The culmination of a three-part series of studies by the well-known literary historian in the form of cultural-history ‘images’.
Following on from Obrazy z kulturních dějin americké religiozity (Images from the Cultural History of American Religion, 2010) and Obrazy z kulturních dějin ruské religiozity (Images from the Cultural History of Russian Religion, 2015) comes the final volume in the trilogy, which summarizes and complements Martin C. Putna’s research experience and free literary wanderings. This time he heads for the territory of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, across Austria and Hungary, to Transylvania, Croatia, Dalmatia, Galicia, Bukovina and Bosnia. After America and Russia, Martin C. Putna has moved on to the cultural history of Central Europe, which he portrays as an area of overlapping cultural and religious influences, where no one culture can be viewed in isolation.
The book is a gallery of images and lands, religious ideas, authors and their works, the objective of which is to provide a new explanation and sense of Central Europe through a shared religious history which begins with the Habsburgs’ rule over Central Europe but has its roots in the ‘moderate Austrian Enlightenment’, when the modernisation process was transmitted from the West to the East.
“In Putna’s book, the way in which one chapter merges into another and a ‘national’ theme surfaces in a chapter devoted to an entirely different location honestly reflects the interdependence and complexity of Central European history. He does not simplify the issue for readers but challenges them to accept it as it is – and to discard nationalist clichés.”
“Putna portrays Central Europe in the Austro-Hungarian period as an area with a cosmopolitan spirit whose richness derived from its general diversity and the meeting and blending of different languages and influences.”