This study begins with an examination of Milan Kundera's concept of 'kitsch', which is defined and investigated in his novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The author here describes this concept as 'the cliche which bonds the crowd together - the means by which the thought control of the hierarchy or peer group is dressed up, internalised, and rendered seductive'. Dr Shanks relates kitsch and its dangers to the thought of Hegel, whom he regards as a religious reformer wrestling with the issue at the deepest level. What, he asks, is required to rescue the Christian gospel from its pervasive corruption, which takes the form either of ecclesiastical authoritarianism, or else a privatized, 'atomistic' spirituality? The author shows Hegel's answer to be twofold. It involves, on the one hand, a decisive theological re-evaluation of the secular political realm; and on the other, a philosophical clarification of the inner truth of the Incarnation - a strictly 'inclusive' christology. This book sets out to show the centrality of such a practical concern to Hegel's systematic theoretical enterprise as a whole.
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(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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