Hegels Metaphysics of Incarnation and Its Criticism

Ivan Landa

The paper deals with Hegel’s metaphysics of God incarnate. Although it has a firm soteriological grounding, as the aim of incarnation is believed to be salvation, Hegel also slightly modifies this framework, assuming more strictly that there is no salvation without incarnation. At the same time he considers knowledge to be a key element which mediates between incarnation and salvation. Accordingly, Hegel’s main interest lies in detecting epistemic conditions – both necessary and sufficient – that make the unity of God and human epistemically accessible for us, and follows up with some metaphysical conclusions concerning the nature of incarnation itself. The paper analyses and discusses these conclusions, especially focusing on unique character of incarnation. The attention is further paid to objections raised by David F. Strauss’s Das Leben Jesu, arguing against uniqueness of God incarnate. Finally, these objections are re-examined within a context of both Hegel’s incarnational metaphysics and his philosophy of history.