Postmodernism and religion. The discussion continues to become increasingly rich and complex. In the background of much of it is Heidegger's critique of onto-theology, in which Hegel is one of his two prime paradigms. He introduced this term in 1949 in relation to Aristotle's completion of his ontology with a theology of the Unmoved Mover. When he returned to it in 1957, it was in the context of a seminar on Hegel's Science of Logic. There he described onto-theology as allowing God to enter philosophical discourse only on philosophy's terms and in the service of its project and complained, in the spirit of Pascal and Kierkegaard, that this God was religiously otiose. What he says there specifically about Hegel will best be understood after we see in what sense Hegel is a pantheist.
It is possible to date quite precisely the time when Hegel abandoned theism for good. Ironically, it was in 1795 in correspondence with his two friends from seminary days at Tübingen. Schelling and Hölderlin had become Fichte enthusiasts, as we see from letters they sent to Hegel early that year. On the basis of prepublication access to Fichte's 1794 Wissenschaftslehre, Schelling wrote on January 5,
Philosophy is not yet at an end. Kant has provided the results. The premises are still missing. And who can understand the results without the premises? … Kant has swept everything away, but how is the crowd to notice? One must smash it to pieces before their very eyes, so they grasp it in their hands. The great Kantians now everywhere to be seen have got stuck on the letter … [;] the old superstition of so-called natural religion as well as of positive religion has in the minds of most already once more been combined with the Kantian letter. It is fun to see how quickly they get to the moral proof. Before you can turn around the deus ex machina springs forth, the personal individual Being who sits in Heaven above! Fichte will raise philosophy to a height at which even most of the hitherto Kantians will become giddy … . Now I am working on an ethic á la Spinoza (HL 29).