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Christian Europe : Borders and Boundaries of a Mythological Conception

Svenungsson, Jayne LU (2014) In Europe beyond universalism and particularism p.120-134
Abstract
The article investigates the notion of 'Christian Europe' by tracing some of its ideological roots. In particular, it engages with the Romantic era of German philosophy. If the idea of Europe from its very earliest stage was closely linked to Christianity, this gesture also became an important element in the attempts of a number of Romantic poets and philosophers to seek the foundations for a new universal order predicated on the spiritual evolution of humanity in general and of Christianity in particular. Most explicitly and with unsurpassed poetic power, this gesture is expressed by Novalis in his famous tract Christendom or Europe, written in 1799 and published posthumously only in 1826. The tract has ever since been an important... (More)
The article investigates the notion of 'Christian Europe' by tracing some of its ideological roots. In particular, it engages with the Romantic era of German philosophy. If the idea of Europe from its very earliest stage was closely linked to Christianity, this gesture also became an important element in the attempts of a number of Romantic poets and philosophers to seek the foundations for a new universal order predicated on the spiritual evolution of humanity in general and of Christianity in particular. Most explicitly and with unsurpassed poetic power, this gesture is expressed by Novalis in his famous tract Christendom or Europe, written in 1799 and published posthumously only in 1826. The tract has ever since been an important reference point in both political and philosophical endeavors to define Europe as an exclusively Christian civilization. In order to do justice to Novalis, however, it should be underlined that his tract is driven by a truly cosmopolitan and explicitly anti-nationalist spirit. Nonetheless, as is argued in the article, the text contains a number of structural features that are problematic by virtue of revealing a larger pattern in the self-image of Christian Europe. In the third and final section, the author connects these structural features to the present debate, aiming at a critical assessment of any indiscriminating acclamation of Europe as a Christian civilization. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Europe, Christianity, Novalis, ideology critique, nationalism
in
Europe beyond universalism and particularism
editor
Lindberg, Susanna; Prozorov, Sergei and Ojakangas, Mika
pages
120 - 134
publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN
9781137361820
9781137361813
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
7bce08b0-a79a-4ff6-9118-6c02e4f77637 (old id 8727857)
date added to LUP
2016-02-22 08:08:09
date last changed
2016-06-29 09:00:25
@misc{7bce08b0-a79a-4ff6-9118-6c02e4f77637,
  abstract     = {The article investigates the notion of 'Christian Europe' by tracing some of its ideological roots. In particular, it engages with the Romantic era of German philosophy. If the idea of Europe from its very earliest stage was closely linked to Christianity, this gesture also became an important element in the attempts of a number of Romantic poets and philosophers to seek the foundations for a new universal order predicated on the spiritual evolution of humanity in general and of Christianity in particular. Most explicitly and with unsurpassed poetic power, this gesture is expressed by Novalis in his famous tract Christendom or Europe, written in 1799 and published posthumously only in 1826. The tract has ever since been an important reference point in both political and philosophical endeavors to define Europe as an exclusively Christian civilization. In order to do justice to Novalis, however, it should be underlined that his tract is driven by a truly cosmopolitan and explicitly anti-nationalist spirit. Nonetheless, as is argued in the article, the text contains a number of structural features that are problematic by virtue of revealing a larger pattern in the self-image of Christian Europe. In the third and final section, the author connects these structural features to the present debate, aiming at a critical assessment of any indiscriminating acclamation of Europe as a Christian civilization.},
  author       = {Svenungsson, Jayne},
  editor       = {Lindberg, Susanna and Prozorov, Sergei and Ojakangas, Mika},
  isbn         = {9781137361820},
  keyword      = {Europe,Christianity,Novalis,ideology critique,nationalism},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {120--134},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9b14d88)},
  series       = {Europe beyond universalism and particularism},
  title        = {Christian Europe : Borders and Boundaries of a Mythological Conception},
  year         = {2014},
}