By Halvor Moxnes
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Additional info for Jesus and the Rise of Nationalism: A New Quest for the Nineteenth Century Historical Jesus
Masculinities and nation Schleiermacher started his lectures on The Life of Jesus by addressing his students as ‘Gentlemen’. In itself, this greeting only reflected the obvious fact that the student body at the University of Berlin in his time was all male. But just because it was so ‘natural’, Schleiermacher’s address signals the general context of historical Jesus studies in the nineteenth century. This was an all-male enterprise, and it has been criticized (and ridiculed) for being part of a male, European attempt to secure its position in a changing world, on a par with colonialism and imperialism.
He uses examples of early novels from Mexico and the Philippines that were associated with nationalist movements. Anderson finds a characteristic element in the way the novel combines the life of the hero and the social environment of the reading public. ’60 Here Anderson combines two aspects that were central to nineteenth-century ideas about history and nation. Since history was determined by the influence of ‘great men’ or heroes, they were also the protagonists of national movements and the founders of nations.
Strauss published his The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined in 1835 and lost his teaching position in Zurich as a result. Ernest Renan, in the inaugural lecture for his chair in Hebrew at the College de France in 1862, spoke of Jesus as ‘an incomparable man whom some call God’. 9 From a distance of 200 years and after a process of secularization and the marginalization of religious symbols and the Bible in European societies, it is difficult to imagine the significance of the symbols attached to Christ in prenineteenth century Europe.