Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

Transcendence and Knowability of the Unsublatable: Van Til and Hegel on the Concrete Universal

Author:Shao kai TSENG, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Zhejiang University



In an age dominated by modern rationalism, Immanuel Kant’s critique of immediacy transformed traditional Christian understandings of divine transcendence and incomprehensibility into a doctrine of unknowability. In order to ascertain God’s knowability, Hegel sought to establish a process of mediation between transcendence and immanence by reconceptualizing the Christian doctrine of the Trinity in terms of an evolutionary science of logic. Hegel’s historical and logical Trinity, however, posits an ultimate identity between God’s mind and human consciousness, rendering the absolute as the intrinsic essence of humanity, an essence that is still in the process of becoming. This article probes into how Cornelius Van Til recalibrates Hegel’s notions of the “concrete universal” and “worldview” by incorporating them into an ontological system of classical Trinitarian orthodoxy, offering a rejoinder to Hegel by reasserting the classical Reformed understanding of God’s transcendence and immanence, incomprehensibility and knowability, within a distinctively modern philosophical context.



Cornelius Van Til, G. W. Hegel, transcendence, concrete universal, worldview


Full Text (International Version):

Shao kai TSENGSCN JSCC.pdf


Full Text (Simplified Chinese Version): 

Shao kai TSENGSCN JSCC.pdf