Kant on Religious Feelings - An Extrapolation

European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (3):85--99 (2014)
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The religious feeling considered in this paper is the feeling of awe that can be construed in the extrapolation of the feeling of respect for the law. The latter itself can be better understood in analogy to the feeling of the sublime. Hence the thesis of my interpretation and extrapolation is: a characterization of the religious feeling in Kant’s critiques of reason and their analyses of feelings is possible. It has to be understood in analogy to the feeling of respect for the law and thus to the feeling of the sublime. The religious feeling would, as certain formulations suggest, refer to awe of the inconceivable size of God. The religious feeling of awe would also be a feeling caused by reason -- an instance of a judgement-based feeling. The respective judgement is a reflexive judgement, an achievement of the reflecting faculty of judgement. The religious feeling would resemble Schleiermacher’s ”plain feeling of dependence’, but given the analogy with the dialectics of the sublime, it would also include the complementary component of self-elevation.

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Birgit Recki
Universität Hamburg


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