Dr Dimitrije Najdanovich

Christology of Immanuel Hermann von Fichte

pages: 254-262


Immanuel Hermann von Fichte, the son of the famous German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, was a nobleman by birth and spirit. He was born in 1875. For a long time he was a very influential professor of systematic philosophy in Tubingen. Although a devout Roman Catholic he was an openminded man, ready to accept all fruitful influences of the romantic and idealistic philosophy (Schelling, Schleiermachar, Franz von Baader etc.) as well as the early patristic thought of the ancient Christian Church, represented at that time by famous traditionalistic Roman Catholic Tubingen school (J. S. Drey, J. A. Mohler etc.). He had a very erudite and allembracing philosophical knowledge. Armoured by the categories of a genuine Cristian theism he fought successfully against all kinds of pantheism, especially Spinozism and Hegelianism, as well as against naturalism, rationalism and »hominism« of the Enlightment.

Rediscovery of Fichte started almost at the beginning of the twentieth century when the wellknown German philosopher Rudolf Eucken wrote an impressive condensed study of Fichte's grandious philosophical work. He unveiled the riches of Fichte's (philosophy and theology of the lasting importance. A great number of very serious studies emerged, — a profound research of the main categories of Fichtean thought: God, man, existence, creation, personality, psychology, ontology, revelation etc. The research results were very rich and astonishing: they discovered a huge and decisive influence of Fichte on S. Kierkegaard, the anticipating insights into »Tiefenpsychology« and »Ganzheitpsychology« (C. G. Jung, Eduard Spranger etc.), H. Bergson's teaching on elan vital and the historical role of the saints, all doctrines of pluralistic universalism and personalism etc. (Cf. 7—26).

All these studies have neglected-or not noticed — a hidden, but the mightiest pillar of Fichte's »cosmos of thoughts« (Gedankenkosmos): his philosophy of history. This vacuum (Liicke) was filled by author's dissertation »The philosophy of history of Immanuel Hermann Fichte«. This work was finished after three years of exhaustive and hard study at the most famous systematic philosophers in Berlin Eduard Spranger and Nicolai Hartmann (the former was in Dachau, the latter a postulatory anti-Nazist) before rigorosum immediate before the war, 1939. One year later the dissertation was publisched as a separate book in Philosophische Abhandlungen (Buch 10, pp. 207). According to all reviews in philosophical magazines the book has been estimated the best one ever written about I. H. Fichte. We present here the short outline of Fichte's Christology (pp. 127—138). 1. The triune God must reveal Himself in the cosmic and, especially, historic dimension as Creator, Saviour and Fulfiller. Fichte calls this must the holy necessity.

  1. The descending God and ascending man must meet together in the Saviour, in Godman. This woundrous conflux constitutes the mysterious, but inevitable hypostatic unity of divine and human nature, the historic theandric synolon.

  2. Godman is the fullness of divinity and humanity. The spiritus movens of divine cenotics, manifested in Godman, is the love of God. The same love, is effecting the longing of man towards God (the theocentric human godlikeness)

  3. The kairos of Godman in Jesus Christ is a historic fact non plus ultra. The historic theophany must be realized in a man. »in a human I«. This presupposes Fichte's love dialectics of God's I and man's You, realized to the full extent in Christ's Incarnation. This concrete realitiy has nothing to do with symbolical, ethical, mythological, speculative, docetic, pantheistic or any other similar interpretation. The appearance of Christ must be understood physike, as the real historic presence.

  4. Godman is the fullness of the highest illumination and divinization, i. e. the manifestation of the highest life in the earthly form« (morphe).

  5. As the historic factum Godman is an absolute novum. Jesus Crist beginns a New Creation, a »new spiritual universe«. As such He rules with an entelechial allpower the horizontal dimension of history. On the other hand, He is the vertical historic influx, metahistoric agens in »this world«. The heart of history.

  6. Crist is not only the very end of an extensive revelation dynamics, but also of the extensive one. The extensive perpetuation of Crist in history is His holy mystical Body. The Church is the eternity in time, the lasting presens numen, ecclesia perennis, Kingdom of God. As the embodiment of the Holy Spirit and, eo ispo, the fullness of the expanding Love, the highest divine mystery, revealed in the historic dimension, it is the Church in growth, in fieri.





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