Germanophilia, germanomania, and Germanic studies : five centuries of contemplations above ancient Germanic myths
Zdrojový dokument: Religio. 2019, roč. 26, č. 2, s. -204
ISSN1210-3640 (print)2336-4475 (online)
Licence: Neurčená licence
The article presents a historical overview of research into Germanic mythology. It introduces the most notable scholars and thinkers in this field, as well as the dominant approaches to the issue within various periods of the research. It also shows the intellectual trajectories, by which old Germanic cultures in general and Germanic mythologies in particular became an ideological matter for nationalistic movements within various Germanic countries. The discovery of Tacit's Germania in 1451 represented an initial impulse for deeper research into "lost" pre-Christian cultural heritage, especially in Germanic countries. Scholarly interest generally began at the earliest in Scandinavia, where both Icelandic Eddas and Norse sagas became objects of study from as early as the 17th century. In Germanspeaking countries, studies in this field began to flourish only in the 18th century, fed by the complex processes associated with the formation of national identities. Later, from the 19th century onward until WWII, Germany became the main centre of Germanic studies, which corresponded with the growth of radical nationalism within the country. In the post-war period, research into the topic diminished for two decades, hand-in-hand with the process of "denazification". Its resurrection in the 1960s and 1970s occurred most notably among Anglo-Saxon scholars, who occupied leading positions in the field at least until the end of the 20th century. This historical review of research into Germanic mythology clearly demonstrates how the political climate influences both the academic discourse and choice of research issues – and, therefore, how interpretations of the past can smoothly turn into "the politics projected into the past".
- Text byl dokončen v rámci projektu specifického výzkumu NOVYMHIR – Nové výzkumné metody v historické religionistice (MUNI/A/0819/2017), řešeného Ústavem religionistiky FF MU v roce 2018.