The Roots of Western Culture. Chapter 7: Romantic Redirection

A new ideology of community was the immediate result of this change. Romanticism placed the gospel of the autonomous and individual com­munity over against the gospel of the autonomous and nondescript individual. Both Romanticism and all of postkantian “freedom idealism” clung to the idea of a “community of mankind” of which all other communities are individual parts. This idea constituted Romanticism’s “idea of humanity” or, in Goethe’s words, respect for whatever “bears the human countenance” [was Menschenantlitz tragt]. But the community of mankind remained an eternal, supratemporal ideal which manifests itself in temporal society only in individual, national communities.

By Herman Dooyeweerd

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