariña 3). On this basis, this essay articulate Friedrich Schleiermacher’s understanding of religion and its relationship to Christianity as described in Speech I: Defense and Speech II: The Nature of Religion of his work On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers. The essay will explore Schleiermacher’s rejection of various views of religion held by the despisers, explain his identification of the true religion with feeling and describe his view of the relationship between religion and Christianity.
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