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Hegel and the Art of Negation: Negativity, Creativity and Contemporary Thought

Hegel and the Art of Negation: Negativity, Creativity and Contemporary Thought
Andrew Hass

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Why is the philosopher Hegel returning as a potent force in contemporary thinking? Why, after a long period when Hegel and his dialectics of history have seemed less compelling than they were for previous generations of philosophers, is study of Hegel again becoming important? Fashionably contemporary theorists like Francis Fukuyama and Slavoj Zizek, as well as radical theologians like Thomas Altizer, have all recently been influenced by Hegel, the philosopher whose philosophy seems somehow perennial - or, to borrow an idea from Nietzsche, eternally returning. Exploring this revival via the notion of 'negation' in Hegelian thought, and relating such negativity to sophisticated ideas about art and artistic creation, Andrew Hass argues that the notion of Hegelian negation moves us into an expansive territory where art, religion and philosophy may all be radically reconceived and broken open into new forms of philosophical expression. The implications of such a revived Hegelian philosophy are, the author argues, vast and current.

Hegel thereby becomes the philosopher par excellence who can address vital issues in politics, economics, war and violence, leading to a new form of globalised ethics. Hass makes a bold and original contribution to religion, philosophy and the history of ideas.

Author Info

Andrew Hass is Lecturer in Religion at the University of Stirling and Executive Editor of the journal Literature and Theology. He is the author and editor of The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology (2007, co-edited with David Jasper and Elisabeth Jay), Poetics of Critique: The Interdisciplinarity of Textuality (2003) and The Bible as Literature: A Reader (1999, co-edited with David Jasper and Stephen


'Andrew Hass' Hegel and the Art of Negation is a comprehensive and magisterial rethinking of Hegel, not only calling forth a truly contemporary Hegel, but a new Hegel: a Hegel at the very center of thinking as such, and of all thinking, or all truly critical and universal thinking.'
Thomas J J Altizer, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, The State University of New York, Stony Brook

'Here is a truly artistic homage to the artistry at the heart of Hegel's thought: the sheer restless negativity that forever differentiates Hegel from 'Hegelianism', or perhaps Hegelianism from other '-isms'. In this enjoyable text Hegel returns  negating the negation he must, of course, also undergo  as freshly thought-provoking and challenging as ever.'
Andrew Shanks, Canon Theologian, Manchester Cathedral, author of Hegel's Political Theology and of Hegel and Religious Faith

'This is an engaging and provocative exploration of the Hegelian art of negation. It offers us an attentive and insightful reading of the Hegel of negation, as well as of the negation of Hegel by many significant contemporary thinkers. It represents a fertile return to Hegel, a return of Hegel, and illuminates the central significance of the triad art/religion/philosophy. Its fresh consideration of the importance of this triad is especially worthy of commendation. Andrew Hass is well informed about Hegel himself as well as the latter's commentators and critics. Throughout one finds touches of rhetorical playfulness that serve to intrigue the reader. The book is important for trying to bring Hegel's view of art into proper communication with the full dimensions of Hegel's overall philosophical venture.'
William Desmond, Professor of Philosophy, Katholieke Universteit Leuven and David R Cook Visiting Professor of Philosophy, Villanova University, author of Hegel's God

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781780765587
Publication Date: 05 Dec 2013
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 234
Width: 156

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