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BAADER


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BAADER


on the one hand, of being ignored because of its purpose to synthesize Christian faith and revive the old philosophy and tlieology; and, on the otlier, of being rejected because it disfigured Cliristian teaciiing by its rationalizing spirit. It consequently may be said to have exercised an intensive and transitional, rather than an extensive and definitive, influence on the movement of thought. English sensism having re- sulted logically in scepticism, and Kant's critical effort to save some certainty by purely subjective scrutiny having hopelessly lost the mind in a maze of its own spinning, Baader saw that the only salvation lay in a return to the traditional line of philosophy which had been broken off by Descartes. Unfortunately in resuming that line Baader unwound some of its essential strands and inwo\-e others of less consistent fibre wherewith the remaining threads would not cohere. But in this ^■ery harking back to a saner past Baader was influential in hastening the health- ier revival which was more definitely effected by his countrymen Kleutgen and Stockl. Moreover, in so far as Baader opposed the prevailing rationalism and defended Christian truth, his influence is declared by so unprejudiced a ■WTiter as Robert Adamson to have extended beyond the precincts of Baader's Church. Rothe's "Theologische Ethik" is thoroughly im- pregnated with his spirit, and among others, J. Mul- ler's "Christl. Lehre von der Siinde" and Martinsen's "Christl. Dogmatik" show evident marks of his in- fluence.

III. It is extremely difficult to give any satisfac- tory conception of Baader's system within narrow limits. Baader was a most fertile writer but threw out his thoughts in aphorisms, some of which indeed he subsequently collected, but most of which re- cei\'ed their development in reviews and personal correspondence. Even his two principal works, "Fragmenta Cognitionis" and "Speculative Dog- matik", are really mosaics and one has to seek long before discovering any unifying principles. More- over, he moves in leaps; his style lacks coherence and order. A suggestive expression, a Latin or French quotation gives an unlooked-for turn to a discourse. "The reader is knocked about from one side to an- other. Now he may be driven from logic to meta- physics and again from theology to physical phi- losophy. The author's ideas often run into those of others leaving no line of demarcation. Add to this the uncertainty of his terminology, his equivocal and often bizarre use, or abuse, of words and the reading of Baader becomes no easy occupation. A summary of his system may be given as follows:

(1) Man's knowledge is a participation in God's knowledge. The latter necessarily compeiietrates the former which is therefore always con-scientia. Our knowledge is a gift, something received, and in this respect is faith which is therefore a voluntary ac- ceptance of the known object from God's knowing in us and hence proceeds from the will. This, how- ever, is preceded by an involuntary subjection, a necessitated desire — Xetno I'ldt nisi ridcns. We ex- perience the Indwelling Presence soliciting us to faith. Faith however, in turn, becomes the basis of knowledge in which again faith reaches its completion. Faith is thus as necessary for knowledge as knowledge is for faith. Now the content of faith is expressed by tech- nical formul;e in religious tradition. Hence as phi- losophy is necessarily connected with the subjective process of faith, so is it likewise with that of tradition. Only thus can it begin and develop. Hence all science, all philosophy, is religious. Natural theology, nat- ural ethics, etc., strictly speaking, are impossible. Philosophy arose only when religious tradition called for explication and purification. Afterwards it di- vorced it.self, but it thus led to its own dissolution.

(2) But faith is not simply a gift (Gahe); it is also a responsibility (Aujgabe). It must be developed by


reason, penetrated, vivified, and freed from the pos- sibility of doubt. It is not memory, nor a mere relic of the past. It must cast off the temporary but re- tain the abiding; be permanent but progressive. Mysteries are not impenetrable, but only concealed truths: "Deum trinum esse non creditur sed scitur" and "Deum esse non creditur sed scitur" are twin truths. The whole content of religion must be re- duced to exact science. There is no closed truth just as there is no clo.sed virtue. Science proceeds from faith, but faith is developed and recast by science.

The hopeless confusion here manifest between knowledge as a natural or purely rational process, and faith, in the Catholic sense of a supernatural vir- tue, finds a parallel in Baader's ethics. With him the true, i. e. religious, and hence Christian, ethics knows that God Who gives the law also fulfils it in us, so that from being a burden it ceases to be a law. Fallen man has not the power to restore himself; hereditary sin, the seed of the Serpent, hinders him in this. Still he retains the "Idea", the seed of the woman, i. e. redeemablene.ss. This possibility is actualized by God's becoming man, and thus realiz- ing the moral law in "the Man", the Saviour, Who by overcoming temptation has destroyed evil at its centre and from within, and Who has crushed the Serpent's head. But evil, too, must be destroyed from without by constant mortification of ego-hood. In this task man co-operating with his fellows for the attainment of happiness is neither a solitary worker, as the Kantian would say, nor completely inactive, as Luther teaches. Like hereditary sin, grace prop- agates itself quasi per injertionem vHre. Prayer and the Eucharist place man en rapport with Christ, through Whom man, if he co-operate, will be restored to the spiritualized condition whence he fell by sin. This spiritualization thus becomes the final subjective end for the individual and society.

The religious idea here appears as the source and the life of Baader's sociology. The law of love for God and neighbour is the unitive principle of all social existence, liberty, and equality; as the opposite principle of self-love is the root of all disunion, slavery, and despotism. God is the binding source of all law, from Him is aU social authority. Hence Baader strongly opposes the might-makes-right doc- trine of Hobbes, and the social contract of Rousseau, no less than Kant's autonomism, which regards re- ligion as an appendage of morality. Now the re- ligious idea and the moral and juridic law being inseparably conjoined, and neither having actual exist- ence save in Christianity wiiich is concrete in the Cathohc Church, civil society (the State), and religi- ous society (the Church), should co-operate. Baader apparently until towards the close of his life held that the Church should have direct — not simply in- direct — authority even in civil affairs, and he was enthusiastic for a reinstatement, in a form adapted to his times, of the medieval relation between the two orders. But a change seems to have come over his mind — occasioned very probably by some per- sonal irritation which he felt at the criticism to wiiich his theological teachings were subjected — and he taught for a short time opinions concerning the con- stitution of the Church and the Papacy wiiich were utterly irreconcilable with Catholic Faith, wiiile the language in wiiich these opinions was conveyed was as unbecoming the philosopher as it was his subject. Before his death, however, he retracted this portion of his teaching.

While Baader's sociology maintains that religion is the very root and life of civil society, it takes ac- count also of political and economic administration. Thus it contains his opinions favouring the organiza- tion of the classes, the revival of the medieval "corporations" or industrial associations, the poiiti-