The invention of the self

Rhodri Hayward

in Resisting History

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780719074141
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700778 | DOI:
The invention of the self

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This chapter describes the conflict between the opposed visions of the relationship between history and identity. It argues that it was the appearance of new forms of religious narrative and theological argument in early nineteenth-century Europe which made possible the emergence of the modern understanding of history, authority, narrative and identity. Over the past three decades, historians, anthropologists, philosophers and literary theorists have all produced fine works making competing claims for the origin of this new form of deep subjectivity. This chapter also explores how new forms of historical enquiry has opened up new ways of imagining the self. The rise of historical criticism moved in tandem with a new theological understanding of the nature of Christ and man, making selfhood move from being simply oppositional to be seen as somehow unnatural or pathological.

Keywords: religious narrative; theological argument; deep subjectivity; making selfhood; nineteenth-century Europe

Chapter.  12782 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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