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Modern Religion, Modern Race$
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Theodore Vial

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190212551

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190212551.001.0001

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Herder and Schleiermacher as Unfamiliar Sources of Racism

Herder and Schleiermacher as Unfamiliar Sources of Racism

Chapter:
(p.155) 5 Herder and Schleiermacher as Unfamiliar Sources of Racism
Source:
Modern Religion, Modern Race
Author(s):

Theodore Vial

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190212551.003.0006

We take for granted a theory of human nature that Charles Taylor has called “expressivism.” Expressivism shows how individuals are shaped by their communities (through language and culture) and how individuals shape their communities (each act expresses the personality of the actor, thereby subtly shifting the language and culture available to the actors’ contemporaries and cultural successors). Expressivism ties individual and group identity together. It lies at the core of our modern ideas of religion and race because it shows why these groups are central to our identity, and why membership in religious and racial groups shapes the ways we think and act. Though Herder attacks Kant’s race theories, and Schleiermacher is an early and robust pluralist, both are key figures in the construction of the Western anthropology of expressivism that makes modern race-thinking possible and ties race to religious groups.

Keywords:   expressivism, Charles Taylor, Isaiah Berlin, theological anthropology, philosophical anthropology, modern Western theory of human nature, expressivism and religion, expressivism and race

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