Petersen, Karsten: »Ich höre den Ruf nach Freiheit«. Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler
Kommission für Zeitgeschichte, Research Center, Bonn

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Petersen, Karsten: »Ich höre den Ruf nach Freiheit«.
Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler und die Freiheitsforderungen seiner Zeit. Eine Studie zum Verhältnis von konservativem Katholizismus und Moderne, Paderborn [u. a.] 2005

(Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Zeitgeschichte, Reihe B: Forschungen, Bd. 105)

Karsten Petersen: »Ich höre den Ruf nach Freiheit«. Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler und die Freiheitsforderungen seiner Zeit. Eine Studie zum Verhältnis von konservativem Katholizismus und Moderne.

Karsten Petersen: »Ich höre den Ruf nach Freiheit«. Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler und die Freiheitsforderungen seiner Zeit. Eine Studie zum Verhältnis von konservativem Katholizismus und Moderne.

This book focuses on the most important representative of 19th-century political Catholicism within the ranks of the bishops, Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler (1811–1877), who served as Bishop of Mainz from 1850 on.

From a broad base of primary sources, the author convincingly reconstructs how this early champion of civil liberties confronted the political demands of the modern era, then consistently reinterpreted them to support a conservative catholic position and made them his own. The individual conservative reception of what were originally modern demands for liberty can be considered exemplary for German Catholicism in the second half of the 19th century.

In the book’s first section, Ketteler’s thought – in particular, his understanding of law and, derived from this, his conception of liberty – is situated within the general conservatism of the first half of the 19th century. This thought gave rise to Ketteler’s criticism of modernity and its precursor, liberalism. Alongside the writings of Friedrich Julius Stahl (1802–1861), the publications of Carl Ernst Jarcke (1801–1852) and the Historisch-politische Blätter, which appeared in Munich from 1838, served as a particular frame of reference.

At the heart of the book’s second, chronologically-ordered section are the great conflicts between Church and state, in which Ketteler was involved both before and after his elevation to bishop in 1850: as delegate to the Frankfurt Parliament in 1848; as a young bishop during the reaction of the 1850’s; as an opponent of liberal conceptions of state in the 1860’s, at the time of the German Empire’s foundation, and during the subsequent Kulturkampf.

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