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Classical Humanism and the Challenge of Modernity

Book Description

In scholarship, classical (Renaissance) humanism is usually strictly distinguished from 'neo-humanism', which, especially in Germany, flourished at the beginning of the 19th century. While most classical humanists focused on the practical imitation of Latin stylistic models, 'neohumanism' is commonly believed to have been mainly inspired by typically modern values, such as authenticity and historicity.
Bas van Bommel shows that whereas 'neohumanism' was mainly adhered to at the German universities, at the Gymnasien a much more traditional educational ideal prevailed, which is best described as 'classical humanism.' This ideal involved the prioritisation of the Romans above the Greeks, as well as the belief that imitation of Roman and Greek models brings about man's aesthetic and moral elevation.
Van Bommel makes clear that 19th century classical humanism dynamically related to modern society. On the one hand, classical humanists explained the value of classical education in typically modern terms. On the other hand, competitors of the classical Gymnasium laid claim to values that were ultimately derived from classical humanism. 19th century classical humanism should therefore not be seen as a dried-out remnant of a dying past, but as the continuation of a living tradition.

Table of Contents

  1. Philologus
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Preface
  7. Abbreviations
  8. Introduction
    1. Classical education and modern society
    2. The concept of ‘neohumanism’
    3. ‘Neohumanism’ versus classical humanism
    4. The paradigm of modernity
    5. Structure and method
  9. Part I: The Persistence of Classical Humanism
    1. 19 th-century classical humanism: the case of Karl Gottfried Siebelis (1769 – 1843)
      1. Introduction
      2. Nine constitutive aspects of classical humanism
        1. 1. Refining human nature
        2. 2. Exemplary subject matter
        3. 3. The classics
        4. 4. Intellectual education
        5. 5. Aesthetic education
        6. 6. Moral education
        7. 7. Thoroughness
        8. 8. Anti-utilitarianism
        9. 9. Enthusiasm
      3. The variety of classical humanism
      4. Teaching practice
        1. Explaining the classics
        2. Imitating the classics
      5. The persistence of classical humanism
  10. Part II: The Adaptability of Classical Humanism
    1. Introduction
    2. 1. The Challenge of Science
      1. Introduction
      2. Philology as science
        1. Classical humanism and scientific philology
        2. Classical education as schöne Wissenschaft
        3. The Kantian turn
        4. Classical philology as ‘pure science:’ Friedrich August Wolf
        5. Scientific philology as a humanistic discipline
        6. The continuity of Gymnasium education
      3. Pedagogy as science
        1. Introduction
        2. National education: Fichte and Jachmann
        3. The unitary school: Humboldt and Süvern
        4. Humanism as totalitarian pedagogy
        5. Mythos Humboldt
    3. 2. The Challenge of the Bürgerschule
      1. Introduction
      2. Classical education and the rise of the Bürgerschule 1770 – 1800
        1. Introduction
        2. The quest for Bürger education
        3. Material and formal education
        4. The common good
        5. Conclusion
      3. Latin education in Bürgerclassen
        1. Introduction
        2. Postponing Latin
        3. Sprachen and Sachen
        4. The quest for Latin textbooks
        5. The fight against grammar: Latin as a colloquial language
        6. Conclusion
      4. The Bürgerschule as humanistic institution 1800 – 1860
        1. Introduction
        2. The concept of the Realgymnasium: Ernst Gottfried Fischer
        3. Realism as a form of humanism
        4. The Bürgerschule as humanistic institution
        5. Formal education
        6. Ideal education
        7. Two types of humanness: Karl Scheibert
        8. The modern Humanitätsschule: Karl Mager
        9. Conclusion
    4. 3. The Challenge of Christianity
      1. Introduction
      2. Classical humanism and rationalism
        1. The quest for religious ethos
        2. Education and ethos
        3. ‘Neohumanism’ and Christianity
      3. Classical humanism and Christianity
        1. Introduction
        2. Classical antiquity as precursor of Christianity
        3. Historicisation and educational practice
        4. Curtailing classical education
        5. The debate on patristic literature
        6. Conclusion
  11. Conclusion
  12. Bibliography
    1. Primary sources
    2. Secondary sources
  13. Index