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Enlightenment and Revolution

Enlightenment and Revolution

The Making of Modern Greece

Paschalis M. Kitromilides

ISBN 9780674726413

Publication date: 11/25/2013

Greece sits at the center of a geopolitical storm that threatens the stability of the European Union. To comprehend how this small country precipitated such an outsized crisis, it is necessary to understand how Greece developed into a nation in the first place, Paschalis Kitromilides contends. Enlightenment and Revolution identifies the intellectual trends and ideological traditions that shaped a religiously defined community of Greek-speaking people into a modern nation-state--albeit one in which antiliberal forces have exacted a high price.

Kitromilides takes in the vast sweep of the Greek Enlightenment in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, assessing key developments such as the translation of Voltaire, Locke, and other modern authors into Greek; the conflicts sparked by the Newtonian scientific revolution; the rediscovery of the civilization of classical Greece; and the emergence of a powerful countermovement. He highlights Greek thinkers such as Voulgaris and Korais, showing how these figures influenced and converged with currents of the Enlightenment in the rest of Europe.

In reconstructing this history, Kitromilides demonstrates how the confrontation between Enlightenment ideas and Church-sanctioned ideologies shaped the culture of present-day Greece. When the Greek nation-state emerged from a decade-long revolutionary struggle against the Ottoman Empire in the early nineteenth century, the Enlightenment dream of a free Greek polity was soon overshadowed by a romanticized nationalist and authoritarian vision. The failure to create a modern liberal state at that decisive historic moment, Kitromilides insists, is at the root of Greece's recent troubles.

Author

  • Paschalis M. Kitromilides is author of numerous books, including Enlightenment and Revolution: The Making of Modern Greece. He is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Athens and a member of the Academy of Athens. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Society for the History of Political Thought.

Book Details

  • Harvard University Press

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