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  • Cited by 2
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    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Poe, Shelli M. 2016. Schleiermacher’s Transcendental Reasoning: Toward a Feminist Affirmation of Divine Personhood. Feminist Theology, Vol. 24, Issue. 2, p. 139.

    ANDREJČ, GORAZD 2012. Bridging the gap between social and existential-mystical interpretations of Schleiermacher's ‘feeling’. Religious Studies, Vol. 48, Issue. 03, p. 377.

  • Print publication year: 2005
  • Online publication date: August 2006

2 - Faith and religious knowledge

from Part I - Schleiermacher as Philosopher

Schleiermacher, famously, regards religious faith and theology as grounded in religious consciousness, and thus as broadly empirical. This is the source of much of the fascination of his religious thought, and also of many of the objections that have been raised against it. The aim of this chapter is to provide a critical analysis of Schleiermacher's epistemology of religion and its theological implications. In the limited space available we will concentrate on his masterpiece, the Christian Faith, looking from time to time for relevant background in other works.


Schleiermacher has been accused of replacing God with human consciousness as the object of theology and religious thought. The charge is not exactly groundless. He himself said (in a text from the period of the Christian Faith) that “it can rightly be said that in religion everything is immediately true, since nothing at all is expressed in its individual moments except the religious person’s own state of mind” (KGA, 1.12, 136; OR, Oman, 108). An important motive for this claim is explicit in the statement: to the extent that religion does not go beyond the religious person’s own state of mind, it can hope to have the certain truth commonly ascribed to direct (“immediate”) experience of one’s own consciousness. The accusation of anthropocentrism or subjectivism thus has some relation to Schleiermacher’s focus on experience.

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The Cambridge Companion to Friedrich Schleiermacher
  • Online ISBN: 9781139000796
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