Essay

De strijd der twee zielen in het werk van Walter Schubart

Hans Ester
Literator | Vol 33, No 2 | a401 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v33i2.401 | © 2012 Hans Ester | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 October 2012 | Published: 14 December 2012

About the author(s)

Hans Ester, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Abstract

The struggle between two souls in the work of Walter Schubart.

This essay explores the relevance of the work of Walter Schubart (1897-±1941), a virtually unknown cultural philosopher from Lithuania, for today. The writer focuses on the importance of Schubart’s programme of spiritual rebirth and on his intriguing vision for the people of Europe today. To counterbalance the metaphysical egotism of Europe, Schubart finds in Russia, and in Dostoyevsky in particular, a living consciousness of a relation to the whole that could heal Europe. The twentieth century is for Schubart a battlefield between, on the one hand, the promethean period of deserting God focusing on the earth, and on the other hand, the johannean period of the Messianic era that acts out of a desire for charity and healing. Despite criticism of Schubart’s somewhat simplistic views of cultural history, the author emphasises the surprising topical manner in which Schubart’s cultural critique confronts modern Western culture with a critical reflection of itself.


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