Hegel designates the Egyptian religion “the religion of mystery”. This designation involves a hiddenness, which is the opposite of revealedness, i.e., revelation. Similarly, he frequently refers to this religion as a “riddle” or an “enigma” (Rätsel). According to his interpretation, one feature of the Egyptian religion is dualism between the inner and the outer, i.e., an inward hidden sphere, and an outward revealed one. This article explores this characterization and the meaning behind it. What elements of the Egyptian religion did Hegel consider mysterious or enigmatic and what role did this play in his placement of this religion as a transitional one between the religions of nature and those of spirit?
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
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