Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-2pzkn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-22T21:58:31.287Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

2 - The Transcendent Sovereign and the Political Theology of Restoration

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 January 2010

Warren Breckman
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania
Get access

Summary

In 1843, Marx remarked to Feuerbach that “Schelling's philosophy is Prussian policy sub specie philosophiae.” Marx was referring directly to Schelling's complicity with the reactionary regime of Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who had summoned him from retirement in 1841 to take Hegel's chair in philosophy at Berlin with the express command to “slay the dragon-seed of Hegelian pantheism.” In a deeper sense, however, Marx was pointing to the profound philosophical affinities between Schelling's Positive Philosophy and Prussian political theology. As both Marx and Feuerbach knew, Schelling's assertion of the theistic idea of personality was directly linked to homologous themes in Restoration political thought. At the core of both the theological and political discourses of personality was an intense concern with the nature and conditions of indivisible unitary will – in short, with the nature of sovereignty. Schelling's philosophy of revelation, for all its metaphysical pathos, arrived at the orthodox conclusion that history reveals the absolute sovereignty of God. Similarly, the divinely ordained legitimacy of personal authority was the leading theme of conservative political thinkers in the era of Restoration after Napoleon's defeat. The Restoration's preoccupation with the transcendent source of personal sovereignty made a clash between conservative political thinkers and Hegel inevitable.

Secularization and Political Discourse

The ideological association of the personal God with the personal sovereign was anything but new at the dawn of the nineteenth century. The analogy between God and monarch had been central to the sacral idea of kingship in medieval political thought, and early modern theories of sovereignty carried this association forward.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1998

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×