Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803) is one of the great names of the classical age of German literature. One of the last universalists, he wrote on aesthetics, literary history and theory, historiography, anthropology, psychology, education, and theology; translated and adapted poetry from ancient Greek, English, Italian, even from Persian and Arabic; collected folk songs from around the world; and pioneered a better understanding of non-European cultures. A student of Kant's, he became Goethe's mentor in Strasbourg, and was a mastermind of the Sturm und Drang and a luminary of classical Weimar. But the wide range of Herder's interests and writings, along with his unorthodox ways of seeing things, seems to have prevented him being fully appreciated for any of them. His image has also been clouded by association with political ideologies, the proponents of which ignored the message of Humanität in his texts. So although Herder is acknowledged by scholars to be one of the great thinkers of European Enlightenment, there is no up-to-date, comprehensive introduction to his works in English, a lacuna this book fills with seventeen new, specially commissioned essays.
Contributors: Hans Adler, Wulf Koepke, Steven Martinson, Marion Heinz and Heinrich Clairmont, John Zammito, Jürgen Trabant, Stefan Greif, Ulrich Gaier, Karl Menges, Christoph Bultmann, Martin Keler, Arnd Bohm, Gerhard Sauder, Robert E. Norton, Harro Müller-Michaels, Günter Arnold, Kurt Kloocke, and Ernest A. Menze.
Hans Adler is Halls-Bascom Professor of Modern Literature Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Wulf Koepke is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of German, Texas A&M University and recipient of the Medal of the International J. G. Herder Society.
All the essays represent the height of current research.. A work like this one does not exist in the German language! ARBITRIUM
Until now, anyone looking for a comprehensive introduction to the life and thought of Herder had few options; with their co-edited [volume] however, Hans Adler and Wulf Koepke have identified a need for a general(ist) presentation of his ideas--and satisfied it. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES
Not since the appearance of Clark's monumental Herder: His Life and Thought
has anyone produced a Herder study of this scope in English. The list of the 19 contributors of the 17 essays reads like a Who's Who of Herder scholarship.. Several features make this meticulously edited collection particularly attractive. The texts, including those translated, are in clear and readable English. All Herder quotations are given in German and English.. In sum, on all counts this is an impressive, important addition to the growing body of Herder scholarship. CHOICE
The first English-language introduction that presents the work of Johann Gottfried Herder in all the richness of its many facets. . . . The thoroughly edited volume is doubtless well-placed to promote the knowledge of Herder's body of work in the Anglo-Saxon world. GERMANISTIK
The essays offer not so much introductions as summative explorations of the current state of knowledge of Herder.. [A] well-conceived and well-executed companion. H-NET GERMAN REVIEWS