Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(891 words)

In a stricter sense, the term Kunstreligion (“art religion”) denotes the program of aestheticism and its sacralization of the fine arts and literature in the late 19th century. The culmination of a tendency leading from Arthur Schopenhauer through   Friedrich Nietzsche to Richard Wagner, it made art a surrogate religion. “Art rears its head where the religions leave off” [2. 144]. It is the “one truly metaphysical human activity” [1. 17], and it promises redemption, particularly in the form of music and the Gesamtkunstwerk staged in a form analogous to that of a wor…

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Buntfuß, Markus, “Kunstreligion”, 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 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_022908>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190124

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