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Book Reviews : Andrew Shanks, Hegel's Political Theology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991. Pp. xiii + 234

Philosophy of the Social Sciences , Volume 25 (1): 135 – Mar 1, 1995

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Publisher
Sage Publications
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0048-3931
eISSN
0048-3931
D.O.I.
10.1177/004839319502500108
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Book Reviews : Andrew Shanks, Hegel's Political Theology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991. Pp. xiii + 234

Abstract

Book ReviewsAndrew Shanks, Hegel's Political Theology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991. Pp. xiii + 234 SAGE Publications, Inc.1995DOI: 10.1177/004839319502500108 H.S. Harris Glendon College, York University This is a deeply thoughtful essay that seeks to show that Hegel's Christology, properly understood, is politically "progressive"-that is, it is motivated by, and it motivates, a movement of thought and action toward social justice and a participatory democracy that sympathizes with, and aims to improve, the lot of the poor and the oppressed. On the basis of this result, Shanks responds to some of the main criticisms of Hegel's political and religious theory that are found in the tradition, and he seeks to open up a more fruitful dialogue with other essentially progressive (but secular) conceptions of politics than that which exists at the present time. The foundation stone for Shanks's reading of Hegel's interpretation of the Incarnation is his identification of the Unhappy Consciousness with the spirit of kitsch, as portrayed by Milan Kundera in the secular politics of the Communist regime of Czechoslovakia. His book moves in a circle, from Kundera's analysis of political consciousness before the Revolution to Vaclav Havel's analysis of consciousness after it. In this movement, obviously,
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