Schleiermacher: On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers
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Schleiermacher: On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  175 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Detailed annotation clarifies this translation of a key document in early German Romanticism, which had a significant impact on nineteenth century religious thought after its publication in 1799.
Paperback, 175 pages
Published April 18th 1996 by Cambridge University Press (first published 1799)
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Jonathan Norton
The Ur-text for much modern theology, these 1799 essays attempt to promote the idea of religion to an elite audience versed in the very latest transcendental philosophy. Religion isn't what they thought it was, it turns out to a intuitive sensibility for the relation of the finite to the infinite cosmos, and as such may be manifest throughout culture and in different religions. FS is happiest when describing non-historical idealised religious communities, less successful in connecting these idea...more
Feb 07, 2014 Ed rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Herr Schleiermacher engages in the quixotic task of, unsurprisingly, defending religion to its cultured despisers. The European wars of religion ended a century earlier, but the consequent negativity towards religion in general is still prevailing. Whereas Immanuel Kant based his apology upon reason, Schleiermacher sought to defend religion as a pure sentiment of finite humans interacting with the Infinite. Religions then, are nothing more than various attempts to describe and teach exactly how...more
J Frederick
a poem:

Friedrich Schleiermacher
Courts cultured mockers,
Sends the orthodox reeling
With religion as feeling.
Joseph Sverker
It was very interesting to finally read this extremely influential book. Richard Crouter points out in the foreword that this book might not be useful for what it can contribute to today's discussion about religion, but that it still will give food for thought and be of interest to the reader and I think he is completely correct, at least if one is thinking of the "New Atheist" critique of religion. This is not a rationalistic argument or defence for religion. As is well known Schleiermacher emp...more
Tylor Lovins
This book was very useful to me, from a Wittgensteinian perspective, while I was trying to think about the so-called 'primitive reaction' that enables belief. In this case, Schleiermacher was useful in helping me understand what sort of reaction to life as a whole is embodied in Christian doctrine. This attitude seems to be put most clearly in this book, as Schleiermacher outlines the feeling of complete dependency on the Whole. Schleiermacher is so useful because he is very honest, it seems, wi...more
Had to read speeches 1-4 for Barry Harvey's course on the History of Christianity III (Fall 2013). I read the CCEL version, not this one.

Swing and a miss. Mostly by me, but probably for Schleiermacher too. My philosophy background is weak, so I had trouble categorizing and following all of his thoughts ("maybe that's the problem, trying to systematize everything," I can hear Schleiermacher saying). I'll admit that my lack of appreciation could be mostly due to my delinquency in reading, but Schl...more
This book was published in 1799 at the insistence of his Romantic era friends-none of whom understood how a Christian minister could "get" what they were about. It became a best seller at the time. HIs friends were the "cultured despisers" he was addressing in the five essays, i.e. speeches.

It is surprisingly easy to read given when it was written. If nothing else, just read the first essay. He is regarded as the father of modern Christianity and irrevocably altered the theological landscape of...more
I appreciated learning more about this influential theologian, and to some extent am excited by his notion of humanity not being the ultimate, but a piece of the infinite. His thoughts of religion being neither something one does, nor knows, rather intuits were revolutionary for his time, but I was left a bit puzzled after reading his fourth speech. He takes us from a stance that religion is something formed from within the individual, to a place where we are to give into the leadership of someo...more
Couldn't find the version I have either on goodreads or Amazon. I have the Harper Torchback book. Schleiermacher gave his due diligence to Kant. His views on immanence and the entire Christ-consciousness led to a significant havoc. I respect this theologian, but do not follow in his tradition. He rejected Greek categories and so followed Barth and later, Bultmann. His writing influenced theologians that to this day speak the words that he spoke in the early 19th century. I never attended seminar...more
Benjamin Merritt
I had a hard time focusing on this book (he is very difficult to read and understand), which is why it took me so long to finish. This is an important book in the history of modern theology. Much what Karl Barth says is in reaction to (or conversation with) Schleiermacher (yes I picked this up partly because of this). In Speeches, Schleiermacher says many helpful things, and I found myself appreciating what he was trying to do (basically a soft apologetics), but I would only follow him so far.
Dwight Davis
This is where theology began to go wrong. Too much focus on emotions and intuition. Very little room for the incarnation and resurrection of Christ. It's fascinating to me how much modern evangelicalism has in common with this text while despising the liberal theology that Schleiermacher spearheaded.
Useful in its value to understanding the roots of Protestant liberalism, but Schleiermacher has terrible theology since he applies Enlightenment rules to Christianity. He tries to specify a specific feeling for religion to prove its use, and he ultimately ends up in heterodoxy.
Jul 27, 2010 Rhesa marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Longing for this classic
Jeremy Sabol
"whooey tough going"
Jeremy Sabol
whooey tough going
Rad marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2014
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Aug 20, 2014
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Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher was a German theologian and philosopher known for his impressive attempt to reconcile the criticisms of the Enlightenment with traditional Protestant orthodoxy. He also became influential in the evolution of Higher Criticism. His work also forms part of the foundation of the modern field of hermeneutics. Because of his profound impact on subsequent Christian t...more
More about Friedrich Schleiermacher...
The Christian Faith Hermeneutics and Criticism: And Other Writings Friedrich Schleiermacher (Making of Modern Theology) Christmas Eve: Dialogue on the Incarnation On the Glaubenslehre: Two Letters to Dr. Lucke

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“Belief must be something different from a mixture of opinions about God and the world, and of precepts for one life or for two. Piety cannot be an instinct craving for a mess of metaphysical and ethical crumbs.” 2 likes
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