History and Theory 49 (2):169-193 (2010)

Abstract
Was the crisis of historicism an exclusively German affair? Or was it a “narrowly academic crisis,” as is sometimes assumed? Answering both questions in the negative, this paper argues that crises of historicism affected not merely intellectual elites, but even working-class people, not only in Germany, but also in the Netherlands. With an elaborated case study, the article shows that Dutch “neo-Calvinist” Protestants from the 1930s onward experienced their own crisis of historicism. For a variety of reasons, this religious subgroup came to experience a collapse of its “historicist” worldview. Following recent German scholarship, the paper argues that this historicism was not a matter of Rankean historical methods, but of “historical identifications,” or modes of identity formation in which historical narratives played crucial roles. Based on this Dutch case study, then, the article develops two arguments. In a quantitative mode, it argues that more and different people suffered from the crisis of historicism than is usually assumed. In addition, it offers a qualitative argument: that the crisis was located especially among groups that derived their identity from “historical identifications.” Those who suffered most from the crisis of historicism were those who understood themselves as embedded in narratives that connected past, present, and future in such a way as to offer identity in historical terms
Keywords the Netherlands  historicism  Herman Dooyeweerd  Germany  crisis of historicism  neo‐Calvinism  Abraham Kuyper
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-2303.2010.00538.x
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Religion and the Crisis of Historicism: Protestant and Catholic Perspectives.Herman Paul - 2010 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 4 (2):172-194.

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