Literature and Theology vol:21 issue:4 pages:381-416
The following three texts form a triptych in the classic meaning this term has
in late medieval painting. They are independent panels with their own
themes, arguments and disciplinary background (literary theory, philosophy
and theology); and still they ‘live’ from constant reference to and dependance
on one another. They were first presented at the International Society for
Religion, Literature and Culture’s conference ‘Sacred Space’ in Stirling,
Scotland, October 2006, and later reworked thoroughly.
There common focus is a series of new readings of Friedrich
Schleiermacher’s (1768–1834) famous On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured
Despisers (1799). In the first article, Bart Philipsen explores the intellectual
context of this book, especially Schleiermacher’s relation to the Early
Romanticists, and focuses on the hermeneutical, rhetorical and poetical
questions and strategies through which Schleiermacher’s performative concept
of religion is developed. In the second article, Laurens ten Kate treats a key
concept in Schleiermacher’s account of the meaning of religion in modern
culture, that of intuition; he investigates the relation between intuition and
performativity, and analyses the influence of Kant’s philosophy at this point.
In the third article, Erik Borgman studies and evaluates the central notion of
melancholy in Schleiermacher’s views on religion, and, comparing these with
the thought of Rudolf Otto and Edward Schillebeekx, he pleads for a new
understanding of the way Schleiermacher should be called a modern thinker.