Studia Philosophica

Volume 57, Issue 1, 2010

Ve službě filosofii Na počest Jiřího Gabriela: In Service of Philosophy. In Honor of Jiří Gabriel

Josef Zumr
Pages 189-205

A Storm and Hope
On the Ideas of the First Generation of National Revival

The work deals with the influence of the French Revolution and the related neo-humanist movement on the first phase of Czech national revival from the end of 18th and the beginning of 19th centuries. First it notices some changes in the interpretation of the French Revolution, especially in contemporary historical studies, and rejects criticisms of the revolution. It shows how German society reacted to the revolution and how the German neo-humanist movement and its major concept of “antique ideal” emerged under the influence of it. The conditions in Germany serve as tertium comparationis to the situation in Bohemia. It is claimed that we can find a positive attitude toward French Revolution in Bohemia too, especially in protestant and free mason circles. That made the reception of new humanism in Bohemia easier, since neo-humanism was based on revolutionary ideas as well as German protestantism and its humanist dimension. New humanism was then able to play a positive role in the emancipatory process of Czech society for almost the whole of the first half of 19th century.