In: KulturPoetik 2014, Heft 1


Terence James Reed


Der säkulare Goethe. Zur geistigen Selbstständigkeit und was daraus folgt




Part of Goethe’s historic and continuing significance is the fundamentally secular nature of his work. From the very start an independent spirit, he was able to resist religious orthodoxy and develop his own view of the world, one which embodied the values of the Enlightenment. The process can be followed in the letters he exchanged with contemporaries as well as in his poetry and science. His life’s work thus stands out against the centuries-old tradition of Christian art and constitutes a welcome new beginning. In the present day, when religion is again playing a more prominent role in culture and politics, it is good to have the support of one of the greatest secular creators of modern times.