Article ID: CBB726812573

Spirituality, Politics, and the Maistrian Moment: Reflections on Themes from The French Idea of History (2015)


The French Idea of History: Joseph de Maistre and His Heirs, 1794–1854 (Cornell, 2011) is a monograph by Carolina Armenteros describing the historical thought of Joseph de Maistre (1753–1821) and recounting its posterity among French traditionalist, socialist and positivist thinkers. This article presents Armenteros's reflections on some of her book's themes and on the place they occupy in current scholarly debates. She notes that commentators today tend to assume politics' primacy over spirituality as a human motivator. A product of the de-spiritualisation of human experience in late modernity, this view is associated with the polarisation of the concepts of tradition and Enlightenment, and with ideas of liberty and reason ill-adapted to interpreting Maistre's thought. Armenteros shows how her portrait of an anti-absolutist, empiricist and reasonable Maistre disappointed with kings and bent on resolving the problem of violence through spiritual means is the necessary consequence of investigating his historical and political thought in context.

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Authors & Contributors
Aarsleff, Hans
Engels, Eve-Marie
Jessop, Ralph
DeWitt, Anne
Hale, Piers J.
Dilley, Stephen Craig
History of European Ideas
Annals of the History and Philosophy of Biology
Journal of the History of Biology
Journal of Historical Geography
History of Psychiatry
Journal of African American Studies
Cambridge University Press
Lexington Books
Pennsylvania State University Press
Yale University Press
Princeton University Press
University of Chicago Press
Moral philosophy
Science and religion
Social Darwinism
Science and literature
Darwin, Charles Robert
Locke, John
Diderot, Denis
Maistre, Joseph Marie, Comte de
Hamilton, William
James, William
British Isles
Great Britain
South Carolina (U.S.)
19th century
18th century
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
American Association of Variable Star Observers
Royal Dublin Society
Penn Normal, Industrial, and Agricultural School

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