By collectively concentrating on the theme of political symbolism in modern Europe, the con-tributors to this volume have cho-sen to honor a revered teacher and colleague by developing a set of variations on one of his primary scholarly concerns. The essays deal with familiar domains in the history of European culture: reli-gion, science, philosophy, theater, popular culture, and social ideologies. They attempt to focus on their individual subjects as studies of the ways in which the terms of cultural discourse have been shaped and elaborated by social position and the inherently political nature of such discourse. The essays also trace attempts to capture assent or compliance to particular world views which have had profound cultural and political consequences. Many es-says deal with the vocabularies of strategically located elites con-sciously or unconsciously shap-ing discourse to enhance their role in the Eruopean social hierar-chy. Others turn to the problem of the dynamics of symbolic recep-tion and reception by popular au-diences. A third group of thematic essays deals with case studies of world views dominated by politi-cal metaphors of group identityand differentiation which became dominant in Western Europe to-ward the end of the nineteenth century—class, nation, sex, age, and race.
The essays in the volume deal with: George Mosse and political symbolism; the medical model of cultural crisis in fin de siecle France; cultural uses of "fatigue" in the nineteenth century; Mar-burg neo-Kantian thought and German popular culture; the Ostjude as a cultural symbol in German anti-Semitism; the func-tion of myth and symbol in Georges Sorel; feminism and eugenics in Edwardian England; Darwinism and the working class in Germany; science and religion in early modern Europe; popular theater and socialism in fin de siecle France; political symbolism in the paintings of the German war of liberation; generational discourse in pre-World War I France; and cultural implications of national-socialist religion.