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A correction was published on 16 January 2014, see Religions 2014, 5(1), 21.

Religions 2012, 3(4), 1025-1040; doi:10.3390/rel3041025
Article

The Idea of a Highest Divine Principle — Founding Reason and Spirituality. A Necessary Concept of a Comparative Philosophy?

Received: 2 September 2012; in revised form: 26 October 2012 / Accepted: 29 October 2012 / Published: 30 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue European Perspectives on the New Comparative Theology)
Download PDF [430 KB, uploaded 30 October 2012]
Abstract: By reference to the Platonic, Aristotelian, and Neo-Platonic philosophical traditions (and then to German Idealism, including Husserl and Heidegger), I will indicate the way in which the concept of reason—on the one side—depends on the horizon of spirituality (by searching for the ultimate ground within us and the striving for the highest good); and inversely—how far the idea of the divine or our spiritual self may be deepened, understood and transmitted by reference to reason and rationality. But whereas philosophical analysis aims at the universal dimensions of spirituality or the divine (as in Plato's idea of the 'highest good', the Aristotelian 'Absolute substance', the 'Oneness of the One' (Plotinus and the Neo-Platonists) or the Hegelian 'Absolute spirit'),—Comparative Theology may preserve the dimension of spirituality or divinity in its individuality and specifity. Comparative Theology mediates between the universality of the philosophical discourse and the uniqueness of our individual experience (symbolized by a sacred person—such as Jesus, Brahman, Buddha or Mohammed) by reflecting and analyzing our religious experiences and practices. Religion may lose its specificity by comparative conceptual analysis within the field of philosophy, but Comparative Theology may enhance the vital dimensions of the very same spiritual experience by placing them in a comparative perspective.
Keywords: European metaphysics; comparative theology; comparative philosophy; spirituality; reason and rationality; Kant’s theory of religion; Heidegger’s immanent transcendence European metaphysics; comparative theology; comparative philosophy; spirituality; reason and rationality; Kant’s theory of religion; Heidegger’s immanent transcendence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bickmann, C. The Idea of a Highest Divine Principle — Founding Reason and Spirituality. A Necessary Concept of a Comparative Philosophy? Religions 2012, 3, 1025-1040.

AMA Style

Bickmann C. The Idea of a Highest Divine Principle — Founding Reason and Spirituality. A Necessary Concept of a Comparative Philosophy? Religions. 2012; 3(4):1025-1040.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bickmann, Claudia. 2012. "The Idea of a Highest Divine Principle — Founding Reason and Spirituality. A Necessary Concept of a Comparative Philosophy?" Religions 3, no. 4: 1025-1040.


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