Chapter 1 gives an account of the methodology and organization of Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. He wishes to restore religion to its proper position by restoring the traditional doctrines of Christianity. But to do this it is necessary to see how the conception of the divine has developed historically through the different world religions. Hegel wishes to show that the general state of a given culture or people can be seen reflected in its conception of the divine. Thus, he can trace the development of human culture or “spirit” through history by analyzing the different world religions. Finally, an account is given of the rise of Orientalism in Europe during Hegel’s time and its influence on his thinking.
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