Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) is best known as the "father of liberal Protestant theology," largely on the strength of his massive work of systematic theology, The Christian Faith. It is universally recognized that Schleiermacher grounded his theological work in an innovative and historically important understanding of religion in general, and that the influence of his thought about religion has extended beyond the boundaries of theology. In this book, Andrew Dole presents a new account of Schleiermacher's theory of religion. His purpose is to challenge a deeply entrenched tradition that characterizes Schleiermacher's account of religion is "subjective" or "individualistic." Dole argues that Schleiermacher integrates the individualistic side of religion with a set of claims about its social dynamics, and that this takes place within a broader understanding of all events in the world as the product of a universal, law-governed "causal nexus." Properly understood, says Dole, Schleiermacher's account of religion is an early and important example of a combination of theology and the "scientific" study of religion. By calling attention to this fact, Dole hopes to correct the historical record and stimulate interest in Schleiermacher's work outside the field of theological studies.