Hegelian sacraments

Hegelian sacraments September 21, 2009

Charles Taylor writes that for Hegel “Europe had to go through the Reformation before the rational law-state could be built.  The Catholic variant of Christianity was not yet purified of its intrication with external forms, with sacraments and priestly power.  Thus the Catholic church is led to fight the state for earthly supremacy instead of accepting that the earthly realization of the Christian community is in the state.  Hence Catholic countries remain unpropitious ground for the modern state . . . . true religion does not oppose the state, rather it underpins its authority as the highest realization of the Idea in a whole life-form.”

Hegel thus provides further evidence of the centrality of sacramental theology in the development of modern philosophy.  Even as late as Hegel, philosophy is stuck in the radical, mostly English, attack on priestcraft.  Also: If Hegel were right about Protestant politics (which he’s not), I’d say, let’s all become Catholics.

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