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The Return Of The Gods The Clash Between Monotheism And Polytheism In German Romanticism

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Chapter Summary

Monotheism is supposed to be the culprit of many serious deteriorations of Western culture, such as intolerance, superiority, colonialism, racism and antifeminism. The rise of the study of religions in the nineteenth century marked the struggle of Western society with its own prejudices and feelings of superiority. There have been attempts to integrate certain polytheistic connotations into the monotheistic framework by assigning to the gods a lower place in the divine hierarchy. German Romanticism both accepts and challenges earlier solutions that view polytheism as the most primitive phase of civilization to culminate in Christian monotheism. The exploration of Romanticism utilizes two distinct moments of confrontation between monotheism and polytheism, both condensed in a literary form rather than in a theoretical discourse. The German poet Hölderlin worked on his highly enigmatic poem Der Einzige (The Only One) between 1801 tot 1804.

Keywords: Christian monotheism; divine hierarchy; German Romanticism; polytheism; Western culture



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