Schleiermacher

“Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) tried to win the educated classes back to religion in his Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers. He argued against both German rationalists and orthodox dogmatists, contending that religion is based on intuition and feeling which is more important than and independent of dogmas or rituals, which may or may not be adequate expressions of religious feeling. The highest experience of religion for Schleiermacher is a sensation of union with the infinite. He defined religion as a feeling of absolute dependence which finds its purest expression in monotheism. The variety of forms which the feeling of absolute dependence assumes in different individuals and nations accounts for the diversity of religions, of which Christianity is the highest, but not the only true one” (Frederick Lawrence, Philosophers and Theologians, Boston College).

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