Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Whitney Bauman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Assistant Professor

Second Advisor's Name

Christine Gudorf

Second Advisor's Committee Title


Third Advisor's Name

Kenneth Rogerson

Third Advisor's Committee Title



Kant, Hegel, teleology, contingency, necessity, regulative, constitutive, natural theology, religion and science

Date of Defense



This research is a historical-exegetical analysis of Hegel’s reformulation of Kant’s regulative principle of teleology into a constitutive principle. Kant ascribes teleology to the faculty of reflective judgment where it is employed as a guide to regulate inquiry, but does not constitute actual knowledge. Hegel argues that if Kant made teleology into a constitutive principle then it would be a much more comprehensive theory capable of overcoming contingency in natural science, and hence, bridging the gap between natural science and theology. In this paper I argue that Hegel’s defense of the transition from natural science to theology is ultimately unsuccessful because it is built upon on an instinct of reason, which is the instinctive feature of human rationality to transition beyond the contingency remaining in our empirical understanding of nature, to a theological understanding of nature, in which all aspects of nature are necessarily related.





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