Hegel, too, spent the first two years at Bern mostly in scholarly seclusion, writing almost no letters, and traveling home not even once. During this incubation period, Hegel was concerned mostly with a critique of the religion he had spent five years studying. In his early manuscripts, he often compared it harshly with Greek civilization, and he began drawing on Kantian principles to strengthen his attack. In his early fragments on religion, he notes that "religion is the most important affair of our lives," yet the natural religion of the ancients was far superior to the rigid formalism of Christianity in Germany.
Even at seventeen years old, Hegel was lamenting the pitiable fall of humanity from its previous splendor, praising the clarity and honesty of the Greeks' investigation of the natural world, even as "in our day one predicts that a comet heralds the demise of a monarch, while the cry of an owl signifies the impending death of a man. During these two years, Hegel became increasingly hostile towards organized religion, his hostility perhaps intensified by the release of pent-up frustration following his years at the seminary.
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