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The doctrine and method of the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). Its main feature is the dialectic process, which postulates the universal existence of opposites, which are absorbed in a higher unity, from which in turn new oppositions generate. Hegelianism rejects identity and contradiction as grounds of thought. All thinking and all development of being follow the scheme of the "triad," thesis, antithesis, and its resulting synthesis, i.e., opposites in conflict producing a higher unity, which then becomes the source of further conflict and another unity, going on ad infinitum. In Hegelianism everything can be explained dialectically. Christianity is represented as the absolute religion of truth and freedom, as the highest so far achieved in human history. But it is neither supernatural nor final, but only a phase in the process of God's self-evaluation as the Absolute Spirit. Marxism is built on Hegelianism.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.