appeared in 1799 and received immediate acclaim. Defining religion as 'a sense and a taste for the infinite', he portrayed religious motivation as rooted in a primal feeling, an intuitive sense of 'absolute dependence' on something totally other. A few years later, in 1802, Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand published his Genius of Christianity, with its praise of the creative, aesthetic spirit of Christianity. Influenced by such celebrations of religious feeling, kindred spirits began looking to religion as well as art for individual self-discovery. Friedrich Schlegel and his gifted wife, Dorothea Mendelssohn, converted to Catholicism in 1808. The idealist philosopher, Friedrich Schelling, moved towards Catholic Christianity from about 1806. A young HamburgJew, David Mendel, was converted to Christianity in part by Schleiermacher's On Religion. Taking the name 'Neander' at his baptism in 1806, he taught church history with a poetic passion at the University of Berlin from 1813. In England, the Romantic poet, Robert Southey, embraced a High Anglican faith in 1810.
Some Romantics were drawn to Christianity, and especially medieval Christianity, out of a longing for familial and communal order amid the political upheavals of the times. Friedrich von Hardenberg, a Romantic poet who wrote under the name of Novalis, had found consolation in Christianity following the death of his young fiancee. His essay, 'Christendom or Europe', written in 1799, employed an ecstatic, mystical language to extol the harmonies of a Christian world-order and to call upon the nations to return to this unity. Since the Reformation, sectarian and national divisions had brought only warfare; there must be a return to the common Christian faith of the Middle Ages. 'Blood will flow across Europe', he prophesied,
Until the nations become aware of the terrible madness which drives them around in circles and until, affected and soothed by holy music, all in a varied group they approach their former altars to undertake the work of peace . . . Only religion can awaken Europe again and make the peoples secure.16
The essay circulated widely in manuscript - it was considered too controversial for publication in the Athernum, the organ of the Jena circle - and it contributed significantly to a revived interest in medieval Catholicism. Also drawn to medieval institutions and the religious basis of community was the conservative political philosopher, Adam Muller, who converted to Roman Catholicism in 1805. His Elements of Statecraft (1808) promoted the notion of an organic national unity rooted in Christian teaching. Several German painters, including Johann Friedrich Overbeck, Franz Pforr, and Peter von Cornelius, embraced this veneration of medieval faith. Known as the Nazarines, they
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