chapter  9
18 Pages

From Eschatology to Kairology

This chapter focuses on Schlegel's notion of historical agency. It proposes that Schlegel's understanding of historical agency was based on the concept of the present time consisting of opportune moments for action. This notion of time is called 'kairology', in contrast with 'eschatology'. The role of providence in history was an extremely important theme for the modern philosophy of history. Schlegel's Kingdom of God concept was essentially connected with the Jewish idea of perpetual peace, which had a long tradition in Christianity in general and German Pietism in particular. Schlegel was familiar with the Kantian interpretation of this peace as a regulative idea of history, but he wanted to highlight the practical possibility of its realisation. Schlegel's ideal for the Kingdom of God was focused on future change that would occur on Earth. Contrary to an eschatology of history, Schlegel supported a kairological understanding of the present time as an opportune moment for practical and rhetorical action.