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AbstractThe first part of this paper, published in the previous issue of the review, was intended to expose the religious origins of the duality between “Spirit” and “Letter” as well as its meaning in the general philosophical context of early German idealism. This second and final part of the paper is focussed on the ethical implications of this question, since the opposing of the “Spirit” of Kant’s System to its “Letter”, backed by frequent references to the Christian fulfillment of the Mosaic Law through love or faith, represented one of the principal resources of contemporary critiques of his moral philosophy. The final consequence of this line of criticism of Kant lies in the
suppression of the authority of a transcendent moral norm. This step, which at the same time abolishes the authority of the text, and hence the reverent attitude of the commentary as a literal genre, can be observed as early as in Hegel’s theological youth writings, which advocate the suppression of the transcendent moral law by means of its integration in free subjectivity which exists in the community of believing Christians.