Lessings Spinozism

1. Kant's influence was comparatively limited even after the publication of the Critique of Pure Reason. Only after Karl Leonhard Reinhold published his Briefe über die kantische Philosophie in the autumn of 1786 and explained the significance of Kant's philosophy to a wider circle of readers did the situation radically change. It was from that time that Kant's philosophy became famous.

2. Hermann Timm, Gott und die Freiheit: Studien zur Religionsphilosophie der Goethezeit, vol. 1, Die Spinozarenaissance (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1974), 6.

3. For an account of the reception of Spinoza's philosophy in Germany, see David Bell, Spinoza in Germany from 1670 to the Age of Goethe (Leeds: University of London, 1984). This book provides a good survey of how Spinoza was received in Germany from the late seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century. Bell acknowledges the importance of the pantheism controversy for the Spinoza renaissance, but asserts that both Mendelssohn and Jacobi held biased views of Spinoza and that consequently the controversy did little to deepen true understanding of Spinoza (ix, 71, 75-76, 84-85).

4. Die Hauptschriften zum Pantheismusstreit zwischen Jacobi und Mendelssohn (hereafter cited as Hauptschriften), edited by Heinrich Scholz (Berlin: Verlag von Reuther & Reichard, 1916), 88; WW 4/1-2, 68.

5. Hegel, for example, speaks of Spinoza as follows: "Spinoza is the key point of modern philosophy: either Spinozism or no philosophy." G. W. F. Hegel, Werke in 20 Bänden, vol. 20, Vorlesungen über die Geschichte der Philosophie 3 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1983), 163-64. Schleiermacher also offers a tribute of praise: "Offer with me reverently a tribute to the manes of the holy, rejected Spinoza. The high World-Spirit pervaded him; the Infinite was his beginning and his end; the Universe was his only and his everlasting love. In holy innocence and in deep humility he beheld himself mirrored in the eternal world, and perceived how he also was its most worthy mirror. He was full of religion, full of the Holy Spirit." Friedrich Schleiermacher, On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers, translated by John Oman (New York: Harper & Row, 1958), 40.

6. Frederick C. Beiser, The Fate of Reason: German Philosophy from Kant to Fichte (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Harvard University Press, 1987), 44. This book of Beiser's, in chapter 2, contains a superb description and analysis of "Jacobi and the Pantheism Controversy." It is particularly instructive for understanding "its underlying philosophical dimension" (48).

8. Gérard Vallée, "Introduction," in The Spinoza Conversations between Lessing and Jacobi: Text with Excerpts from the Ensuing Controversy (hereafter referred to as The Spinoza Conversations) translated by G. Vallée, J. B. Lawson, and C. G. Chapple (Lanham, New York and London: University Press of America, 1988), 2. This book, incidentally, is a partial translation of the Hauptschriften.

9. All the important documents relating to this controversy, including valuable testimonies by contemporaries, are now collected in the Hauptschriften. In what follows, all English translations cited from this book are borrowed, wherever available, from The Spinoza Conversations.

10. Beiser, The Fate of Reason, 47. According to Beiser's perceptive and incisive analysis, "the biographical issue of Lessing's Spinozism" is "an outer shell," "the exegetical question of the proper interpretation of Spinoza" is "an inner layer," and "the problem of the authority of reason" is "a hidden inner core" of the pantheism controversy (47).

11. Heinrich Scholz, "Einleitung," in Hauptschriften, xi (emphases omitted).

12. For the whole story of the pantheism controversy, see the thoroughgoing analysis in Hermann Timm's significant work, Gott und die Freiheit: Studien zur Religions-philosophie der Goethezeit,, vol. 1, Die Spinozarenaissance. On the Spinoza controversy between Mendelssohn and Jacobi, see Kurt Christ, Jacobi und Mendelssohn: Eine Analyse des Spinozastreits (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1988).

13. Vallée, "Introduction," The Spinoza Conversations, 2.

14. G. E. Lessing, Theologischer Nachlaß, edited by K. G. Lessing (Berlin: C. F. Voß und Sohn, 1784); Theatralischer Nachlaß, edited by K. G. Lessing (Berlin: C. F. Voß und Sohn, 1784-86); Gotthold Ephraim Lessings Leben, nebst seinem noch übrigen literarischen Nachlasse (Berlin: Vossische Buchhandlung, 1793-95). Regrettably, however, none of these works were available for my use.

15. Beiser, The Fate of Reason, 73.

16. Hauptschriften, 298; JubA 3, 2: 190-91; The Spinoza Conversations, 132.

17. Moses Mendelssohn's letter of 20 February 1781 to Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, in JubA 13: 5; cf. his letter of 18 May 1781 to J. G. Herder, in JubA 13: 18-19.

18. Heinrich Friedrich Jacobi's letter to Elise Reimarus of 21 July 1783, quoted in Hauptschriften, 67; The Spinoza Conversations, 79 n.

19. Bell's Spinoza in Germany from 1670 to the Age of Goethe provides a trustworthy overview of how Spinoza had been treated up to that time. In addition, the following statement by Philolaus in Herder's God: Some conversations well illustrates how ordinary people regarded Spinoza and his philosophy in the 1770s and 1780s:

No, I have not read him [i.e., Spinoza]. And who would want to read every obscure book a madman might write? But I have heard from many who have read him, that he was an atheist and pantheist, a teacher of blind necessity, an enemy of revelation, a mocker of religion, and withal, a destroyer of the state and of all civil society. In short, he was an enemy of the human race, and as such he died. He therefore deserves the hatred and aversion of all friends of humanity and of true philosophers.

Johann Gottfried Herder, Werke, vol. 2 [of 3], Herder und Anthropologie der Aufklärung, edited by Wolfgang Pross (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1987), 737. The English translation is borrowed from Johann Gottfried Herder, God: Some Conversations, translated by Frederick H. Burkhardt (New York: Hafner Publishing Company, 1949), 76.

20. Letter of 4 August 1783 from Elise Reimarus to Moses Mendelssohn, in JubA 13: 120-23.

21. Hauptschriften, 293; JubA 3, 2: 186; The Spinoza Conversations, 128.

22. Letter of 16 August 1783 from Moses Mendelssohn to Elise Reimarus, in JubA 13: 123-25; cf. Hauptschriften, 103-104; The Spinoza Conversations, 103-104.

23. Hauptschriften, 70. Until his death Mendelssohn never ruled out the possibility that Lessing's alleged "Spinozistic confession" had been a joke (Schäkerey). See Hauptschriften, 118, 304; JubA 3, 2: 195, 205.

24. Hauptschriften, 72-105; JubA 13: 135-53.

25. Hauptschriften, 296; JubA 3, 2: 189; The Spinoza Conversations, 131.

26. Hauptschriften, 297; JubA 3, 2: 190; The Spinoza Conversations, 131.

27. Hauptschriften, 105; JubA 13: 157; The Spinoza Conversations, 105.

28. Hauptschriften, 301, 298; JubA 3, 2: 193, 191; The Spinoza Conversations, 134, 132.

29. As will be shown in the third section of this chapter, Jacobi and Spinozism, there are convincing reasons for believing that Jacobi made use of Lessing to damage Mendelssohn and thus to discredit the reputation of the Berlin Aufklärer he represented. This circle of Enlightenment adherents consisted of Engel, Nicolai, Eberhard, Spalding, Zöllner, Biester, and others. See Beiser, TheFate of Reason, 75-77; Bell, Spinoza in Germany, 84-85; Vallée, "Introduction," The Spinoza Conversations, 3 n. 6.

30. Beiser, The Fate of Reason, 62. Some scholars are of the opinion that Jacobi had not only laid a trap for Mendelssohn but had also set a similar trap for Lessing himself. See, e.g., Erwin Quapp, Lessings Theologie statt Jacobis Spinozismus (Bern: Peter Lang, 1992), 12.

31. The conversations between Lessing and Jacobi are recorded in Hauptschriften, 76-91; WW4/1-2, 53-79; JubA 13: 137-47.

32. Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Werke (Hamburg edition in 14 vols.), edited by Erich Trunz, vol. 1, Gedichte und Epen 1 (Munich: Verlag C. H. Beck, 1993), 44-46. The English translation, by Michael Hamburger, is borrowed from Goethe's Collected Works, vol. 1, Selected Poems, edited by Christopher Middleton (Boston: Suhrkamp/ Insel, 1983), 27, 29, 31.

33. Hauptschriften, 76-77; The Spinoza Conversations, 85-86. With regard to the Hauptschriften, it should be noted that a bracketed remark beginning with an equal sign [=...] represents an explanation inserted by the Hauptschriften editor, Heinrich Scholz.

34. Hauptschriften, 77-79; The Spinoza Conversations, 86-87.

35. Hauptschriften, 80-81; The Spinoza Conversations, 88-89.

36. Hauptschriften, 83; The Spinoza Conversations, 90.

37. Hauptschriften, 88; The Spinoza Conversations, 93.

38. Hauptschriften, 88; The Spinoza Conversations, 94.

39. Hauptschriften, 88; The Spinoza Conversations, 94.

40. Hauptschriften, 89-90; The Spinoza Conversations, 94-95.

41. Hauptschriften, 90; The Spinoza Conversations, 95-96.

42. Hauptschriften, 91; The Spinoza Conversations, 96.

43. Hauptschriften, lx-lxii. According to Scholz, it was on Thursday, 6 July 1780, that Lessing confessed to his "Spinozism" (lxi).

44. Beiser, The Fate of Reason, 75.

49. Quapp, for example, takes Jacobi's ostensibly innocent surprise on hearing that Lessing was a Spinozist as a manifestation of the "trap" he had set for him. See Quapp, Lessings Theologie statt Jacobis Spinozismus, 12.

50. Beiser, The Fate of Reason, 77.

51. Vallée, "Introduction," The Spinoza Conversations, 33.

52. Hauptschriften, 138; WW 4/1-2, 165; The Spinoza Conversations, 117.

53. Hauptschriften, 88; WW 4/1-2, 69; The Spinoza Conversations, 93.

54. Scholz, "Einleitung," Hauptschriften, xix; cf. The Spinoza Conversations, 28. Jacobi's six basic theses on Spinozism, incidentally, are the following:

1. Spinozism is atheism.

2. Cabbalistic philosophy,, as philosophy, is but an undeveloped Spinozism, or a version thereof, confused anew.

3. The Leibrliz-Wolffian philosophy is not less fatalistic than the Spinozist philosophy and inevitably leads the persistent scholar back to its principles.

4. All ways of demonstration end in fatalism.

5. We can demonstrate only similarities (agreements, conditionally necessary truths, progressing in identical statements). Every proof presupposes something already proven, the first principle of which is revelation.

6. The prime element of all human knowledge and action is faith.

Hauptschriften, 173-80; WW 4/1-2, 216-33; The Spinoza Conversations, 123.

55. Hauptschriften, 89; WW 4/1-2, 70; The Spinoza Conversations, 94.

56. Jacobi: "But my credo is not to be found in Spinoza. I believe in an intelligent personal first cause of the world." Hauptschriften, 80; WW 4/1-2, 58-59; The Spinoza Conversations, 88.

57. Scholz, "Einleitung," Hauptschriften, xix.

59. With regard to Jacobi's philosophy, Klaus Hammacher's Die Philosophie Friedrich Heinrich Jacobis (Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1969) is a good overall study. Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi: Philosoph und Literat der Goethezeit (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1971), edited by Klaus Hammacher, is the report of an international conference held in Düsseldorf in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of his death; it too is useful for understanding Jacobi, both as a person and in terms of the nature of his work. As for Jacobi's relationship to modern Protestant thought, a book by Brian A. Gerrish, Continuing the Reformation: Essays on Modern Religious Thought (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), contains an excellent analysis of "Faith and Existence in Jacobi's Philosophy" (79-108). With regard to the problem of his understanding of Spinozism, see Alexander Altmann, "Lessing und Jacobi: Das Gespräch über den Spinozismus," in LYB 3 (1971): 25-70, especially 28-40.

60. Altmann, "Lessing und Jacobi," 27.

61. Bell, Spinoza in Germany, 84-85.

62. Hauptschriften, 293; The Spinoza Conversations, 129.

63. Mendelssohn coped with the issue of Jacobi's charge against Lessing while pre-supposing the authenticity of Jacobi's report in principle. Many Lessing scholars, including Heinrich Scholz, likewise consider Jacobi's account to be trustworthy overall. Cf. Scholz, "Einleitung," Hauptschriften, lxiii; Vallée, "Introduction," The Spinoza Conversations, 18.

Today, however, some scholars raise serious objections to this point. For example, Alexander Altmann emphasizes that interpretation of the philosophical conversations between Lessing and Jacobi requires scrupulous care because Jacobi's account is "a mesh of various things not easy to disentangle." Cf. Altmann, "Lessing und Jacobi," LYB 3 (1971): 27; see also Quapp, Lessings Theologie statt Jacobis Spinozismus, 17-18, 235-39.

64. JubA 3, 2: 104-37. Mendelssohn's strategy was clever, but in reality, it back-fired. Jacobi, driven by his suspicion that Mendelssohn might misuse the information he had confided to him sub rosa about Lessing's "Spinozistic" confession, resorted to publishing the content of his conversations with Lessing so as to avoid having his thunder stolen by the Jewish philosopher. To make matters worse, Jacobi even put into print private letters from Elise Reimarus and Mendelssohn without their permission.

66. The title of chapter 14 of Morning Hours (in German) is "Continued Dispute with the Pantheists: Approximation to, and the Point of Unification with Them—the Harmlessness of Refined Pantheism—Compatibility with Religion and Morality insofar as they are Practical."

Mendelssohn uses, incidentally, two different terms for refined pantheism: der geläuterte Pantheismus and der verfeinerte Pantheismus. From my perspective, however, there is no difference in meaning. He also speaks of "refined Spinozism" (dergeläuterte Spinozismus). See Hauptschriften, 15, 28, 29, 30, 43, 295; JubA 3, 2: 114, 123, 125, 133, 136, 188.

67. On this point we are in agreement with Vallée when he says, "The concept of 'refined pantheism' remains artificial throughout and betrays an intention of exculpating Lessing from the charge of atheism. The concept would have received clearer contours had Mendelssohn been able to make it overlap with the less defensive concept of panentheism to express the immanence of the world in God" (The Spinoza Conversations, 36).

68. Hauptschriften, 43; JubA 3, 2: 136; The Spinoza Conversations, 77.

69. Hauptschriften, 39; JubA 3, 2: 133; The Spinoza Conversations, 73.

70. For details of the circumstances in which doubts engendered doubts on both sides, see Beiser, The Fate of Reason, 68-75.

71. A reviewer of Mendelssohn's posthumous work wrote that Mendelssohn "became a victim of his friendship with Lessing and died as a martyr defending the suppressed prerogatives of reason against fanaticism and superstition. —Lavater's importunity dealt his life the first blow. Jacobi completed the work." Quoted in Alexander Altmann, Moses Mendelssohn: A Biographical Study (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973), 745.

72. Hauptschriften, 302; JubA 3, 2: 194; The Spinoza Conversations, 135.

73. Hauptschriften, 303; JubA 3, 2: 194; The Spinoza Conversations, 135.

74. Hauptschriften, 310; JubA 3, 2: 207; The Spinoza Conversations, 140.

75. Hauptschriften, 118; cf. Hauptschriften, 304; JubA 3, 2: 195.

76. As is well known, this question, whether Lessing's "confession" of Spinozism was perhaps a joke that he was playing on Jacobi, having seen through him, has one of its sources in LM 18, 166 (Letter to Karl Lessing of 16 March 1778); B 12, 131 (no. 1351). Though many scholars, including Friedrich Loofs and Helmut Thielicke, have attempted to solve this problem, as yet no satisfactory answer has been attained. See Loofs, Lessings Stellung zum Christentum (Halle: Waisenhauser, 1910) and Thielicke, Offenbarung, Vernunft und Existenz: Studien zur Religionsphilosophie Lessings, 4th ed. (Gütersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1957).

77. Scholz, "Einleitung," Hauptschriften, lxix.

78. The book resulting from the international conference held on the 150th anniversary of Jacobi's death bears the subtitle Philosoph und Lterat der Goethezeit. See Hammacher, ed., Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi.

79. Scholz, "Einleitung," Hauptschriften, lix; cf. 97, 293 passim.

80. According to Goethe scholars, this poem was presumably composed in the autumn of 1773 in connection with the drama "Prometheus," the plot of which Goethe was working on at that time. At first Goethe held back from publishing the poem, but it caught the attention of Jacobi, who happened to visit him. Borrowing the unpublished manuscript, Jacobi showed it to Lessing without Goethe's permission. When the dispute with Mendelssohn flared up over Lessing's "Spinozistic" confession,

Jacobi published Goethe's poem as one of the appendices to his Concerning the Doctrine of Spinoza in Letters to Moses Mendelssohn (1785)—again without the author's permission. It was only in 1789 that Goethe himself published the poem.

81. Vallée is of the same opinion. He says, "Lessing did not have Spinoza in mind when he read Goethe's poem, but rather the point of view of the ancient tragedy of Aeschylus." Vallée, "Introduction," The Spinoza Conversations., 23.

82. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Werke (Hamburg edition in 14 vols.), edited by Erich Trunz, vol. 10, Autobiographische Schriften 2 (Munich: Verlag C. H. Beck, 1993-94), 48-49. The English translation, by Robert R. Heitner, appears in Goethe, Goethe's Collected Works, vol. 4, From My Life: Poetry and Truth, parts 1 to 3, edited by Thomas P. Saine and Jeffrey L. Sammons (New York: Suhrkamp, 1987), 469-70.

83. Cf. Erich Trunz, "Anmerkungen," in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Werke, vol. 1, Gedichte und Epen 1, 484-85.

84. Goethe, Werke, vol. 10, Autobiographische Schriften 2, 47-48; Goethe, Goethe's Collected Works, vol. 4, From My Life: Poetry and Truth, 468-69.

85. Goethe, Werke, vol. 10, Autobiographische Schriften 2, 49; Goethe, Goethe's Collected Works, vol.4, From My Life: Poetry and Truth, 470.

86. H. A. Korff, Geist der Goethezeit: Versuch einer ideellen Entwicklung der klassisch-romantischen Literaturgeschichte, 2d ed., part 1 (Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang, 1955), 273.

88. Ibid.; cf. Goethe, Werke, vol. 10, Autobiographische Schriften 2, 177.

89. See Korff, Geist der Goethezeit, 274-78.

90. Wilhelm Windelband, Die Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, vol. 1 [of 2] (Leipzig: Breitkopf and Härtel, 1878; reprint, Karben: Verlag Petra Wald, 1996), 525.

91. Herder is perhaps right when he speaks of Lessing through the mouth of Philolaus: "He was not made to be an 'ist,' whatever letters may be prefixed to that ending." Herder, Werke, vol. 2, 791; God: Some Conversations, 135. Arendt too emphasizes Lessing's "Selbstdenken—independent thinking." Hannah Arendt, Men in Dark Times (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968), 8-11.

92. Hauptschriften, 78; WW 4/1-2, 56. It is characteristic of Lessing to use the term "spirit" when inquiring about the essence of things. He speaks, for example, of the "spirit of the Bible" (Geist der Bibel) (LM 12, 115; G 8, 136), of the "spirit of Christianity" (Geist des Christentums) (LM 13, 164; G 8, 227), of "Luther's spirit" (Luthers Geist) (LM 13, 143; G8, 162), of Reimarus's "spirit" (LM 12, 255; G 7, 314), etc.

93. Hauptschriften, 80. These words of Lessing can be found only in the first edition (1785) and the second (1789). For some reason they have been deleted in the third and final edition (1819).

94. Hauptschriften, 92-93; WW4/1-2, 75-76; The Spinoza Conversations, 97 [italics removed]. Jacobi's full statement is: "When Lessing wanted to imagine a personal divinity, he thought of it as the soul of the universe, and he thought of the Whole as being analogous to an organic body."

95. Reinhard Schwarz, "Lessings 'Spinozismus'," Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 65 (1968): 271-90, esp. 274ff.

96. See Hauptschriften, 83-84; WW 4/1-2, 63; The Spinoza Conversations, 90.

98. See Hauptschriften, 83; WW 4/1-2, 62; The Spinoza Conversations, 90.

99. See note 83 above.

100. Hauptschriften, 102; WW 4/1-2, 90; The Spinoza Conversations, 103.

101. Siegfried Wollgast, Der deutsche Pantheismus im 16. Jahrhundert: Sebastian Franck und seine Wirkungen auf die Entwicklung derpantheistischen Philosophie in Deutschland (Berlin: VEB Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1972), 158.

102. Harald Schultze, Lessings Toleranzbegriff: Eine theologische Studie (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1969), 111. Schultze's definition of spiritualism is not improper, to be sure. (Cf. "Spiritualisten, religiöse," RGG, 3d ed., vol. 6, cols. 255-57). But it should also be observed, as George H. Williams indicates, that spiritualism in general can further be divided into three prominent types: "revolutionary spiritualists" (such as the Schwärmer Luther castigated, and Thomas Münzer), "evangelical spiritualists" (such as Caspar Schwenckfeld and Gabriel Ascherham), and "rational spiritualists" (such as Paracelsus, Valentin Weigel, and Sebastian Franck). See George H. Williams, "Introduction," in Spiritual and Anabaptist Writers, edited by G. H. Williams and A. M. Mergal (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1957), esp. 31-35.

103. According to Schultze, it was his teacher at Jena, Gerhard Glege, who first suggested to him "the productive working hypothesis that Lessing may well be understood from the heritage of spiritualism." Schultze, Lessings Toleranzbegriff, 7.

104. Wolfgang Gericke, "Lessings theologische Gesamtauffassung," in Sechs theologische Schriften Gotthold Ephraim Lessings, introduced and annotated by Wolfgang Gericke (Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1985), 14-35.

105. See Gericke, "Lessings theologische Gesamtauffassung," 14-15.

106. Gericke, "Lessings theologische Gesamtauffassung," 34. In a subsequent book, Gericke no longer describes the conviction of God's omnipresence and omnipotence in the world as Boehme's, but clearly presents it as Lessing's own conviction. Cf. Wolfgang Gericke, Theologie und Kirche im Zeitalter der Aufklärung, Kirchengeschichte in Einzeldarstellungen, vol. 3/2 (Berlin: Evangelische Verlags-anstalt, 1989), 126.

107. Wilhelm Dilthey, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 2, Weltanschauung und Analyse des Menschen seit Renaissance und Reformation, 5th ed. (Stuttgart: B. G. Teubner Verlagsgesellschaft, 1957), 89.

108. LM 14, 292; G 8, 515 (Über die Wirklichkeit der Dinge).

109. Dilthey, Das Erlebnis und die Dichtung: Lessing-Goethe-NovalisHölderlin, 16th ed. (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1985), 116.

110. Johannes Schneider, Lessings Stellung zur Theologie: Vor der Herausgabe der Wolfenbüttler Fragmente (The Hague: Uitgeverij Excelsior, 1953), 147.

111. U. Dierse and W. Schröder, "Panentheismus," in Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, vol. 7, col. 48 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1989). According to this article, the term Panentheismus was coined by Karl Christian Friedrich Krause in 1825 in order to correct the fundamental errors of Pantheismus. The primary object of this term is to maintain simultaneously both "the immanence of the world in God" and "the transcendence of God over the world."

112. Erich Schmidt, Lessing: Geschichte seines Lebens und seiner Schriften, 4th ed., vol. 2 [of 2] (Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1923; reprint, Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 1983), 560.

113. Cf. Johann Gottfried Herder, Briefe, edited by Wilhelm Dobbek and Günter Arnold, vol. 4, Oktober 1776—August 1783 (Weimar: Hermann Bohlaus Nachfolger, 1986), 274-75.

114. Johann Gottfried Herder, Briefe, edited by Wilhelm Dobbek and Günter Arnold, vol. 5, September 1783—August 1788 (Weimar: Hermann Bohlaus Nachfolger, 1986), 27. In this letter the words "ZV K[ai] nav" appear without accents.

117. Alexander Altmann, "Lessing und Jacobi: Das Gespräch über den Spinozismus," LYB 3, 25—70.

119. Hauptschriften, 92; WW4/1-2, 74; The Spinoza Conversations, 96. The doctrine of "zimzum" that goes back to Isaak Luria is no doubt latent in and underlies Lessing's words. According to this doctrine, God, before creating the world, had been contracted into himself, had retreated into himself. For a detailed account of zimzum teaching, see chapter 7 of Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, 6th ed. (New York: Schocken Publishing, 1972). Akira Kogishi's Risan suru Yudayajin (Jews in dispersal) (Tokyo: Iwanami, 1997) is a thrilling and instructive essay on modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history written from the viewpoint of the doctrine of zimzum.

120. Hauptschriften, 95; WW 4/1-2, 79; The Spinoza Conversations, 98.

121. Charles Hartshorne, for example, raises five questions: (1) Is God eternal? (2) Is he temporal? (3) Is he conscious? (4) Does he know the world? (5) Does he include the world? Affirmative answers to the questions he signifies by the following letters: E (Eternal—in some [or if T is omitted, in all] aspects of his reality devoid of change, whether as birth, death, increase, or decrease), T (Temporal—in some [or if E is omitted, in all] aspects capable of change, at least in the form of increase of some kind), C (Conscious, self-aware), K (Knowing the world or universe, omniscient), and W (World-inclusive, having all things as constituents). He then defines "panentheism" (or to use yet another of his terms, "surrelativism") as a position that asserts all five factors together: ETCKW. According to Hartshorne, Plato, Sri Jiva, Schelling, Fechner, Whitehead, Iqbal, Radhakrishnan, and others represent this position. See Charles Hartshorne and William L. Reese, Philosophers Speak of God (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1953), 16-17.

But the fact that such a great variety of thinkers of different religious backgrounds are jumbled together into a single pot suggests that his term "panentheism" is merely a general, all-inclusive concept. Further differentiation must therefore be made among the thinkers so categorized. Otherwise, our argument on panentheism would lack clarity and precision.

122. Strictly speaking, Lessing's formula £V ¿YW Ka i näVTa is itself insufficient from the Christian point of view For to be sufficiently Christian, the counterpart of TTCIVTCI is not the neutral form £V but the masculine form el^.

With regard to this point, I have learned much from the personal instruction of Professor Wataru Mizugaki. In any event, Lessing's £V ¿YW Ka - näVTasuggests both an interesting connection and an interesting difference between him and Christian thought. To attain greater clarity about this issue, however, calls for a much deeper study of the intellectual-historical background of Lessing's ¿YW and its religious-philosophical implications.

123. Timm, GottunddieFreiheit, 15.

124. Arno Schilson, "Lessing und die Aufklärung,"Theologie und Philosophie 54(1979):400,401.

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