Schelling was an important German philosopher who understood history as an unfolding of God as absolute spirit.He asserted that everything including God moves toward self consciousness, with creation going out from God and returning enriched. Thus the universe is a work of art in the making. Schellings later work emphasized mystic intuition, influencing protestant theology through the work of Paul Tillich.
Some of Schellings thoughts on God and History
"History as a whole is a progressive, gradually self-disclosing revelation of the Absolute." (System of Transcendental Idealism, 1800)
As there is nothing before or outside of God he must contain within himself the ground of his existence. All philosophies say this, but they speak of this ground as a mere concept without making it something real and actual." (Philosophical Inquiries into the Nature of Human Freedom, 1809)
"Now if the appearance of freedom is necessarily infinite, the total evolution of the Absolute is also an infinite process, and history itself a never wholly completed revelation of that Absolute which, for the sake of consciousness, and thus merely for the sake of appearance, separates itself into conscious and unconscious, the free and the intuitant; but which itself, however, in the inaccessible light wherein it dwells, is Eternal Identity and the everlasting ground of harmony between the two." (System of Transcendental Idealism, 1800)
"Has creation a final goal? And if so, why was it not reached at once? Why was the consummation not realized from the beginning? To these questions there is but one answer: Because God is Life, and not merely Being."