<h2>AUTHOR: Ovidiu Cristian NEDU</h2>
<h4>NATURAL RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE AND THEOLOGICAL MINIMALISM, IN THE THOUGHT OF FR. SCHLEIERMACHER</h4>
<pre>Danubius, XL, Galati, 2022, pp. 221-240.</pre>
For Friedrich Schleiermacher, the founder of the Liberal stream of Protestant theology, religion is a particular and irreducible experience of humans, consisting in the direct intuition of the total dependence of any finite being on the Whole. As such, religion is different from knowledge. Religious knowledge and doctrines are only subsequent propositional expressions of the religious feeling. Being subsequent to religious experience, doctrines cannot be the foundation of religion but mere rational expressions of it. Religious doctrines are just as valid ways of expressing religion as art. Schleiermacher even claims that art is a more appropriate form of expressing the religious feeling of absolute unity and interdependence than doctrines. All knowledge operates through conceptual division, thus contradicting the unitary and holistic nature of the object religious experience is focused upon.
Schleiermacher claims that no particular religious knowledge is required for humans to have religion, not even the very fundamental concept of „God”. Whether acknowledged or not, the simple intuition of interdependence, which spontaneously occurs in all humans, is the essence of religious experience. This intuition occurs even when the concept of „God” is missing, no piece of knowledge, whatsoever, being necessary for the apparition of religious experience.