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Hamann and the Tradition

Lisa Marie Anderson

Publication Year: 2012

Recent years have witnessed a resurgence of scholarly interest in the work of Johann Georg Hamann (1730–1788), across disciplines. New translations of work by and about Hamann are appearing, as are a number of books and ar­ticles on Hamann’s aesthetics, theories of language and sexuality, and unique place in Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment thought.

Edited by Lisa Marie Anderson, Hamann and the Tradition gathers estab­lished and emerging scholars to examine the full range of Hamann’s im­pact—be it on German Romanticism or on the very practice of theology. Of particular interest to those not familiar with Hamann will be a chapter devoted to examining—or in some cases, placing—Hamann in dialogue with other important thinkers, such as Socrates, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.


Published by: Northwestern University Press

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Editor’s Introduction

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pp. vii-xii

Among those familiar with the work of Johann Georg Hamann (1730– 1788), it has become a commonplace that the esoteric, impenetrable nature of his work has limited his audience, particularly outside of . . .

List of Abbreviations

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p. xiii-xiii

Part 1. Situating Hamann

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1. Reading “Sibylline Leaves”: J. G. Hamann in the History of Ideas (John R. Betz)

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pp. 5-32

Though long overshadowed by the more familiar lights of the German Enlightenment, arguably no single figure of the late eighteenth century had a greater influence upon the intellectual giants of the early . . .

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2. “There Is an Idol in the Temple of Learning”: Hamann and the History of Philosophy (Kenneth Haynes)

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pp. 33-51

“Poor Hamann,” Kierkegaard (or “Johannes Climacus”) apostrophizes in the . . .

Part 2. Hamann in Dialogue

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3. God, I, and Thou: Hamann and the Personalist Tradition (Gwen Griffith-Dickson)

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pp. 55-66

Hamann’s picture of the human person is of a creature that is fundamentally related to others—both to other humans and to God—as part of its own being. This “relational” character of our personhood is shown . . .

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4. Hamann and Kant on the Good Will (Manfred Kuehn)

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pp. 67-78

“How beautiful a counterpart of pure reason is the good will ? Doesn’t each one of them deserve a millstone around the neck?” (ZH 6:440). Hamann’s pun isn’t easily rendered in English. What I have translated as . . .

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5. Metaschematizing Socrates: Hamann, Kierkegaard, and Kant on the Value of the Enlightenment (Kelly Dean Jolley)

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pp. 79-92

This chapter looks like commentary on J. G. Hamann’s Socratic Memorabilia and on various works of Kierkegaard’s that address and assess Socrates, like On Irony or Concluding Unscientific Postscript. The looks . . .

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6. Skepticism and Faith in Hamann and Kierkegaard (Stephen Cole Leach)

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pp. 93-103

Kierkegaard is popularly supposed to be indebted in some way to Hamann— but in all of Kierkegaard’s many published works, Hamann’s name appears but briefly. Aside from an epigraph taken from one of . . .

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7. Hamann, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein on the Language of Philosophers (Jonathan Gray)

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pp. 104-121

In this chapter I shall examine some of Johann Georg Hamann’s claims about how philosophers misuse, misunderstand, and are misled by language. I will then examine how he anticipates things that Friedrich . . .

Part 3. Hamann’s Place in German Literary History

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8. Rhapsodic Dismemberment: Hamann and the Fable (Lori Yamato)

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pp. 125-139

The eighteenth century saw a peculiar interest in the fable as an important literary genre. The fable, precariously perched between philosophy and literature, sacred and profane, sophistic manipulation and . . .

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9. Hamann, Goethe, and the West-Eastern Divan (Kamaal Haque)

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pp. 140-148

It has long become a commonplace in scholarship on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749– 1832) that he was influenced by the writings of Johann Georg Hamann, though critics differ as to what extent. Indeed, the . . .

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10. Hallucinating Europe: Hamann and His Impact on German Romantic Drama (Christian Sinn)

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pp. 149-160

At first glance, Johann Georg Hamann’s philosophical methods appear unintelligible. However, those methods do not testify to his “irrationality,” but are indicative of a new philosophical style. Rather than . . .

Part 4. Hamann and Theology

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11. God as Author: On the Theological Foundation of Hamann’s Authorial Poetics (Oswald Bayer)

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pp. 163-175

In his first publication, Socratic Memorabilia (1759), Hamann writes: “What is it in Homer that makes up for his ignorance of the rules of art, which Aristotle invented after him, and what is it in Shakespeare that makes up . . .

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12. Metaphysics and Metacritique: Hamann’s Understanding of the Word of God in the Tradition of Lutheran Theology (Johannes von Lüpke)

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pp. 176-181

The concept of “metacritique,” like the term, is without doubt an invention of Johann Georg Hamann. In his discussion with Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason Hamann offered his concept of metacritique, answering . . .

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13. Is Theology Possible After Hamann? (Katie Terezakis)

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pp. 182-198

If theology is writing about God, Gods, or religion, or about the sacred texts of a religion, then Hamann’s writings are theological. If theology is a study of religion undertaken by one of its members from the . . .

Appendix: A New English Bibliography of Works on Hamann (Andrew J. Sherrod)

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pp. 199-208


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pp. 209-211

E-ISBN-13: 9780810166080
Print-ISBN-13: 9780810127982

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1