The French Revolution was Romantic – anti-reason and obsessed with passion. Romantics in the Church today endanger its survival.
Bevil Bramwell, OMI
SUNDAY, APRIL 30, 2017
I recently got a good lesson in Romanticism from Simon Schama’s book Citizens, a history of the French Revolution. In the final pages, Schama concluded that the revolution was an expression of the Age of Romanticism. So, far from the Age of Wonder that Richard Holmes would have the Romantic Period be – the title of his own book on the subject – there was and is another side to Romanticism, one that rides violently over thought, institutions, and people. Holmes and others who think like him are not wholly wrong (there is a large dose of wonder in Romanticism). But there was simply much more to Romanticism, especially as it continues today: in the mobs in the streets, for example, and in the built-in obstructions to the operations of Catholicism.