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Religionizing, Romanizing Romantics: The Catholico-Christian Camouflage of the Early German Romantics: Wackenroder, Tieck, Novalis, Friedrich & August Wilhelm Schlegel

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Siegmar Hellerich

The study investigates the causes of the renewed yearning for spiritual values and highlights the growing sympathies for Catholicism even by Protestants after Rationalism and the French Revolution had dealt a seemingly mortal wound to the papacy. Alone amidst the ruins of a world which had passed away, the unchangeable Church appeared the sole bulwark against the revolutionary egalitarianism. Above all, the progress of the Catholic revival of the 19th century was made possible by the Romantic school founded in 1798 by a few extremely gifted Protestant idealists. Impressed by the aesthetic aspect of the Roman rite but without interest in the doctrines of salvation these soi-disant prophets and maturing gods were more hypocritical but no more virtuous and no closer to believing in the Catholic dogmas than were the worshippers of the Goddess of Reason, whom they fought.
Contents: Rationalism and the French Revolution humiliate the papacy - Romanticism revives Catholicism - I. Wackenroder & Tieck: Morning Stars of the Catholic Revival - II. Novalis' Mediaevalizing and Catholicizing; his Mariolatry - III. Fr. Schlegel: From Atheism to Pantheism to Catholicism - IV. A. W. Schlegel: A Pagan Protestant Catholicizing from an Artistic Point of View as did other Romantics like Chézy, Loeben, Schelling, Steffens and other Romantics.