I am honored and delighted to have the support of the Martin Marty Center for my continuing dissertation writing and research. There are few better ways to clarify one’s scholarly aims and methodological commitments than by exposure to a wide array of disciplinary perspectives, and the Marty Center Fellowship Seminar is well-known for offering just that to young scholars.
During my time as a Marty Center Fellow, my primary aim is to complete a draft of my dissertation, which focuses on the question of sacrifice in GWF Hegel’s early philosophy of religion. I am particularly interested in how often overlooked discussions of sacrifice inform Hegel’s understanding of the relationship between religious imagination and philosophical rationality, particularity and universality. Hegel is widely recognized as adapting Kantian attempts at “schematizing” or “analogizing” seemingly irreducible, but also mutually supporting, normative commitments in order to resolve these into a higher, more comprehensive systematic unity. What other Hegel scholars have failed to notice is that Hegel’s earliest writings first gesture toward this problematic in terms of questions Hegel poses with respect to the nature of sacrifice and its possible place within a religion capable of assuaging the divisions characteristic of modernity. I hope that my dissertation will be able to address this lacuna in the literature, and in so doing articulate a new interpretative touchstone for understanding the often obscure relationships between Hegel’s notoriously fragmentary and experimental early writings.