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Carl Gustaf von Brinkman, Var är du?: Ett försök att beskriva hans livsförståelse
Karlstad University, Division for Social Sciences.
2005 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesisAlternative title
Carl Gustaf von Brinkman, Where are thou? : An attempt to describe his worldwiew (English)
Abstract [en]

Carl Gustav von Brinkman was born in Nacka, Sweden 1764 but in his eleventh year he was sent away by his father to the Herrnhuter school in Niesky to become a missionary. Brinkman developed other plans. The experience of the school as a place that censured his thoughts and hindered his development, took an early start and grew stronger. He tried to convince his teachers in the congregation that they should allow him to attend the university in Halle, but they wanted his father to decide. His father then threatened to exclude him from the family if he went to Halle. Carl Gustav did so anyway and started his mental journey from a pietistic piety to enlightenment belief. Under the influence of a variety of contemporary philosophical ideas, he developed a belief based on the moral good and made God the head principle for this virtue. When Brinkman had reached this far in his development he then cut loose God from his thinking, and he then believed in the moral good without God as a reference to this system. He was now, using Friedrich Schleiermachers expression, a kind of secularised ’cultured despiser’.

The complete title of Schleiermachers astonishing work was On Religion; speeches to its cultured despisers. This book was an apologetic one, and its audience was the intelligentsia in Europe who had left the Christendom behind and developed other systems for their thinking. Brinkman were the ideal receiver of the message that Schleiermacher brought. They knew each other from the time in Halle and they both attended the Herrnhuter school in Niesky. Schleiermacher had also fought with his father and with the congregation to be allowed to leave for the university. They were both central members of the vivid saloon life in Berlin were artist, actors, philosophers and others from the intelligentsia were guests. When the book was published Brinkman just returned to Berlin from France and Sweden – were he did not feel comfortable and constantly missed the Berlin saloons and his friends – and everything that he loved in life were suddenly surrounding him again. He was very receptive to a new way of thinking and he allowed himself to be influenced by the book of his friend.

He now turned Christian again, but with a worldview different from the pietistic one and the one based upon enlightenment theology, but also from the strictly secularised ideology. He now saw religion as feeling; a feeling of absolute dependence on other people, on the world, on Universe and in the end of God. The dependence of the apologetic work of Schleiermacher was obvious in Brinkman’s book Filosophische Ansichten but some of the formulations were original and mirrored Brinkman’s own way of seeing things. This essay ends with some analyses of those formulations. It will also discus the fact that Brinkman’s book never were translated into Swedish and what that meant for the spreading of Schleiermachers theories to Sweden, and what that in turn led to considering the differences in thinking and piety between Sweden and Germany. The central issue in this essay however, is to try to describe Brinkman’s way of thinking and how that way of thinking developed over time and in relation to his context; the enlightenment and the romantic era in Germany and Sweden.

The words “Where are thou” are from Genesis 3:9. They are spoken from God and directed to Adam, who is hiding in the bush ashamed after he and Eva had been eating the apple and as a result of that, he now was aware of his nakedness.

Abstract [sv]

Den rörelse som vi uppsatsen kan följa, är en rörelse som är unik för Carl Gustav von Brinkman, men den är också i mångt och mycket en rörelse eller utveckling som många i skarven mellan upplysningstid och romantik gjorde. Denna rörelse kan beskrivas som en rörelse mot frihet men bort ifrån den kristna tron. Moral eller dygd var tidens största ideal och inom upplysningsteologin var Gud dess grundprincip, men inom vissa frihetligt sinnade kretsar föll till slut även Gud bort. I samtiden kristalliserades två tydliga grupperingar; de som lutade sig mot de kristna doktrinerna eller det pietistiska fromhetslivet utgjorde det ena, och de som lutade sig mot den naturliga religionen – som var något av den minsta gemensamma nämnaren för alla religioner i hela världen – eller ingen alls, utgjorde den andra. När sedan Schleiermacher fick sin samtid att se människan och utifrån henne börja omformulera de centrala kristna dogmerna, så räddades den kristna tron på så sätt att den blev en levande tro ute i ”världen”(som motsättning till inom en församling sluten). Den kristna tron blev ett diskussionsämne för de intellektuella och inte en enskildhet för invigda och från ”världen” avskärmade.

Carl Gustav von Brinkman speglar denna utveckling med sitt liv. Det faktum att mycket av hans upplevelser är de samma som Schleiermachers gör honom också intressant att följa och Brinkman är inte på långa vägar färdiganalyserad som bärare och/eller gestaltare av tidens idéer.

Det som är en av denna uppsats slutsatser är dock att Carl Gustav von Brinkman hade en utveckling som inleddes med en uppväxt inom den herrnhutiska församlingen och att hans utvecklingsbana sedan beskrev en rörelse ifrån det pietistiska mot det upplysningsteologiska vars idé om dygden och dess grundprincip i Gud inlemmades i Brinkmans tankar bara för att kort senare resultera i en syn på dygden där Gud inte längre var dess grundprincip. Utifrån denna position tog han sedan till sig Friedrich Schleiermachers tankar om religion som känsla för självets medvetande om sig självt i en ömsesidig relation med andra, naturen, kosmos och – i slutändan - Gud. Det är vid denna punkt som uppsatsen lämnar honom och konstaterar att Brinkman nått en position där han kan bejaka naturvetenskapligt tänkande och samtidigt vara kristen. Han kan utifrån sin nya position vara kritisk gentemot traditionen eller Bibeln och ändå påstå sig ha en kristen livsförståelse. Han kan röra sig ute i världen och ända bevara sin identitet som kristen. Den kristna livsförståelsen begränsar honom inte utan öppnar upp för nya världar i t.ex. hermeneutikens namn där allt kan analyseras, tolkas och förstås.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. , p. 51
Keywords [en]
Religion, enlightenment, herrnhutism, schleiermacher
Keywords [sv]
Religion, upplysningsteologi, herrnhutism, schleiermacher
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-8DiVA, id: diva2:6532
Uppsok
humaniora/teologi
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2006-01-30 Created: 2006-01-30

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