General Introduction to the Philosophy of History: Hegel

The very essence of spirit is action. It makes itself what it essentially is; it is its own product, its own work. Thus it becomes object of itself, thus it is presented to itself as an external existence. Likewise the spirit of a people: it is a definite spirit that builds itself up to an objective world. This world, then, stands and continues in its religion, its cult, its customs, its constitution and political laws, the whole scope of its institutions, its events and deeds.

Introduction to the History of Philosophy: Hegel

In the Christian religion the principle of which we speak has been rather expressed in the form of feeling and representation than articulated in the form of pure thought.What is essential in this story is that the tree from which Adam eats is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; the rest is simply imaginary. The point at which we now stand is the result of all the work that has been done over a period Of 2300 years; it is what the World-Spirit has brought before itself in its thinking consciousness.