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Religious Change in Europe 1650–1914Essays for John McManners$
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Nigel Aston

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205968

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205968.001.0001

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‘A footing beyond Time’: Church, State, and the Individual in Carlyle's Historical Writing

‘A footing beyond Time’: Church, State, and the Individual in Carlyle's Historical Writing

Chapter:
(p.309) 15 ‘A footing beyond Time’: Church, State, and the Individual in Carlyle's Historical Writing
Source:
Religious Change in Europe 1650–1914
Author(s):

Laurence Le Quesne

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205968.003.0016

This chapter deals with the philosophical idealism that Carlyle had derived from his readings in the literature of the German philosophical renaissance, ultimately from Kant. From this source Carlyle derived the distinction between a contingent world of phenomena, governed by the categories of space and time — for the great majority of mankind, the only world there is — and the world of realities that underly it, occasionally breaks through into it, and whose presence is sensed and proclaimed by only an enlightened few — Fichte's ‘learned men’, Carlyle's own prophets and heroes — whose footing is indeed ‘beyond Time’. It was with the recognition and the celebration of that few that Carlyle was to become increasingly preoccupied in his later writings. It should be noted that at the outset Carlyle had little patience with institutions: much more often than not, his inclination was to dismiss them out of hand as mere ‘machinery’.

Keywords:   Carlyle, idealism, German philosophy, space and time, church and state, historical writing

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