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German Cultural Criticism: The Desire for a Sense of Place and Community

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)


Publication date2012
Host publicationMaking a New World. Reforming. Architecture & Communities in Interwar Europe
EditorsRajesh Heynicks, Tom Avermaete
Place of publicationLeuven
PublisherLeuven University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978 90 5867 909 3
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The chapter provides a history of the concept of community in cultural criticism in German history with particular emphasis on the most sophisticated expression of it in the work of Heidegger. While it points out the problematic aspects of the concept, it pays equal attention to its value. Given the architectural orientation of the volume, the chapter explores the connection between historical ideas of community and current explorations of space and a sense of place. While cultural criticism in German history had a tendency towards an unrealistic agrarian Romanticism, the goal it tried to achieve is not that dissimilar from current attempts to promote a sense of belonging.