Friedrich von Hardenberg (1772–1801) is better known under his pen name Novalis as a key early exponent of German Romanticism. His text ‘Christendom or Europe’ was first delivered as an address in 1799 but was considered too controversial for immediate publication and did not see the light of day until 1826, and then in truncated form. In it, Novalis judges the effects of the Enlightenment and Revolution on European society much more harshly than Herder; his picture of Europe’s medieval legacy, though somewhat idealized, did not imply a literal return to pre-Reformation European norms but rather a study of religion and its role in maintaining social bonds.
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