Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Preface

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p. vii

EVERY reader who opens a new book takes a certain chance. For until he has read the book he cannot know whether it is at all worth reading. It is, therefore, no more than fair that an author should tell him right at the beginning what the book is about, and why...

Contents

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p. xi

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I Introduction: The Decline of the Enlightenment

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pp. 3-25

IN THE BEGINNING was the Enlightenment." Any study of contemporary social thought might well begin with these words. Yet nothing is quite so dead today as the spirit of optimism that the very word Enlightenment evokes. Indeed, we are faced not with the mere end of the Enlightenment but with the prevalence of theories that...

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II The Romantic Mind

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pp. 26-64

ROMANTICISM found its first clear expression in the aesthetic revolt against the Enlightenment. But even before the appearance of a romantic literary school there were stirrings of dissatisfaction with the ruling ideas of the 18th century. The unhappy consciousness, at odds with society, with every established...

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III The Unhappy Consciousness in Society

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pp. 65-107

THE "unhappy consciousness" does not just assert itself against the laws of reason and nature. The struggles of Prometheus are only part of the revolt of romanticism against "things as they are." The tragic view of life also embraces history and society; possibly these are even its main preoccupations. Certainly the...

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IV The Romanticism of Defeat

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pp. 108-163

TT IS quite possible that pure romanticism no longer exists. The unhappy consciousness, however, flourishes as never before. Hegel's account of the alienated soul fits many of our contemporaries better than it ever did his own romantic friends. To be sure, romanticism does not express itself today in spontaneous outbursts...

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V Christian Fatalism

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pp. 164-217

IF THE ABSENCE of all faith creates the unhappy consciousness, one might suppose that Christianity could assuage its restless longing. This, however, is no longer possible, for the real source of romantic feeling today is the loss of all social allegiance, and Christians,...

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VI The End of Radicalism

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pp. 218-269

WHAT ANSWERS can be offered to these counsels of social despair? Romanticism refuses to analyze the .social world with any degree of thoroughness, and Christian fatalism subjects modern history to an excess of simplification in order to satisfy its sense of outrage. But to have noted all these shortcomings is not a reply. In fact, no reply is forthcoming....

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Conclusion

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pp. 270-274

WHY POLITICS? After all, romanticism and social theology themselves are not primarily political philosophies. Why not simply turn to some entirely different realm, if these enemies of the Enlightenment are unacceptable and if the Enlightenment itself has withered? The fact is that intellectually...

Bibliography

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pp. 275-298

Index

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pp. 299-309