By Søren Kierkegaard
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Thus the term "absolute" religion would "Absolute" and "Consummate" Religion 45 merely signify that there is no other form of religious knowledge required for us to understand the meaning of this divine revelation. e. it would consist of no other "substance" than the reason which now recognises its "absolute" concept. But in this sense it seems difficult to determine religion as the consummation of something which belongs to the realm of becoming. Religion would then attain no final "end" or pleroma in and through itself in any "absolute" sense, for it would know neither beginning nor end and thus no development which could allow it to emerge and be understood in its unconditioned validity3.
For him Christianity can assume a "consummate" position within the modern pantheon of non-Christian religions and all the various historical images of God to the extent that it is the only religion which recognises the "revealed" truth in the very heart of its proclamation: the truth that the actual "death of God" must in a radical sense form the highest and innermost content of the doctrine itself. Thus, according to Hegel, the Christian "revelation" reveals the essence of true and "absolute" religion in general, although of course this revelation cannot simply coincide with that religion for understandable reasons.
4. d. Walter Jaeschke, Reason in Religion. The Foundations of Hegel's Philosophy of Religion. (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1990). 5. The Idea in the Element of Representation: Speculative Christology. 5. d. Walter Jaeschke, Reason in Religion. Chapter II, 5. 6. Ernst Troeltsch - the significance of whose work for the understanding of these problems can scarcely be exaggerated - considers these two criteria to be decisive for the applicability of the historical method.