Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion

First Advisor

Jere O. Surber, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Robert Urquhart

Third Advisor

Edward Antonio


Children, Cinema, Idealism, Romanticism, Schelling, Technology


This paper offers a new interpretation of Schelling's unfinished fragment, Die Weltalter, one that shows why and how he links the problem of divine creation to the modern crisis of Being and time. The growing sense of disorientation, isolation, indifference and loss that Schelling discovers in his own time parallels the metaphysical concerns and dilemmas of Die Weltalter. It is what draws the question of primordial time so close to our time and gives him the grounds to think them together. Cultural creation is inseparable from the enigma of divine creation. To fathom one is to divine the secret of the other and the essence of time.

Schelling only seeks access to the primordial past to discover the secret connection that unites the divine life with our own. He unexpectedly suggests that children are this missing link. They are the counter-image of all that is mechanical and false in life. They are the living promise and embodiment of divine creation. He shows they represent genuine life because they re-present nothing. They live the becoming of new meanings and new worlds.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jared Kenrick Nieft


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

204 p.


Philosophy, Germanic literature, Cinematography