Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,030 words)

1. History and meaning of the word

The German noun Innerlichkeit (roughly “inwardness”) is a word specific to the late early modern period, even though innerkeit was already used by Meister Eckhart in the early 14th century for the “inner self” [3. 419]. Klopstock used the word for the first time in 1779 for a poetic technique (Poetics) that brings out the authentic, innermost nature of an object. After 1787 Goethe also used it to denote the inner nature of an individual or nation [12]. Later it was used esp…

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Großhans, Hans-Peter, “Innerlichkeit”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 01 April 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_021437>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190124

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