Aryan Idols: Indo-European Mythology as Ideology and Science by Stefan Arvidsson

By Stefan Arvidsson

Critically interpreting the discourse of Indo-European scholarship over the last 2 hundred years, Aryan Idols demonstrates how the interconnected ideas of “Indo-European” and “Aryan” as ethnic different types were formed through, and used for, quite a few ideologies.
Stefan Arvidsson lines the evolution of the Aryan inspiration during the 19th century—from its roots in Bible-based classifications and William Jones’s discovery of commonalities between Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek to its use by way of students in fields equivalent to archaeology, anthropology, folklore, comparative faith, and historical past. alongside the best way, Arvidsson maps out the altering ways that Aryans have been imagined and relates such shifts to social, ancient, and political procedures. contemplating the advancements of the 20 th century, Arvidsson makes a speciality of the adoption of Indo-European scholarship (or pseudoscholarship) by way of the Nazis and by way of Fascist Catholics.

A wide-ranging dialogue of the highbrow historical past of the earlier centuries,  Aryan Idols links the pervasive suggestion of the Indo-European humans to significant clinical, philosophical, and political advancements of the days, whereas elevating vital questions about the character of scholarship as well.

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Alat4 and Punuuu. and who actually 5hould haw been discussed In ~ ckWlln this book. see Schwab 1984. ~ et passim. 13. The expression was originally coined by the lranianist lames D. Darmestettr (Olender 199~ 9). A Plaa in the Sun 69 humanism and idealism. Their relationship to the emerging modern society was ambivalent: on the one hand, they saw the potential for mankind's Iibera· tion from fossilized ideas and norms; on the other hand. M MiilIer's personal faith was Lutheran, with strong strains of Pietism.

5 Muller partly diverges from the traditional interpretation of Apollo as a personification of Light and the sun (Apollo Foibos). ' Apollo's connection to light and the sun must instead be understood in a symbolic way, as an expression of the true nature of the god: spiritual enlightenment, purity, and goodness. Schlegel had argued exactly the same thing about the ancient Indian gods: the fact that these were connected to various natural phenomena does not mean that they have anything at all in common with the degenerated Hindu nature religion and materialism oflater times?

If everything that happens does so in accordance with a divine providence. then why are there religious expressions that seem to be the opposite of the true faith? The reconstruction of the heavenly father made it possible for MOiler to confirm the existence of a common core for the Aryan and Semitic traditions. The Aryan religions. however. included other gods and histories about their personalities. drives, and deeds that were not as easy to handle. For example. why have people told stories about the highest god as a rapist in the shape of a swan?

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