Historicism is the idea of attributing meaningful significance to space and time, such as historical period, geographical place, and local culture. Historicism tends to be hermeneutical because it values cautious, rigorous, and contextualized interpretation of information; or relativist, because it rejects notions of universal, fundamental and immutable interpretations.[1] The approach varies from individualist theories of knowledge such as empiricism and rationalism, which neglect the role of traditions.

The term "historicism" (Historismus) was coined by German philosopher Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel.[2] Over time it has developed different and somewhat divergent meanings. Elements of historicism appear in the writings of French essayist Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592) and Italian philosopher G. B. Vico (1668–1744), and became more fully developed with the dialectic of Georg Hegel (1770–1831), influential in 19th-century Europe. The writings of Karl Marx, influenced by Hegel, also include historicism. The term is also associated with the empirical social sciences and with the work of Franz Boas.

Historicism may be contrasted with reductionist theories—which assumes that all developments can be explained by fundamental principles (such as in economic determinism)—or with theories that posit that historical changes occur as a result of random chance.

The Austrian-English philosopher Karl Popper condemned historicism along with the determinism and holism which he argued formed its basis. In his Poverty of Historicism, he identified historicism with the opinion that there are "inexorable laws of historical destiny", which opinion he warned against. If this seems to contrast with what proponents of historicism argue for, in terms of contextually relative interpretation, this happens, according to Popper, only because such proponents are unaware of the type of causality they ascribe to history. Talcott Parsons criticized historicism as a case of idealistic fallacy in The Structure of Social Action (1937).

Post-structuralism uses the term "New Historicism", which has some associations with both anthropology and Hegelianism.

The theological use of the word denotes the interpretation of biblical prophecy as being related to church history.



G.W.F. Hegel (by Sichling, after Sebbers)
G. W. F. Hegel (1770–1831)

Hegel viewed the realization of human freedom as the ultimate purpose of history, which could only be achieved through the creation of the perfect state. And this progressive history would only occur through a dialectical process: namely, the tension between the purpose of humankind (freedom), the position that humankind currently finds itself, and mankind's attempt to bend the current world into accord with its nature. However, because humans are often not aware of the goal of both humanity and history, the process of achieving freedom is necessarily one of self-discovery. Hegel also saw the progress toward freedom being conducted by the "spirit" (Geist), a seemingly supernatural force that directed all human actions and interactions. Yet Hegel makes clear that the spirit is a mere abstraction, and only comes into existence "through the activity of finite agents." Thus, Hegel's philosophy of history is not necessarily metaphysical, despite the fact that many of Hegel's opponents and interpreters have understood Hegel's philosophy of history as a metaphysical and determinist view of history.[3] For example, Karl Popper in his book The Poverty of Historicism interpreted Hegel's philosophy of history as metaphysical and deterministic. Popper referred to this "Hegelian" philosophy of history as Historicism.[4]

Hegel's historicism also suggests that any human society and all human activities such as science, art, or philosophy, are defined by their history. Consequently, their essence can be sought only by understanding said history. The history of any such human endeavor, moreover, not only continues but also reacts against what has gone before; this is the source of Hegel's famous dialectic teaching usually summarized by the slogan "thesis, antithesis, and synthesis". (Hegel did not use these terms, although Johann Fichte did.) Hegel's famous aphorism, "Philosophy is the history of philosophy," describes it bluntly.

Hegel's position is perhaps best illuminated when contrasted against the atomistic and reductionist opinion of human societies and social activities self-defining on an ad hoc basis through the sum of dozens of interactions. Yet another contrasting model is the persistent metaphor of a social contract. Hegel considers the relationship between individuals and societies as organic, not atomic: even their social discourse is mediated by language, and language is based on etymology and unique character. It thus preserves the culture of the past in thousands of half-forgotten metaphors. To understand why a person is the way he is, you must examine that person in his society: and to understand that society, you must understand its history, and the forces that influenced it. The Zeitgeist, the "Spirit of the Age," is the concrete embodiment of the most important factors that are acting in human history at any given time. This contrasts with teleological theories of activity, which suppose that the end is the determining factor of activity, as well as those who believe in a tabula rasa, or blank slate, opinion, such that individuals are defined by their interactions.

These ideas can be interpreted variously. The Right Hegelians, working from Hegel's opinions about the organicism and historically determined nature of human societies, interpreted Hegel's historicism as a justification of the unique destiny of national groups and the importance of stability and institutions. Hegel's conception of human societies as entities greater than the individuals who constitute them influenced nineteenth-century romantic nationalism and its twentieth-century excesses. The Young Hegelians, by contrast, interpreted Hegel's thoughts on societies influenced by social conflict for a doctrine of social progress, and attempted to manipulate these forces to cause various results. Karl Marx's doctrine of "historical inevitabilities" and historical materialism is one of the more influential reactions to this part of Hegel's thought. Significantly, Karl Marx's theory of alienation argues that capitalism disrupts traditional relationships between workers and their work.

Hegelian historicism is related to his ideas on the means by which human societies progress, specifically the dialectic and his conception of logic as representing the inner essential nature of reality. Hegel attributes the change to the "modern" need to interact with the world, whereas ancient philosophers were self-contained, and medieval philosophers were monks. In his History of Philosophy Hegel writes:

In modern times things are very different; now we no longer see philosophic individuals who constitute a class by themselves. With the present day all difference has disappeared; philosophers are not monks, for we find them generally in connection with the world, participating with others in some common work or calling. They live, not independently, but in the relation of citizens, or they occupy public offices and take part in the life of the state. Certainly they may be private persons, but if so, their position as such does not in any way isolate them from their other relationship. They are involved in present conditions, in the world and its work and progress. Thus their philosophy is only by the way, a sort of luxury and superfluity. This difference is really to be found in the manner in which outward conditions have taken shape after the building up of the inward world of religion. In modern times, namely, on account of the reconciliation of the worldly principle with itself, the external world is at rest, is brought into order — worldly relationships, conditions, modes of life, have become constituted and organized in a manner which is conformable to nature and rational. We see a universal, comprehensible connection, and with that individuality likewise attains another character and nature, for it is no longer the plastic individuality of the ancients. This connection is of such power that every individuality is under its dominion, and yet at the same time can construct for itself an inward world.[5]

This opinion that entanglement in society creates an indissoluble bond with expression, would become an influential question in philosophy, namely, the requirements for individuality. It would be considered by Nietzsche, John Dewey and Michel Foucault directly, as well as in the work of numerous artists and authors. There have been various responses to Hegel's challenge. The Romantic period emphasized the ability of individual genius to transcend time and place, and use the materials from their heritage to fashion works which were beyond determination. The modern would advance versions of John Locke's infinite malleability of the human animal. Post-structuralism would argue that since history is not present, but only the image of history, that while an individual era or power structure might emphasize a particular history, that the contradictions within the story would hinder the very purposes that the history was constructed to advance.


In the context of anthropology and other sciences which study the past, historicism has a different meaning. Anthropological historicism[6] is associated with the work of Franz Boas. His theory used the diffusionist concept that there were a few "cradles of civilization" which grew outwards, and merged it with the idea that societies would adapt to their circumstances, which is called historical particularism. The school of historicism grew in response to unilinear theories that social development represented adaptive fitness, and therefore existed on a continuum. While these theories were espoused by Charles Darwin and many of his students, their application as applied in social Darwinism and general evolution characterized in the theories of Herbert Spencer and Leslie White, historicism was neither anti-selection, nor anti-evolution, as Darwin never attempted nor offered an explanation for cultural evolution. However, it attacked the notion that there was one normative spectrum of development, instead emphasizing how local conditions would create adaptations to the local environment. Julian Steward refuted the viability of globally and universally applicable adaptive standards proposing that culture was honed adaptively in response to the idiosyncrasies of the local environment, the cultural ecology, by specific evolution. What was adaptive for one region might not be so for another. This conclusion has likewise been adopted by modern forms of biological evolutionary theory.

The primary method of historicism was empirical, namely that there were so many requisite inputs into a society or event, that only by emphasizing the data available could a theory of the source be determined. In this opinion, grand theories are unprovable, and instead intensive field work would determine the most likely explanation and history of a culture, and hence it is named "historicism."

This opinion would produce a wide range of definition of what, exactly, constituted culture and history, but in each case the only means of explaining it was in terms of the historical particulars of the culture itself.


Since the 1950s, when Jacques Lacan and Foucault argued that each epoch has its own knowledge system, within which individuals are inexorably entangled, many post-structuralists have used historicism to describe the opinion that all questions must be settled within the cultural and social context in which they are raised. Answers cannot be found by appeal to an external truth, but only within the confines of the norms and forms that phrase the question. This version of historicism holds that there are only the raw texts, markings and artifacts that exist in the present, and the conventions used to decode them. This school of thought is sometimes given the name of New Historicism.

The same term, new historicism is also used for a school of literary scholarship which interprets a poem, drama, etc. as an expression of or reaction to the power-structures of its society. Stephen Greenblatt is an example of this school.


Within the context of 20th-century philosophy, debates continue as to whether ahistorical and immanent methods were sufficient to understand meaning—that is to say, "what you see is what you get" positivism—or whether context, background and culture are important beyond the mere need to decode words, phrases and references. While post-structural historicism is relativist in its orientation, that is, it sees each culture as its own frame of reference, a large number of thinkers have embraced the need for historical context, not because culture is self-referential, but because there is no more compressed means of conveying all of the relevant information except through history. This opinion is often seen as deriving from the work of Benedetto Croce. Recent historians using this tradition include Thomas Kuhn.



In Christianity, the term historicism refers to the confessional Protestant form of prophetical interpretation which holds that the fulfillment of biblical prophecy has occurred throughout history and continues to occur; as opposed to other methods which limit the time-frame of prophecy-fulfillment to the past or to the future.

Dogmatic and ecclesiastic

There is also a particular opinion in ecclesiastical history and in the history of dogmas which has been described as historicist by Pope Pius XII in the encyclical Humani generis. "They add that the history of dogmas consists in the reporting of the various forms in which revealed truth has been clothed, forms that have succeeded one another in accordance with the different teachings and opinions that have arisen over the course of the centuries."[7]


Karl Marx

The social theory of Karl Marx, with respect to modern scholarship, has an ambiguous relation to historicism. Critics of Marx have charged his theory with historicism since its very genesis. However, the issue of historicism also finds itself important to many debates within Marxism itself; the charge of historicism has been made against various types of Marxism, typically disparaged by Marxists as "vulgar" Marxism.

Marx himself expresses critical concerns with this historicist tendency in his Theses on Feuerbach:

The materialist doctrine that men are products of circumstances and upbringing, and that, therefore, changed men are products of changed circumstances and changed upbringing, forgets that it is men who change circumstances and that the educator must himself be educated. Hence this doctrine is bound to divide society into two parts, one of which is superior to society. The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-change [Selbstveränderung] can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionary practice.[8]

Karl Popper

Karl Popper used the term historicism in his influential books The Poverty of Historicism and The Open Society and Its Enemies, to mean: "an approach to the social sciences which assumes that historical prediction is their primary aim, and which assumes that this aim is attainable by discovering the 'rhythms' or the 'patterns', the 'laws' or the 'trends' that underlie the evolution of history".[9] Karl Popper wrote with reference to Hegel's theory of history, which he criticized extensively. However, there is wide dispute whether Popper's description of "historicism" is an accurate description of Hegel, or more his characterisation of his own philosophical antagonists, including Marxist-Leninist thought, then widely held as posing a challenge to the philosophical basis of the West, as well as theories such as Spengler's which drew predictions about the future course of events from the past.

In The Open Society and Its Enemies, Popper attacks "historicism" and its proponents, among whom (as well as Hegel) he identifies and singles out Plato and Marx—calling them all "enemies of the open society". The objection he makes is that historicist positions, by claiming that there is an inevitable and deterministic pattern to history, abrogate the democratic responsibility of each one of us to make our own free contributions to the evolution of society, and hence lead to totalitarianism.

Another of his targets is what he terms "moral historicism", the attempt to infer moral values from the course of history; in Hegel's words, that "history is the world's court of justice". This may take the form of conservatism (former might is right), positivism (might is right) or futurism (presumed coming might is right). As against these, Popper says that he does not believe "that success proves anything or that history is our judge".[10] Futurism must be distinguished from prophecies that the right will prevail: these attempt to infer history from ethics, rather than ethics from history, and are therefore historicism in the normal sense rather than moral historicism.

He also attacks what he calls "Historism", which he regards as distinct from historicism. By historism, he means the tendency to regard every argument or idea as completely accounted for by its historical context, as opposed to assessing it by its merits. In Popperian terms, the "New Historicism" is an example of historism rather than of historicism proper.

Leo Strauss

Leo Strauss used the term historicism and reportedly termed it the single greatest threat to intellectual freedom insofar as it denies any attempt to address injustice-pure-and-simple (such is the significance of historicism's rejection of "natural right" or "right by nature"). Strauss argued that historicism "rejects political philosophy" (insofar as this stands or falls by questions of permanent, trans-historical significance) and is based on the belief that "all human thought, including scientific thought, rests on premises which cannot be validated by human reason and which came from historical epoch to historical epoch." Strauss further identified R. G. Collingwood as the most coherent advocate of historicism in the English language. Countering Collingwood's arguments, Strauss warned against historicist social scientists' failure to address real-life problems—most notably that of tyranny—to the extent that they relativize (or "subjectivize") all ethical problems by placing their significance strictly in function of particular or ever-changing socio-material conditions devoid of inherent or "objective" "value." Similarly, Strauss criticized Eric Voegelin's abandonment of ancient political thought as guide or vehicle in interpreting modern political problems.

In his books, Natural Right and History and On Tyranny, Strauss offers a complete critique of historicism as it emerges in the works of Hegel, Marx, and Heidegger. Many believe that Strauss also found historicism in Edmund Burke, Tocqueville, Augustine, and John Stuart Mill. Although it is largely disputed whether Strauss himself was a historicist, he often indicated that historicism grew out of and against Christianity and was a threat to civic participation, belief in human agency, religious pluralism, and, most controversially, an accurate understanding of the classical philosophers and religious prophets themselves. Throughout his work, he warns that historicism, and the understanding of progress that results from it, expose us to tyranny, totalitarianism, and democratic extremism. In his exchange with Alexandre Kojève in On Tyranny, Strauss seems to blame historicism for Nazism and Communism. In a collection of his works by Kenneth Hart entitled Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity, he argues that Islam, traditional Judaism, and ancient Greece, share a concern for sacred law that makes them especially susceptible to historicism, and therefore to tyranny. Strauss makes use of Nietzsche's own critique of progress and historicism, although Strauss refers to Nietzsche himself (no less than to Heidegger) as a "radical historicist" who articulated a philosophical (if only untenable) justification for historicism.

See also


  1. ^ Kahan, Jeffrey. "Historicism." Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 50, no. 4 December 22, 1997, p. 1202
  2. ^ Brian Leiter, Michael Rosen (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. 175: "[The word 'historicism'] appears as early as the late eighteenth century in the writings of the German romantics, who used it in a neutral sense. In 1797 Friedrich Schlegel used 'historicism' to refer to a philosophy that stresses the importance of history..."; Katherine Harloe, Neville Morley (eds.), Thucydides and the Modern World: Reception, Reinterpretation and Influence from the Renaissance to the Present, Cambridge University Press, 2012, p. 81: "Already in Friedrich Schlegel's Fragments about Poetry and Literature (a collection of notes attributed to 1797), the word Historismus occurs five times."
  3. ^ Beiser, Frederick C. (1993). The Cambridge Companion to Hegel. Cambridge: Cambridge University PRess. pp. 289–91.
  4. ^ Popper, Karl Popper (1957). The Poverty of Historicism. London: Routledge. p. 4.
  5. ^ "Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Volume 3", By Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Translated by E. S. Haldane and Frances H. Simson, M. A., University of Nebraska Press, 1995
  6. ^ Byron Kaldis (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences, SAGE Publications, 2013, p. 421.
  7. ^ Pius XII. "Humani generis, 15". Vatican.va. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  8. ^ "Theses on Feuerbach". Retrieved February 20, 2009.
  9. ^ POPPER, Karl, p. 3 of The Poverty of Historicism, italics in original
  10. ^ The Open Society and its Enemies, vol. 2 p. 29.

Further reading

External links

Academic art

Academic art, or academicism or academism, is a style of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced under the influence of European academies of art. Specifically, academic art is the art and artists influenced by the standards of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, which was practiced under the movements of Neoclassicism and Romanticism, and the art that followed these two movements in the attempt to synthesize both of their styles, and which is best reflected by the paintings of William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Thomas Couture, and Hans Makart. In this context it is often called "academism", "academicism", "art pompier" (pejoratively), and "eclecticism", and sometimes linked with "historicism" and "syncretism".

Christian eschatology

Christian eschatology is a major branch of study within Christian theology dealing with the "last things." Eschatology, from two Greek words meaning "last" (ἔσχατος) and "study" (-λογία), is the study of 'end things', whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, the end of the world or the nature of the Kingdom of God. Broadly speaking, Christian eschatology is the study concerned with the ultimate destiny of the individual soul and the entire created order, based primarily upon biblical texts within the Old and New Testament.

Christian eschatology looks to study and discuss matters such as death and the afterlife, Heaven and Hell, the second coming of Jesus, the resurrection of the dead, the rapture, the tribulation, millennialism, the end of the world, the Last Judgment, and the New Heaven and New Earth in the world to come.

Eschatological passages are found in many places in the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testaments. There are also many extrabiblical examples of eschatological prophecies, as well as church traditions.

Contemporary classical music

Contemporary classical music can be understood as belonging to the period that started in the mid-1970s to early 1990s, which includes current postmodern, neoromantic, and pluralist music. However, the term may also be employed in a broader sense to refer to all post-1945 musical forms including late modernist music.

Great Disappointment

The Great Disappointment in the Millerite movement was the reaction that followed Baptist preacher William Miller's proclamations that Jesus Christ would return to the Earth by 1844, what he called the Advent. His study of the Daniel 8 prophecy during the Second Great Awakening led him to the conclusion that Daniel's "cleansing of the sanctuary" was cleansing of the world from sin when Christ would come, and he and many others prepared, but October 22, 1844, came and they were disappointed.These events paved the way for the Adventists who formed the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They contended that what had happened on October 22 was not Jesus' return, as Miller had thought, but the start of Jesus' final work of atonement, the cleansing in the heavenly sanctuary, leading up to the Second Coming.

Great Tribulation

In Christian eschatology, the Great Tribulation (Greek: θλίψις μεγάλη, thlipsis megalē) is a period mentioned by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse as a sign that would occur in the time of the end.At Revelation 7:14, "the Great Tribulation" (Greek: τῆς θλίψεως τῆς μεγάλης, literally, "the tribulation, the great one") is used to indicate the period spoken of by Jesus. Matthew 24: 21 and 29 uses tribulation (θλίβω) in a context denoting afflictions of those hard-pressed by siege and the calamities of war.

Historicism (Christianity)

Christian Historicism is a method of interpretation of Biblical prophecies which associates symbols with historical persons, nations or events. The main primary texts of interest to Christian historicists include apocalyptic literature, such as the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. It sees the prophecies of Daniel as being fulfilled throughout history, extending from the past through the present to the future. It is sometimes called the continuous historical view. Commentators have also applied historicist methods to ancient Jewish history, to the Roman Empire, to Islam, to the Papacy, to the Modern era, and to the end time.

The historicist method starts with Daniel 2 and works progressively through consecutive prophecies of the book–chapters 7, 8 and 11–resulting in a view of Daniel's prophecies very different from preterism and futurism. According to William Shea, Antiochus is thus scaled down to a very modest subheading under the Greek kingdom. "This is the most ancient system of interpretation in both Jewish and Christian traditions. So far it is the only one which respects the historical intention of the biblical author as such. The preterist approach makes the Bible lie, the futurist approach makes the Bible a work of science fiction; neither one seriously takes the historical data into account."Almost all Protestant Reformers from the Reformation into the 19th century held historicist views.

Historicism (art)

Historicism or also historism (German: Historismus) comprises artistic styles that draw their inspiration from recreating historic styles or imitating the work of historic artisans. This is especially prevalent in architecture, such as revival architecture. Through a combination of different styles or implementation of new elements, historicism can create completely different aesthetics than former styles. Thus it offers a great variety of possible designs.

In the history of art, after Neoclassicism which in the Romantic era could itself be considered a historicist movement, the 19th century saw a new historicist phase marked by an interpretation not only of Greek and Roman classicism, but also of succeeding stylistic eras, which were increasingly considered equivalent. In particular in architecture and in the genre of history painting, in which historical subjects were treated of with great attention to accurate period detail, the global influence of historicism was especially strong from the 1850s onwards. The change is often related to the rise of the bourgeoisie during and after the Industrial Revolution. By the end of the century, in the fin de siècle, Symbolism and Art Nouveau followed by Expressionism and Modernism acted to make Historicism look outdated, although many large public commissions continued in the 20th century. The Arts and Crafts movement managed to combine a looser vernacular historicism with elements of Art Nouveau and other contemporary styles.

Influences of historicism remained strong until the 1950s in many countries. When postmodern architecture became widely popular in the 1980s, a movement of Neo-Historism followed, that is still prominent and can be found around the world, especially in representative and upper-class buildings.


Historicity is the historical actuality of persons and events, meaning the quality of being part of history as opposed to being a historical myth, legend, or fiction. Historicity focuses on the true value of knowledge claims about the past (denoting historical actuality, authenticity, and factuality). The historicity of a claim about the past is its factual status.Some theoreticians characterize historicity as a dimension of all natural phenomena that take place in space and time. Other scholars characterize it as an attribute reserved to certain human phenomena, in agreement with the practice of historiography. Herbert Marcuse explained historicity as that which “defines history and thus distinguishes it from ‘nature’ or from the ‘economy’” and “signifies the meaning we intend when we say of something that is ‘historical’.”The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy defines historicity as "denoting the feature of our human situation by which we are located in specific concrete temporal and historical circumstances." For Wilhelm Dilthey, historicity identifies human beings as unique and concrete historical beings.Questions regarding historicity concern not just the issue of "what really happened," but also the issue of how modern observers can come to know "what really happened." This second issue is closely tied to historical research practices and methodologies for analyzing the reliability of primary sources and other evidence. Because various methodologies thematize historicity differently, it's not possible to reduce historicity to a single structure to be represented. Some methodologies (for example historicism), can make historicity subject to constructions of history based on submerged value commitments.Questions of historicity are particularly relevant to partisan or poetic accounts of past events. For example, the historicity of the Iliad has become a topic of debate because later archaeological finds suggest that the work was based on some true event.

Questions of historicity also arise frequently in relation to historical studies of religion. In these cases, value commitments can influence the choice of research methodology.


Historism is a philosophical and historiographical theory, founded in 19th-century Germany (as Historismus) and especially influential in 19th- and 20th-century Europe. In those times there was not a single natural, humanitarian or philosophical science that would not reflect, in one way or another, the historical type of thought (cf. comparative historical linguistics etc.). It pronounces the historicity of humanity and its binding to tradition.

Historist historiography rejects historical teleology and bases its explanations of historical phenomena on sympathy and understanding (see Hermeneutics) for the events, acting persons, and historical periods. The historist approach takes to its extreme limits the common observation that human institutions (language, Art, religion, law, State) are subject to perpetual change.Historism is not to be confused with historicism, nevertheless the English habits of using both words are very similar. (The term historism is sometimes reserved to identify the specific current called Historismus in the tradition of German philosophy and historiography.)

Idealism (Christian eschatology)

Idealism (also called the spiritual approach, the allegorical approach, the nonliteral approach, and many other names) in Christian eschatology is an interpretation of the Book of Revelation that sees all of the imagery of the book as symbols.Jacob Taubes writes that idealist eschatology came about as Renaissance thinkers began to doubt that the Kingdom of Heaven had been established on earth, or would be established, but still believed in its establishment. Rather than the Kingdom of Heaven being present in society, it is established subjectively for the individual.F. D. Maurice interpreted the Kingdom of Heaven idealistically as a symbol representing society's general improvement, instead of a physical and political kingdom. Karl Barth interprets eschatology as representing existential truths that bring the individual hope, rather than history or future-history. Barth's ideas provided fuel for the Social Gospel philosophy in America, which saw social change not as performing "required" good works, but because the individuals involved felt that Christians could not simply ignore society's problems with future dreams.Different authors have suggested that the Beast represents various social injustices, such as exploitation of workers, wealth, the elite, commerce, materialism, and imperialism. Various Christian anarchists, such as Jacques Ellul, have identified the State and political power as the Beast.It is distinct from Preterism, Futurism and Historicism in that it does not see any of the prophecies (except in some cases the Second Coming, and Final Judgment) as being fulfilled in a literal, physical, earthly sense either in the past, present or future, and that to interpret the eschatological portions of the Bible in a historical or future-historical fashion is an erroneous understanding.

Musical historicism

Musical historicism signifies the use of historical materials, structures, styles, techniques, media, conceptual content, etc., whether by a single composer or those associated with a particular school, movement, or period.

Musical historicism also denotes a theory, doctrine, or aesthetic that emphasizes the importance of music history or in which history is seen as a standard of value or determining factor (as in performance practice).


Neo-Historism, also known as Neo-Historicism, comprises artistic styles that draw their inspiration from recreating historicist styles or artisans. This is especially prevalent in styles used in revival architecture. Through combination of different styles or implementation of new elements, Neo-Historism can create completely different aesthetics than former styles. Thus it offers a great variety of possible designs.

It is a sub-trend of New Classical architecture.

New historicism

New historicism is a form of literary theory whose goal is to understand intellectual history through literature, and literature through its cultural context, which follows the 1950s field of history of ideas and refers to itself as a form of "Cultural Poetics". It was first developed in the 1980s, primarily through the work of the critic and University of California, Berkeley English professor Stephen Greenblatt and gained widespread influence in the 1990s. The term new historicism was coined by Greenblatt when he "collected a bunch of essays and then, out of a kind of desperation to get the introduction done, I wrote that the essays represented something I called a 'new historicism'".Harold Aram Veeser, introducing an anthology of essays, The New Historicism (1989), noted some key assumptions that continually reappear in new historicism; they are:

that every expressive act is embedded in a network of material practices;

that every act of unmasking, critique and opposition uses the tools it condemns and risks falling prey to the practice it exposes;

that literary and non-literary "texts" circulate inseparably;

that no discourse, imaginative or archival, gives access to unchanging truths, nor expresses inalterable human nature;

... that a critical method and a language adequate to describe culture under capitalism participate in the economy they describe.

Olivet Discourse

The Olivet Discourse or Olivet prophecy is a biblical passage found in the Synoptic Gospels in Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21. It is also known as the Little Apocalypse because it includes the use of apocalyptic language, and it includes Jesus' warning to his followers that they will suffer tribulation and persecution before the ultimate triumph of the Kingdom of God. The Olivet discourse is the last of the Five Discourses of Matthew and occurs just before the narrative of Jesus' passion beginning with the anointing of Jesus.

In all three synoptic Gospels this episode includes the Parable of the Budding Fig Tree.It is unclear whether the tribulation Jesus describes is a past, present or future event. Some believe the passage largely refers to events surrounding the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and as such is used to date the Gospel of Mark around the year 70.

Stephen Greenblatt

Stephen Jay Greenblatt (; born November 7, 1943) is an American Shakespearean, literary historian, and author. He has served as the John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University since 2000. Greenblatt is the general editor of The Norton Shakespeare (2015) and the general editor and a contributor to The Norton Anthology of English Literature.

Greenblatt is one of the founders of New Historicism, a set of critical practices that he often refers to as "cultural poetics"; his works have been influential since the early 1980s when he introduced the term. Greenblatt has written and edited numerous books and articles relevant to New Historicism, the study of culture, Renaissance studies and Shakespeare studies and is considered to be an expert in these fields. He is also co-founder of the literary-cultural journal Representations, which often publishes articles by new historicists. His most popular work is Will in the World, a biography of Shakespeare that was on the New York Times Best Seller List for nine weeks. He won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 2012 and the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2011 for The Swerve: How the World Became Modern.

Swiss chalet style

Swiss chalet style (German: Schweizerstil, Norwegian: Sveitserstil) is an architectural style of Late Historicism, originally inspired by rural chalets in Switzerland and the Alpine (mountainous) regions of Central Europe. The style refers to traditional building designs characterised by widely projecting roofs and facades richly decorated with wooden balconies and carved ornaments. It spread over Germany, Austria-Hungary and Scandinavia during the Belle Époque era.

The Open Society and Its Enemies

The Open Society and Its Enemies is a work on political philosophy by the philosopher Karl Popper, in which the author presents a "defence of the open society against its enemies", and offers a critique of theories of teleological historicism, according to which history unfolds inexorably according to universal laws. Popper indicts Plato, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Karl Marx as totalitarian for relying on historicism to underpin their political philosophies, though his interpretations of all three philosophers have been criticized.

Written during World War II, The Open Society and Its Enemies was published in 1945 in London by Routledge in two volumes: "The Spell of Plato" and "The High Tide of Prophecy: Hegel, Marx, and the Aftermath". A one-volume edition with a new introduction by Alan Ryan and an essay by E. H. Gombrich was published by Princeton University Press in 2013. The work was listed as one of the Modern Library Board's 100 Best Nonfiction books of the 20th century.

The Poverty of Historicism

The Poverty of Historicism is a 1957 book by philosopher Karl Popper, in which the author argues that the idea of historicism is dangerous and bankrupt.

Whore of Babylon

The Whore of Babylon or Babylon the Great is a symbolic female figure and also place of evil mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. Her full title is stated in Revelation 17 (Revelation 17:5) as Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth (Greek: μυστηριον, Βαβυλὼν ἡ μεγάλη, ἡ μήτηρ τῶν πορνῶν καὶ τῶν βδελυγμάτων τῆς γῆς; transliterated Mysteriōn, Babylōn hē megalē, hē mētēr tōn pornōn kai tōn bdelygmatōn tēs gēs).

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.