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German Orientalism in the Age of Empire: Religion, Race, and Scholarship

German Orientalism in the Age of Empire: Religion, Race, and Scholarship

By Suzanne L. Marchand

Winner of the 2010 George L. Mosse Prize from the American Historical Association

“Suzanne Marchand engages a major issue of modern German history with her rich, ambitious, and beautifully composed book. She offers powerful and sophisticated arguments that rest on a dazzling command of evidence. German Orientalism in the Age of Empire not only fills a huge gap; it is a bravura performance and a landmark work.” —David Blackbourn, Harvard University

"Marchand's impressively well-researched and -written book offers the first comprehensive and historical study of German Orientalist scholarship. Essential." —Choice

Nineteenth-century studies of the Orient changed European ideas and cultural institutions in more ways than we usually recognize. 'Orientalism' certainly contributed to European empire-building, but it also helped to destroy a narrow Christian-classical canon. This carefully researched book provides the first synthetic and contextualized study of German Orientalistik, a subject of special interest because German scholars were the pacesetters in oriental studies between about 1830 and 1930, despite entering the colonial race late and exiting it early. The book suggests that we must take seriously German orientalism's origins in Renaissance philology and early modern biblical exegesis and appreciate its modern development in the context of nineteenth and early twentieth-century debates about religion and the Bible, classical schooling, and Germanic origins. In ranging across the subdisciplines of Orientalistik, German Orientalism in the Age of Empire introduces readers to a host of iconoclastic characters and forgotten debates, seeking to demonstrate both the richness of this intriguing field and its indebtedness to the cultural world in which it evolved.

560 pages
Cambridge University Press, 2009
6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
ISBN 9780521518499
German History, Theory  

$71.99 $71.99