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Moralist Literature
(615 words)

[German Version]

Moralist literature analyses mores (Lat. mores, Fr. mœurs) and human behavior, giving artistic form to observation of individuals, often in the form of essays or aphorisms. The writers known as “Moralists,” who in West European countries such as Spain, France, and Britain belong to the corpus of classical literature, are not moral preachers; they attempted to read human beings and the world, and on the basis of an illusion-free assessment of human possibilities to develop a technique for prudent social behavior and “rules for happiness” (Baltasar Gracián).

The roots…

Cite this page
Kronauer, Ulrich, “Moralist Literature”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 28 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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