Chapter

Matthew Arnold in Zion:

in Socrates and the Jews

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780226472478
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226472492 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226472492.003.0004
Matthew Arnold in Zion:

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In 1869, Matthew Arnold published the essay Culture and Anarchy, in which he appealed to the intellectual and moral reform of England. The following year, the French intellectual Ernest Renan wrote a tract entitled La Réforme intellectuelle et morale calling for national regeneration in France. Despite being a great admirer of Renan's and a strong supporter of French culture, Arnold reacted strongly to La Réforme and chastised the French for their overzealous Hellenism. His prescription: A good dose of Hebraism. This chapter examines Culture and Anarchy through a series of frames that explain how the shifting discourses of language, nation, and race altered the meaning underlying the confrontation between Greeks and Jews at the heart of Arnold's analysis of English culture. It argues that Arnold's essay simultaneously extends the project of German philhellenism and looks toward a new conceptualization of culture in which the specificity of language and, increasingly, race played important roles.

Keywords: Matthew Arnold; Culture and Anarchy; Ernest Renan; Hellenism; Hebraism; language; nation; race; Greeks; Jews

Chapter.  14439 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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