The Shadow of God: Kant, Hegel, and the Passage from Heaven to History

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2022.10.01 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Michael Rosen, The Shadow of God: Kant, Hegel, and the Passage from Heaven to History, Harvard University Press, 2022, 406pp., $35.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780674244610.

Reviewed by Fabian Freyenhagen, University of Essex

This book is, and delights with, a fireworks display of erudition. Michael Rosen weaves together lessons from (1) Frederick the Great’s poetry (written in French); to (2) an important but forgotten debate between Diderot and Falconet; to (3) Maria von Herbert’s letter to Kant (and how this was taken up, first flippantly by Walter Benjamin and then, more seriously by Rae Langton)—to name just three examples. He helps readers get orientated within contemporary debates in Hegel scholarship, and intervenes in a number of interpretative and philosophical debates. There is poetry and rigorous argument construction. There is sensitivity to the finer subtleties of the German language (a pertinent example is 122–3) and clarity of English prose.

Readers might find themselves dazzled by…

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