New Series of “Historical Studies Concerning Orientation”: Inaugural Essay by Jiří Hoblík

May 30, 2022

Our new essay series investigates the history of the concept of ‘orientation’ as well as the phenomenon of orientation avant la lettre, i.e., before the term was coined. In the first essay, the Czech scholar Jiří Hoblík writes on “The Philosophical Concept of Orientation Compared with the History of Religious Orientation in the First Four Centuries of Christianity: An Interdisciplinary Study,” where he argues that the notion of orientation “in its everyday sense” turns out to be “historically secondary to religious orientation as conceived in terms of aiming towards a symbolic reference point, which is represented in Christianity by the sun phenomenon as a symbol of Christ/God.”

“Despite the uncertain connection between the history of religion and the history of philosophy, some analogies between the religious and philosophical concepts can be demonstrated. The idea of ‘orientation’ in its everyday sense (‘to be oriented in something/somewhere’) turns out to be historically secondary to religious orientation as conceived in terms of aiming towards a symbolic reference point, which is represented in Christianity by the sun phenomenon as a symbol of Christ/God. Thus far under-researched in the religious context, Kant’s idea of ‘orientation in thinking’ can be applied in terms of the search for orientation in religious thinking.”

You can find this new essay and our essay series here.

If you’re interested in contributing to our essay series, please send an email to reinhard.mueller@hfpo.com.