Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (2):pp. 269-284 (2008)

Pauline Kleingeld
University of Groningen
German Romanticism is commonly associated with nationalism rather than cosmopolitanism. Against this standard picture, I argue that the early German romantic author, Novalis (Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg, 1772–1801) holds a decidedly cosmopolitan view. Novalis’s essay “Christianity or Europe” has been the subject of much dispute and puzzlement ever since he presented it to the Jena romantic circle in the fall of 1799. On the basis of an account of the philosophical background of Novalis’s romanticism, I show that the image of the Middle Ages sketched in “Christianity or Europe” plays a symbolic role and should not be taken as a literal description of the historical past or as a blueprint for the future. Rather, the romantic picture of medieval Europe serves to evoke poetically the ideal of a cosmopolitan re-unification of humanity.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1353/hph.0.0005
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Novalis’ Poetic Uncertainty: A Bildung with the Absolute.Carl Mika - 2016 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 48 (6).

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
872 ( #6,204 of 62,241 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
183 ( #3,039 of 62,241 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes