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innate habits and impulses with contingent experiences provided Burckhardt with a model of societal change. Burckhardt's model of change, unlike the dialectical evolution of the Hegelian spirit, conceived the experiences of individuals outside of metaphysics.

Furthermore, Burckhardt's study of morality revealed one of the most complete images of his concept of spirit. He investigated the spread of the vendetta thorough Renaissance Italy and concluded that "the whole man with his sense of fame and scorn . . . must be victorious."31 The Italian of the Renaissance was preoccupied with the individual to the point that justice became a matter of individual taste. By connecting the rise of humanism with the spread of the vendetta, Burckhardt outlined the general, artistic trend of the Italian population. Hence, the vendetta acts as an artifact of the Italian people, revealing an essential aspect of the meaning of living in Renaissance Italy, an aspect of Italian "spirit."

Similarly, Burckhardt treated religion as a personal expression of views directed towards a greater entity. Thus he transitioned his discussion of morality into a discussion of religion:

The morality of a people stands in closest connection with its consciousness of God--that is to say, with its firmer or weaker faith in the divine government of the world, whether this faith looks on the world as destined to happiness or to misery and speedy destruction.32

Relating morality and religion as generalized outlooks of the world suggests a means of measuring a given society. Instead of relying on the assessment of Hegel's notion of "spirit" as a means of producing a general picture of a society, Burckhardt chose religious practices as a means of classification. That is, how a society relates to a greater institution enables the historian to gauge what that society values or does not value. Moreover, the forms religious beliefs take at a particular point in time result from the intersection of traditional beliefs and contemporary culture, thereby embodying Burckhardt's sense of the interaction between the inherited and the contingent.

Burckhardt's use of religious views as a touchstone for social character stands in stark contrast to Hegel's rigid comparison of other societies to his own view of Christianity. Burckhardt's treatment of religion emphasized a historical understanding of his subjects instead of a philosophical investigation on the aspects of the "spirit." He considers religion as a unique collective expression of individuals worthy of


31. Ibid., 431.
32.
Ibid., 444.

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