A Companion to the Works of Johann Gottfried Herder

Book cover: A Companion to the Works of Johann Gottfried Herder


A Companion to the Works of Johann Gottfried Herder. Ed. by Hans Adler and Wulf Koepke. Rochester, New York. Camden House, 2009. ISBN 978-1-57113395-3.

Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803) is one of the great names of the classical age of German literature. One of the last universalists, he wrote on aesthetics, literary history and theory, hagiography, anthropology, psychology, education, and theology; translated and adapted poetry from ancient Greek, English, Italian, even from Persian and Arabic; collected folksongs from around the world; and pioneered a better understanding of non-European cultures. A student of Kant’s, he became Goethes mentor in Strasbourg, and was a mastermind of the Sturm und Drang and a luminary of classical Weimar. But the wide range of Herder’s interests and writings, along with his unorthodox ways of seeing things, seems to have prevented him being fully appreciated for any of them. His image has also been clouded by association with political ideologies, the proponents of which ignored the message of Humanität in his texts. So although Herder is acknowledged by scholars to be one of the great thinkers of European Enlightenment, there is no up-to-date, comprehensive introduction to his works in English, a lacuna this book fills with seventeen new, specially commissioned essays.

A Companion to the Works of Johann Gottfried Herder: contents

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