For other uses, see Worship (disambiguation).
Worship is an act of religiousdevotion usually directed towards a deity. An act of worship may be performed individually, in an informal or formal group, or by a designated leader.
The word is derived from the Old English weorþscipe, meaning worship, honour shown to an object, which has been etymologised as "worthiness or worth-ship"—to give, at its simplest, worth to something.
Worship in various religions
Further information: Buddhist devotion and Puja (Buddhism)
Worship in Buddhism may take innumerable forms given the doctrine of skillful means. Worship is evident in Buddhism in such forms as: guru yoga, mandala, thanka, yantra yoga, the discipline of the fighting monks of Shaolin, panchamrita, mantra recitation, tea ceremony, ganacakra, amongst others. Buddhist Devotion is an important part of the practice of most Buddhists. According to a spokesman of the Sasana Council of Burma, devotion to Buddhist spiritual practices inspires devotion to the Triple Gem. Most Buddhists use ritual in pursuit of their spiritual aspirations. In Buddhism, puja (Sanskrit & Pali: pūjā) are expressions of "honour, worship and devotional attention." Acts of puja include bowing, making offerings and chanting. These devotional acts are generally performed daily at home (either in the morning or evening or both) as well as during communal festivals and Uposatha days at a temple.
Meditation (samādhi) is a central form of worship in Buddhism. This practice is focused on the third step of the Eightfold Path that ultimately leads to self awakening, also known as enlightenment. Meditation promotes self-awareness and exploration of the mind and spirit. Traditionally, Buddhist meditation had combined samatha (the act of stopping and calming oneself) and vipasyana (seeing clearly within) to create a complete mind and body experience. By stopping one's everyday activities and focusing on something simple, the mind can open and expand enough to reach a spiritual level. By practicing the step of vipasyana, one does not achieve the final stage of awareness, but rather approaches one step closer. Mindful meditation teaches one to stop reacting quickly to thoughts and external objects that present themselves, but rather to peacefully hold the thought without immediately responding to it. Although in traditional Buddhist faith, enlightenment is the desired end goal of meditation, it is more of a cycle in a literal sense that helps individuals better understand their minds. For example, meditation leads to understanding, leading to kindness, leading to peace, etc.
Main articles: Christian worship, Anglican devotions, Church service, and Mass in the Catholic Church
In Christianity, a church service is a formalized period of communal worship, often but not exclusively occurring on Sunday, or Saturday in the case of those churches practicing seventh-day Sabbatarianism. The church service is the gathering together of Christians to be taught the "Word of God" (the Holy Bible) and encouraged in their faith. Technically, the "church" in "church service" refers to the gathering of the faithful rather than to the building in which it takes place. In Christianity, worship is reverent honor and homage paid to God. In the New Testament various words are used for worship. The word proskuneo "to worship" means to bow down to Gods or kings.
The Mass is the central act of divine worship in the Catholic Church, The Congregation for Divine Worship at the Vatican publishes a Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy. Roman Catholic devotions are "external practices of piety" which are not part of the official liturgy of the Catholic Church but are part of the popular spiritual practices of Catholics. They do not become part of liturgical worship, even if conducted in a Catholic church, in a group, in the presence of a priest.
Anglican devotions are private prayers and practices used by Anglican Christians to promote spiritual growth and communion with God. Among members of the Anglican Communion, private devotional habits vary widely, depending on personal preference and on their affiliation with low-church or high-church parishes.
Adoration versus veneration
In the New Testament various words are used for worship. The word proskuneo "to worship" means to bow down to gods or kings.
Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Eastern Orthodoxy make a technical distinction between adoration or latria (Latin adoratio, Greek latreia, [λατρεία]), which is due to God alone, and veneration or dulia (Latin veneratio, Greek douleia[δουλεία]), which may be lawfully offered to the saints. The external acts of veneration resemble those of worship, but differ in their object and intent. Protestant Christians, who reject the veneration of saints, question whether such a distinction is always maintained in actual devotional practice, especially at the level of folk religion.
According to Mark Miravalle the English word "worship" is equivocal, in that it has been used in Catholic writing, at any rate, to denote both adoration/latria and veneration/dulia, and in some cases even as a synonym for veneration as distinct from adoration:
As St. Thomas Aquinas explains, adoration, which is known as latria in classical theology, is the worship and homage that is rightly offered to God alone. It is the manifestation of submission, and acknowledgement of dependence, appropriately shown towards the excellence of an uncreated divine person and to his absolute Lordship. It is the worship of the Creator that God alone deserves. Although we see in English a broader usage of the word "adoration" which may not refer to a form of worship exclusive to God—for example, when a husband says that he "adores his wife"—in general it can be maintained that adoration is the best English denotation for the worship of latria.
Veneration, known as dulia in classical theology, is the honor and reverence appropriately due to the excellence of a created person. Excellence exhibited by created beings likewise deserves recognition and honor. We see a general example of veneration in events like the awarding of academic awards for excellence in school, or the awarding of olympic medals for excellence in sports. There is nothing contrary to the proper adoration of God when we offer the appropriate honor and recognition that created persons deserve based on achievement in excellence.
We must make a further clarification regarding the use of the term "worship" in relation to the categories of adoration and veneration. Historically, schools of theology have used the term "worship" as a general term which included both adoration and veneration. They would distinguish between "worship of adoration" and "worship of veneration." The word "worship" (in a similar way to how the liturgical term "cult" is traditionally used) was not synonymous with adoration, but could be used to introduce either adoration or veneration. Hence Catholic sources will sometimes use the term "worship" not to indicate adoration, but only the worship of veneration given to Mary and the saints.
Orthodox Judaism and orthodox Sunni Islam hold that for all practical purposes veneration should be considered the same as prayer; Orthodox Judaism (arguably with the exception of some Chasidic practices), orthodox Sunni Islam, and most kinds of Protestantism forbid veneration of saints or angels, classifying these actions as akin to idolatry.
Similarly, Jehovah's Witnesses assert that many actions classified as patriotic by Protestant groups, such as saluting a flag, are equivalent to worship and are therefore considered idolatrous as well.
Further information: Puja (Hinduism), Yajna, Bhajan, fasting, and kirtan
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(September 2009)
Worship in Hinduism involves invoking higher forces to assist in spiritual and material progress and is simultaneously both a science and an art. A sense of bhakti or devotional love is generally invoked. This term is probably a central one in Hinduism. A direct translation from the Sanskrit to English is problematic. Worship takes a multitude of forms depending on community groups, geography and language. There is a flavour of loving and being in love with whatever object or focus of devotion. Worship is not confined to any place of worship, it also incorporates personal reflection, art forms and group. People usually perform worship to achieve some specific end or to integrate the body, the mind and the spirit in order to help the performer evolve into a higher being.
Main article: Ibadah
In Islam, worship refers to ritualistic devotion as well as actions done in accordance to Islamic law which is ordained by and pleasing to Allah (God). Worship is included in the Five Pillars of Islam, primarily that of salat, which is the practice of ritual prayer five times daily.
According to Muhammad Asad, on his notes in The Message of the Qur'an translation on 51:56,
Thus, the innermost purpose of the creation of all rational beings is their cognition of the existence of Allah and, hence, their conscious willingness to conform their own existence to whatever they may perceive of His will and plan: and it is this twofold concept of cognition and willingness that gives the deepest meaning to what the Quran describes as "worship". As the next verse shows, this spiritual call does not arise from any supposed "need" on the part of the Creator, who is self-sufficient and infinite in His power, but is designed as an instrument for the inner development of the worshipper, who, by the act of his conscious self-surrender to the all-pervading Creative Will, may hope to come closer to an understanding of that Will and, thus closer to Allah Himself.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(September 2009)
Further information: Jewish services
Worship of God in Judaism is called Avodat Hashem. During the period when the Temple stood, the rites conducted there were considered the most important act of Jewish worship. However, the most common form of worship was and remains that of prayer. Other forms of worship include the conduct of prescribed rituals, such as the Passover Seder and waving the Four Species, with proper intent, as well as various types of Jewish meditation.
Worship through mundane activities
Jewish sources also express the notion that one can perform any appropriate mundane activity as the worship of God. Examples would include returning a lost article and working to support oneself and one's family.
The Code of Jewish Law (Orach Chayim, Chapter 231) cites Proverbs (3:6), "in all your ways, know him" (Hebrew: בכל דרכיך דעהו (b'chol d'rachecha dei'eihu)), as a biblical source for this idea.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(September 2009)
In Sikhism, worship takes place after the Guru Granth Sahib, which is the work of the 10 Sikh Gurus all in one. Sikhs worship God and only one God, known as "One Creator", "The Wonderful Teacher" (Waheguru), or "Destroyer of Darkness".
Wiccan worship commonly takes place during a full moon or a new moon. Such rituals are called an Esbat and may involve a magic circle which practitioners believe will contain energy and form a sacred space, or will provide them a form of magical protection.
In modern society and sociology, some writers have commented on the ways that people no longer simply worship recognised deities, but also (or instead) worship consumer brands, sports teams, and other people (celebrities). Sociology therefore extends this argument to suggest that religion and worship is a process whereby society worships itself, as a form of self-valorization and self-preservation.
- ^ abcdeBosworth and Toller, Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, "weorþscipe"
- ^Kay, William K., Religion in education, Gracewing Publishing, 1997, 372 pages, ISBN 0-85244-425-7
- ^Maex, Edel (May 2011). "The Buddhist Roots of Mindfulness Training: A Practitioners View". Contemporary Buddhism 12 (1): 165–175. doi:10.1080/14639947.2011.564835. Retrieved 2/9/15.
- ^ Hardon, John, Modern Catholic Dictionary
- ^Called to Worship: The Biblical Foundations of Our Response Vernon Whaley - 2009 - In the Greek, the word for worship, proskuneo, means to express deep respect or adoration—by kissing, with words, or by bowing down. Associated words include epaineo, “to commend or applaud”; aineo, “to praise God”; and sebomai,"
- ^Miravalle, Mark (November 24, 2006). "What Is Devotion to Mary?". Mother of all peoples. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- ^Mitchell K. Hall (2009), Vietnam War Era : People and Perspectives, ABC-CLIO, 2009, p. 97
- ^"Worship", Krishna Maheshwari, Hindupedia, the online Hindu Encyclopedia
- ^Muhammed Asad (Leopold Weiss). p918, 2003. The Message of the Quran.
- ^Shmuel Safrai, Centrality of the Temple during the Second Temple period (Hebrew)
- ^Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner - Page 114, Scott Cunningham - 1993
- ^"ConCen Insecure Site". concen.org.
- ^"News - The University of Sydney". sydney.edu.au.
- ^"Emile Durkheim - The Sociology of Religion". www.cf.ac.uk.
This article is about the writer. For the Irvingite, see Thomas Carlyle (lawyer).
Photo by Elliott & Fry, c.1860s
|Born||(1795-12-04)4 December 1795|
Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
|Died||5 February 1881(1881-02-05) (aged 85)|
|Occupation||Essayist, satirist, translator, historian, mathematician|
|Alma mater||University of Edinburgh|
|Literary movement||Victorian literature|
|Notable works||Sartor Resartus|
The French Revolution: A History
On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History
Carlyle circle (mathematics)
Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, translator, historian, mathematician, and teacher. Considered one of the most important social commentators of his time, he presented many lectures during his lifetime with certain acclaim in the Victorian era. One of those conferences resulted in his famous work On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History where he explains that the key role in history lies in the actions of the "Great Man", claiming that "the history of the world is but the biography of great men".
A respected historian, his 1837 book The French Revolution: A History was the inspiration for Charles Dickens' 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities, and remains popular today. Carlyle's 1836 Sartor Resartus is a notable philosophical novel.
A great polemicist, Carlyle coined the term "the dismal science" for economics. He also wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopædia, and his Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question (1849) remains controversial. Once a Christian, Carlyle lost his faith while attending the University of Edinburgh, later adopting a form of deism.
In mathematics, he is known for the Carlyle circle, a method used in quadratic equations and for developing ruler-and-compass constructions of regular polygons.
Early life and influences
Carlyle was born in Ecclefechan in Dumfriesshire. His parents determinedly afforded him an education at Annan Academy, Annan, where he was bullied and tormented so much that he left after three years. His father was a member of the Burgher secession church. In early life, his family's (and nation's) strong Calvinist beliefs powerfully influenced the young man.
After attending the University of Edinburgh, Carlyle became a mathematics teacher, first in Annan and then in Kirkcaldy, where he became close friends with the mystic Edward Irving. (Confusingly, there is another Scottish Thomas Carlyle, born a few years later, connected to Irving via work with the Catholic Apostolic Church.)
In 1819–1821, Carlyle returned to the University of Edinburgh, where he suffered an intense crisis of faith and a conversion, which provided the material for Sartor Resartus ("The Tailor Retailored"), which first brought him to the public's notice.
Carlyle developed a painful stomach ailment, possibly gastric ulcers, that remained throughout his life and likely contributed to his reputation as a crotchety, argumentative, somewhat disagreeable personality. His prose style, famously cranky and occasionally savage, helped cement an air of irascibility.
Carlyle's thinking became heavily influenced by German idealism, in particular the work of Johann Gottlieb Fichte. He established himself as an expert on German literature in a series of essays for Fraser's Magazine, and by translating German works, notably Goethe's novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. He also wrote a Life of Schiller (1825).
In 1826, Thomas Carlyle married fellow intellectual Jane Baillie Welsh, whom he had met through Edmund Irving during his period of German studies. In 1827, he applied for the Chair of Moral Philosophy at St Andrews University but was not appointed. A residence provided by Jane's estate was a house on Craigenputtock, a farm in Dumfrieshire, Scotland. He often wrote about his life at Craigenputtock – in particular: "It is certain that for living and thinking in I have never since found in the world a place so favourable." Here Carlyle wrote some of his most distinguished essays, and began a lifelong friendship with the American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson.
In 1831, the Carlyles moved to London, settling initially in lodgings at 4 (now 33) Ampton Street, Kings Cross. In 1834, they moved to 5 (now 24) Cheyne Row, Chelsea, which has since been preserved as a museum to Carlyle's memory. He became known as the "Sage of Chelsea", and a member of a literary circle which included the essayists Leigh Hunt and John Stuart Mill.
Here Carlyle wrote The French Revolution: A History (3 volumes, 1837), a historical study concentrating both on the oppression of the poor of France and on the horrors of the mob unleashed. The book was immediately successful.
By 1821, Carlyle abandoned the clergy as a career and focused on making a life as a writer. His first fiction was "Cruthers and Jonson", one of several abortive attempts at writing a novel. Following his work on a translation of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, he came to distrust the form of the realistic novel and so worked on developing a new form of fiction. In addition to his essays on German literature, he branched out into wider ranging commentary on modern culture in his influential essays Signs of the Times and Characteristics. Moreover, at this time he penned articles appraising the life and works of various poets and men of letters, including Goethe, Voltaire and Diderot.
His first major work, Sartor Resartus ("The Tailor Retailored") was begun in 1831 at his home (which his wife Jane provided for him from her estate), Craigenputtock, and was intended to be a new kind of book: simultaneously factual and fictional, serious and satirical, speculative and historical. Ironically, it commented on its own formal structure while forcing the reader to confront the problem of where 'truth' is to be found. Sartor Resartus was first serialised in Fraser's Magazine from 1833 to 1834. The text presents itself as an unnamed editor's attempt to introduce the British public to Diogenes Teufelsdröckh, a German philosopher of clothes, who is in fact a fictional creation of Carlyle's. The Editor is struck with admiration, but for the most part is confounded by Teufelsdröckh's outlandish philosophy, of which the Editor translates choice selections. To try to make sense of Teufelsdröckh's philosophy, the Editor tries to piece together a biography, but with limited success. Underneath the German philosopher's seemingly ridiculous statements, there are mordant attacks on Utilitarianism and the commercialisation of British society. The fragmentary biography of Teufelsdröckh that the Editor recovers from a chaotic mass of documents reveals the philosopher's spiritual journey. He develops a contempt for the corrupt condition of modern life. He contemplates the "Everlasting No" of refusal, comes to the "Centre of Indifference", and eventually embraces the "Everlasting Yea". This voyage from denial to disengagement to volition would later be described as part of the existentialist awakening.
Given the enigmatic nature of Sartor Resartus, it is not surprising that it first achieved little success. Its popularity developed over the next few years, and it was published in book form in Boston 1836, with a preface by Ralph Waldo Emerson, influencing the development of New England Transcendentalism. The first English edition followed in 1838.
Everlasting Yea and No
The Everlasting Yea is Carlyle's name in the book for the spirit of faith in God in an express attitude of clear, resolute, steady, and uncompromising antagonism to the Everlasting No, and the principle that there is no such thing as faith in God except in such antagonism against the spirit opposed to God.
The Everlasting No is Carlyle's name for the spirit of unbelief in God, especially as it manifested itself in his own, or rather Teufelsdröckh's, warfare against it; the spirit, which, as embodied in the Mephistopheles of Goethe, is forever denying – der stets verneint – the reality of the divine in the thoughts, the character, and the life of humanity, and has a malicious pleasure in scoffing at everything high and noble as hollow and void.
In Sartor Resartus, the narrator moves from the "Everlasting No" to the "Everlasting Yea," but only through "The Centre of Indifference," a position of agnosticism and detachment. Only after reducing desires and certainty, aiming at a Buddha-like "indifference", can the narrator realise affirmation. In some ways, this is similar to the contemporary philosopher Søren Kierkegaard's "leap of faith" in Concluding Unscientific Postscript.
Worship of Silence and Sorrow
Based on Goethe's having described Christianity as the "Worship of Sorrow", and "our highest religion, for the Son of Man", Carlyle adds, interpreting this, "there is no noble crown, well worn or even ill worn, but is a crown of thorns".
The "Worship of Silence" is Carlyle's name for the sacred respect for restraint in speech till "thought has silently matured itself, … to hold one's tongue till some meaning lie behind to set it wagging," a doctrine which many misunderstand, almost wilfully, it would seem; silence being to him the very womb out of which all great things are born.
The French Revolution
In 1834, Carlyle moved to London from Craigenputtock and began to move among celebrated company. Within the United Kingdom, Carlyle's success was assured by the publication of his three-volume work The French Revolution: A History in 1837. After the completed manuscript of the first volume was accidentally burned by the philosopher John Stuart Mill's maid, Carlyle wrote the second and third volumes before rewriting the first from scratch.
The resulting work had a passion new to historical writing. In a politically charged Europe, filled with fears and hopes of revolution, Carlyle's account of the motivations and urges that inspired the events in France seemed powerfully relevant. Carlyle's style of historical writing stressed the immediacy of action – often using the present tense.
For Carlyle, chaotic events demanded what he called 'heroes' to take control over the competing forces erupting within society. While not denying the importance of economic and practical explanations for events, he saw these forces as 'spiritual' – the hopes and aspirations of people that took the form of ideas, and were often ossified into ideologies ("formulas" or "isms", as he called them). In Carlyle's view, only dynamic individuals could master events and direct these spiritual energies effectively: as soon as ideological 'formulas' replaced heroic human action, society became dehumanised.
Charles Dickens used Carlyle's work as a secondary source for the events of the French Revolution in his novel A Tale of Two Cities.
Heroes and Hero Worship
Like the opinions of many deep thinkers of the time, these ideas were influential on the development and rise of both Socialism and Fascism. Carlyle moved towards his later thinking during the 1840s, leading to a break with many old friends and allies, such as Mill and, to a lesser extent, Emerson. His belief in the importance of heroic leadership found form in the book On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History, in which he was seen to compare a wide range of different types of heroes, including Odin, Muhammad, Oliver Cromwell, Napoleon, William Shakespeare, Dante, Samuel Johnson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Robert Burns, John Knox, and Martin Luther. These lectures of Carlyle's are regarded as an early and powerful formulation of the Great Man theory.
The book was based on a course of lectures he had given. The French Revolution had brought Carlyle fame, but little money. His friends worked to set him on his feet by organising courses of public lectures for him, drumming up an audience and selling guinea tickets. Carlyle did not like lecturing, but found that he could do it, and more importantly that it brought in some much-needed money. Between 1837 and 1840, Carlyle delivered four such courses of lectures. The final course was on "Heroes." From the notes he had prepared for this course, he wrote out his book, reproducing the curious effects of the spoken discourses.
"The Hero as Man of Letters" (1840):
- "In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time; the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream."
- "A man lives by believing something; not by debating and arguing about many things."
- "All that mankind has done, thought, gained or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books."
- "What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books."
- "The suffering man ought really to consume his own smoke; there is no good in emitting smoke till you have made it into fire."
- "Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity." (Often shortened to "can't stand prosperity" as an unknown quote.)
- "Not what I have, but what I do, is my kingdom."
Carlyle was one of the very few philosophers who witnessed the industrial revolution but still kept a non-materialistic view of the world. The book included lectures discussing people ranging from the field of religion through to literature and politics. The figures chosen for each lecture were presented by Carlyle as archetypal examples of individuals who, in their respective fields of endeavor, had dramatically impacted history in some way, for good or ill. Muhammad himself found a place in the book in the lecture titled "The Hero as Prophet". In his work, Carlyle outlined Muhammad as a Hegelian agent of reform, insisting on his sincerity and commenting "how one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilised nation in less than two decades." His interpretation has been widely cited by Muslim scholars seeking Western support that Muhammad was one of the great men of history.
Carlyle held "That great men should rule and that others should revere them," a view that for him was supported by a complex faith in history and evolutionary progress. Societies, like organisms, evolve throughout history, thrive for a time, but inevitably become weak and die out, giving place to a stronger, superior breed. Heroes are those who affirm this life process, accepting its cruelty as necessary and thus good. For them courage is a more valuable virtue than love; heroes are noblemen, not saints. The hero functions first as a pattern for others to imitate, and second as a creator, moving history forwards not backwards (history being the biography of great men). Carlyle was among the first of his age to recognize that the death of God is in itself nothing to be happy about, unless man steps in and creates new values to replace the old. For Carlyle the hero should become the object of worship, the center of a new religion proclaiming humanity as "the miracle of miracles... the only divinity we can know." For Carlyle's creed Bentley proposes the name Heroic Vitalism, a term embracing both a political theory, Aristocratic Radicalism, and a metaphysic, Supernatural Naturalism. The Heroic Vitalists feared that the recent trends toward democracy would hand over power to the ill-bred, uneducated, and immoral, whereas their belief in a transcendent force in nature directing itself onward and upward gave some hope that this force would overrule in favor of the strong, intelligent, and noble.:17–18,49–58
Nietzsche agreed with much of Carlyle's hero worship, transferring many qualities of the hero to his concept of the superman. He believed that the hero should be revered, not for the good he has done for the people, but simply out of admiration for the marvelous. The hero justifies himself as a man chosen by destiny to be great. In the life struggle he is a conqueror, growing stronger through conflict. The hero is not ashamed of his strength; instead of the Christian virtues of meekness, humility and compassion, he abides by the beatitudes of Heroic Vitalism: courage, nobility, pride, and the right to rule. His slogan: "The good old rule, the simple plan, that he should keep who has the power, and he should take who can.":52
For Carlyle, the hero was somewhat similar to Aristotle's "Magnanimous" man – a person who flourished in the fullest sense. However, for Carlyle, unlike Aristotle, the world was filled with contradictions with which the hero had to deal. All heroes will be flawed. Their heroism lay in their creative energy in the face of these difficulties, not in their moral perfection. To sneer at such a person for their failings is the philosophy of those who seek comfort in the conventional. Carlyle called this 'valetism', from the expression 'no man is a hero to his valet.'
All these books were influential in their day, especially on writers such as Charles Dickens and John Ruskin. However, after the Revolutions of 1848 and political agitations in the United Kingdom, Carlyle published a collection of essays entitled "Latter-Day Pamphlets" (1850) in which he attacked democracy as an absurd social ideal, while equally condemning hereditary aristocratic leadership. Two of these essays, No. I: "The Present Times" and No. II: "Model Prisons" were reviewed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in April 1850. Carlyle criticised hereditary aristocratic leadership as "deadening"; however, he criticised democracy as nonsensical, mocking the idea that objective truth could be discovered by weighing up the votes for it. Government should come from those most able to lead. But how such leaders were to be found, and how to follow their lead, was something Carlyle could not (or would not) clearly say. Marx and Engels agreed with Carlyle as far as his criticism of the hereditary aristocracy. However they criticised Carlyle's plan to use democracy to find the "Noblest" and the other "Nobles" that are to form the government by the "ablest" persons.
In later writings, Carlyle sought to examine instances of heroic leadership in history. The Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell (1845) presented a positive image of Cromwell: someone who attempted to weld order from the conflicting forces of reform in his own day. Carlyle sought to make Cromwell's words live in their own terms by quoting him directly, and then commenting on the significance of these words in the troubled context of the time. Again this was intended to make the 'past' 'present' to his readers.
His essay "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question" (1849) suggested that slavery should never have been abolished, or else replaced with serfdom. It had kept order, he argued, and forced work from people who would otherwise have been lazy and feckless. This and Carlyle's support for the repressive measures of Governor Edward Eyre in Jamaica during the Morant Bay rebellion further alienated him from his old liberal allies. As Governor of the Colony, Eyre, fearful of an island wide uprising, brutally suppressed the rebellion, and had many black peasants killed. Hundreds were flogged. He also authorised the execution of George William Gordon, a mixed-race colonial assemblyman who was suspected of involvement in the rebellion. These events created great controversy in Britain, resulting in demands for Eyre to be arrested and tried for murdering Gordon. John Stuart Mill organised the Jamaica Committee, which demanded his prosecution and included some well-known British liberal intellectuals (such as John Bright, Charles Darwin, Frederic Harrison, Thomas Hughes, Thomas Henry Huxley, and Herbert Spencer).
Carlyle set up rival Governor Eyre Defense and Aid Committee for the defence, arguing that Eyre had acted decisively to restore order. His supporters included John Ruskin, Charles Kingsley, Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson and John Tyndall. Twice Eyre was charged with murder, but the cases never proceeded.
Similar hard-line views were expressed in Shooting Niagara, and After?, written after the passing of the Electoral Reform Act of 1867 in which he "reaffirmed his belief in wise leadership (and wise followership), his disbelief in democracy and his hatred of all workmanship – from brickmaking to diplomacy – that was not genuine".
Frederick the Great
His last major work was the epic life of Frederick the Great (1858–1865). In this Carlyle tried to show how a heroic leader can forge a state, and help create a new moral culture for a nation. For Carlyle, Frederick epitomised the transition from the liberal Enlightenment ideals of the eighteenth century to a new modern culture of spiritual dynamism embodied by Germany, its thought and its polity. The book is most famous for its vivid, arguably very biased, portrayal of Frederick's battles, in which Carlyle communicated his vision of almost overwhelming chaos mastered by leadership of genius.
Carlyle called the work his "Thirteen Years War" with Frederick. In 1852, he made his first trip to Germany to gather material, visiting the scenes of Frederick's battles and noting their topography. He made another trip to Germany to study battlefields in 1858. The work comprised six volumes; the first two volumes appeared in 1858, the third in 1862, the fourth in 1864 and the last two in 1865. Emerson considered it "Infinitely the wittiest book that was ever written." James Russell Lowell pointed out some faults, but wrote: “The figures of most historians seem like dolls stuffed with bran, whose whole substance runs out through any hole that criticism may tear in them; but Carlyle's are so real in comparison, that, if you prick them, they bleed." The work was studied as a textbook in the military academies of Germany.
The effort involved in the writing of the book took its toll on Carlyle, who became increasingly depressed, and subject to various probably psychosomatic ailments. Its mixed reception also contributed to Carlyle's decreased literary output.
Later writings were generally short essays, notably The Early Kings of Norway: Also an Essay on the Portraits of John Knox appeared in 1875, a series on early-medieval Norwegian warlords and an essay attempting to prove that the best-known portrait of John Knox did not depict the Scottish prelate. This was linked to Carlyle's long interest in historical portraiture, which had earlier fuelled his project to found a gallery of national portraits, fulfilled by the creation of the National Portrait Gallery, London and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1878.
Carlyle was the chief instigator in the foundation of the London Library in 1841. He had become frustrated by the facilities available at the British Museum Library, where he was often unable to find a seat (obliging him to perch on ladders), where he complained that the enforced close confinement with his fellow readers gave him a "museum headache", where the books were unavailable for loan, and where he found the library's collections of pamphlets and other material relating to the French Revolution and English Civil Wars inadequately catalogued. In particular, he developed an antipathy for the Keeper of Printed Books, Anthony Panizzi (despite the fact that Panizzi had allowed him many privileges not granted to other readers), and criticised him, as the "respectable Sub-Librarian", in a footnote to an article published in the Westminster Review. Carlyle's eventual solution, with the support of a number of influential friends, was to call for the establishment of a private subscription library from which books could be borrowed.
Carlyle had a number of would-be romances before he married Jane Welsh, important as a literary figure in her own right. The most notable were with Margaret Gordon, a pupil of his friend Edward Irving. Even after he met Jane, he became enamoured of Kitty Kirkpatrick, the daughter of a British officer and an Indian princess. William Dalrymple, author of White Mughals, suggests that feelings were mutual, but social circumstances made the marriage impossible, as Carlyle was then poor. Both Margaret and Kitty have been suggested as the original of "Blumine", Teufelsdröckh's beloved, in Sartor Resartus.
Thomas also had a friendship with writer Geraldine Jewsbury starting in 1840. During that year Jewsbury was going through a depressive state and also experiencing religious doubt. She wrote to Carlyle for guidance and also thanked him for his well-written essays. Eventually Carlyle invited Jewsbury out to Cheyne Row, where Carlyle and Jane resided. Jewsbury and Jane from then on had a tight friendship and Carlyle also helped Jewsbury get on to the English literary scene.
Carlyle married Jane Welsh in 1826. He met Welsh through his friend and her tutor Edward Irving, with whom she came to have a mutual romantic (although not intimate) attraction. Welsh was the subject of Leigh Hunt's charming poem, "Jenny kiss'd Me".
Their marriage proved to be one of the most famous, well documented, and unhappy of literary unions. Over 9000 letters between Carlyle and his wife have been published showing the couple had an affection for each other marred by frequent and angry quarrels.
It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs Carlyle marry one another, and so make only two people miserable and not four.
— Samuel Butler
Carlyle became increasingly alienated from his wife. Carlyle's biographer James Anthony Froude published (posthumously) his opinion that the marriage remained unconsummated.
Although she had been an invalid for some time, his wife's sudden death in 1866 was unexpected and it greatly distressed Carlyle who was moved to write his highly self-critical "Reminiscences of Jane Welsh Carlyle", published posthumously.
After Jane Carlyle's death in 1866, Thomas Carlyle partly retired from active society. He was appointed rector of the University of Edinburgh. His last years were spent at 24 Cheyne Row (then numbered 5), Chelsea, London SW3 (which is now a National Trust property commemorating his life and works) but he always wished to return to Craigenputtock.
Upon Carlyle's death on 5 February 1881 in London interment in Westminster Abbey was offered but rejected due to his explicit wish to be buried beside his parents in Ecclefechan. His final words were, "So, this is death. Well!"
Carlyle would have preferred that no biography of him were written, but when he heard that his wishes would not be respected and several people were waiting for him to die before they published, he relented and supplied his friend James Anthony Froude with many of his and his wife's papers. Carlyle's essay about his wife was included in Reminiscences, published shortly after his death by Froude, who also published the Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle annotated by Carlyle himself. Froude's Life of Carlyle was published over 1882–84. The frankness of this book was unheard of by the usually respectful standards of 19th-century biographies of the period. Froude's work was attacked by Carlyle's family, especially his nephew, Alexander Carlyle and his niece, Margaret Aitken Carlyle. However, the biography in question was consistent with Carlyle's own conviction that the flaws of heroes should be openly discussed, without diminishing their achievements. Froude, who had been designated by Carlyle himself as his biographer-to-be, was acutely aware of this belief. Froude's defence of his decision, My Relations With Carlyle was published posthumously in 1903, including a reprint of Carlyle's 1873 will, in which Carlyle equivocated: "Express biography of me I had really rather that there should be none." Nevertheless, Carlyle in the will simultaneously and completely deferred to Froude's judgement on the matter, whose "decision is to be taken as mine."
Thomas Carlyle is notable both for his continuation of older traditions of the Tory satirists of the 18th century in England and for forging a new tradition of Victorian era criticism of progress known as sage writing.Sartor Resartus can be seen both as an extension of the chaotic, sceptical satires of Jonathan Swift and Laurence Sterne and as an enunciation of a new point of view on values.
Carlyle is also important for helping to introduce German Romantic literature to Britain. Although Samuel Taylor Coleridge had also been a proponent of Schiller, Carlyle's efforts on behalf of Schiller and Goethe would bear fruit.
The reputation of Carlyle's early work remained high during the 19th century, but declined in the 20th century. George Orwell called him, "a master of belittlement. Even at his emptiest sneer (as when he said that Whitmanthought he was a big man because he lived in a big country) the victim does seem to shrink a little. That [...] is the power of the orator, the man of phrases and adjectives, turned to a base use." However, Whitman himself described Carlyle as lighting "up our Nineteenth Century with the light of a powerful, penetrating and perfectly honest intellect of the first-class" and "Never had political progressivism a foe it could more heartily respect". His reputation in Germany was always high, because of his promotion of German thought and his biography of Frederick the Great. Friedrich Nietzsche, whose ideas are comparable to Carlyle's in some respects, was dismissive of his moralism, calling him an "absurd muddlehead" in Beyond Good and Evil and regarded him as a thinker who failed to free himself from the very petty-mindedness he professed to condemn. Carlyle's distaste for democracy and his belief in charismatic leadership was appealing to Joseph Goebbels, who read Carlyle's biography of Frederick to Hitler during his last days in 1945. Many critics in the 20th century identified Carlyle as an influence on fascism and Nazism.Ernst Cassirer argued in The Myth of the State that Carlyle's hero worship contributed to 20th-century ideas of political leadership that became part of fascist political ideology.
Sartor Resartus has recently been recognised once more as a unique masterpiece, anticipating many major philosophical and cultural developments, from Existentialism to Postmodernism. It has been argued that his critique of ideological formulas in The French Revolution provides a good account of the ways in which revolutionary cultures turn into repressive dogmatisms.
Essentially a Romantic, Carlyle attempted to reconcile Romantic affirmations of feeling and freedom with respect for historical and political fact. Many believe that he was always more attracted to the idea of heroic struggle itself, than to any specific goal for which the struggle was being made. However, Carlyle's belief in the continued use to humanity of the Hero, or Great Man, is stated succinctly at the end of his essay on Muhammad (in On Heroes, Hero Worship & the Heroic in History), in which he concludes that: “the Great Man was always as lightning out of Heaven; the rest of men waited for him like fuel, and then they too would flame."
A bust of Carlyle is in the Hall of Heroes of the National Wallace Monument in Stirling.
There are several published "Collected Works" of Carlyle:
Unauthorized lifetime editions:
- "Thomas' Carlyle's Ausgewählte Schriften", 1855–56, Leipzig. Translations by A. Kretzschmar. Abandoned after 6 vols.
Authorised lifetime editions:
- Uniform edition, Chapman and Hall, 16 vols, 1857–58.
- Library edition, Chapman and Hall, 34 vols (30 vols 1869–71, 3 additional vols added 1871 and one more 1875). The most lavish lifetime edition, it sold for 6 to 9 shillings per volume (or £15 the set)
- People's edition, Chapman and Hall, 39 vols (37 vols 1871–74, with 2 extra volumes added in 1874 and 1878). Carlyle insisted the price be kept to 2 shillings per volume.
- Cabinet edition, Chapman and Hall, 37 vols in 18, 1874 (printed from the plates of the People's Edition)
- Centennial edition, Chapman and Hall, 30 vol, 1896–99 (with reprints to at least 1907). Introductions by Henry Duff Traill. The text is based on the People's edition, and it is used by many scholars as the standard edition of Caryle's works.
- Norman and Charlotte Strouse edition (originally the California Carlyle edition), University of California Press, 1993–2006. Only 4 volumes were issued: "On Heroes" (1993), "Sartor Resartus" (2000), "Historical Essays" (2003) and "Past and Present" (2006). Despite being incomplete, it is the only critical edition of (some of) Carlyle's works.
Carlyle had quite a few unusual definitions at hand, which were collected by the Nuttall Encyclopedia. Some include:
- Centre of Immensities
- An expression of Carlyle's to signify that wherever any one is, he is in touch with the whole universe of being, and is, if he knew it, as near the heart of it there as anywhere else he can be.
- A mania or frantic zeal for freedom.
- Carlyle's name for a man who prides himself on, and pays all respect to, respectability. It is derived from a definition once given in a court of justice by a witness who, having described a person as respectable, was asked by the judge in the case what he meant by the word; "one that keeps a gig," was the answer. Carlyle also refers to "gigmanity" at large.
- Hallowed Fire
- An expression of Carlyle's in definition of Christianity "at its rise and spread" as sacred, and kindling what was sacred and divine in man's soul, and burning up all that was not.
- Mights And Rights
- The Carlyle doctrine that Rights are nothing till they have realised and established themselves as Mights; they are rights first only then.
- The name given by Carlyle in his Latter-Day Pamphlets, in the one on Jesuitism, to the widespread philosophy of the time, which regarded the human being as a mere creature of appetite instead of a creature of God endowed with a soul, as having no nobler idea of well-being than the gratification of desire – that his only Heaven, and the reverse of it his Hell.
- Plugston of Undershot
- Carlyle's name for a "captain of industry" or member of the manufacturing class.
- Present Time
- Defined by Carlyle as "the youngest born of Eternity, child and heir of all the past times, with their good and evil, and parent of all the future with new questions and significance," on the right or wrong understanding of which depend the issues of life or death to us all, the sphinx riddle given to all of us to rede as we would live and not die.
- Prinzenraub (the stealing of the princes)
- Name given to an attempt to satisfy a private grudge of his, on the part of Kunz von Kaufungen to carry off, on the night of 7 July 1455, two Saxon princes from the castle of Altenburg, in which he was defeated by apprehension at the hands of a collier named Schmidt, through whom he was handed over to justice and beheaded. See Carlyle's account of this in his "Miscellanies."
- Printed Paper
- Carlyle's satirical name for the literature of France prior to the Revolution.
- Progress of the Species Magazines
- Carlyle's name for the literature of the day which does nothing to help the progress in question, but keeps idly boasting of the fact, taking all the credit to itself, like French Poet Jean de La Fontaine's fly on the axle of the careening chariot soliloquising, "What a dust I raise!"
- (i. e. leaven), an imaginary authority alive to the "celestial infernal" fermentation that goes on in the world, who has an eye specially to the evil elements at work, and to whose opinion Carlyle frequently appeals in his condemnatory verdict on sublunary things.
- The Conflux of Eternities
- Carlyle's expressive phrase for time, as in every moment of it a centre in which all the forces to and from eternity meet and unite, so that by no past and no future can we be brought nearer to Eternity than where we at any moment of Time are; the Present Time, the youngest born of Eternity, being the child and heir of all the Past times with their good and evil, and the parent of all the Future. By the import of which (see Matt. xvi. 27), it is accordingly the first and most sacred duty of every successive age, and especially the leaders of it, to know and lay to heart as the only link by which Eternity lays hold of it, and it of Eternity.
- ^"Thomas Carlyle" (bio), Dumfries-and-Galloway, 2008, webpage: dumfries-and-galloway.co.uk-carlyle.
- ^Carlyle, Thomas (1841). On Heroes, Hero-worship, & the Heroic in History. New York: D. Appleton & Co. p. 34.
- ^Carlyle, Thomas (1849). "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question". Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country. Vol. 40. p. 672.
- ^For a complete list of Carlyle's works, see Sheperd, Richard Herne (1881). The Bibliography of Carlyle. London: Elliot Scott.
- ^ abcdefghijklmn"Thomas Carlyle" (bio), Dumfries-and-Galloway, 2008, webpage: dumfries-and-galloway.co.uk-carlyle.
- ^"He believed there was a God in heaven, and that God's laws, or God's justice, reigned on earth". – Lang, Timothy (2006). The Victorians and the Stuart Heritage: Interpretations of a Discordant Past. Cambridge University Press, p. 119 ISBN 978-0-521-02625-3
- ^DeTemple, Duane W. (Feb 1991). "Carlyle circles and Lemoine simplicity of polygon constructions"(PDF). The American Mathematical Monthly. 98 (2): 97–208. doi:10.2307/2323939. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2015-12-21. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- ^ ab"Carlyle – The Sage of Chelsea". English Literature For Boys And Girls. Farlex Free Library. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
- ^"Among these humble, stern, earnest religionists of the Burgher phase of Dissent Thomas Carlyle was born." – Sloan, John MacGavin (1904). The Carlyle Country, with a Study of Carlyle's Life. London: Chapman & Hall, p. 40.
- ^"As a 'double-goer', perplexing strangers in foreign parts as well as at home, the 'Apostle' was occasionally an innocent, inadvertent nuisance to 'our Tom'." – Wilson, David Alec (1923). Carlyle Till Marriage 1795 to 1826. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., pp. 42–43.
- ^ abLundin, Leigh (20 September 2009). "Thomas Carlyle". Professional Works. Criminal Brief. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
- ^ ab"Who2 Biography: Thomas Carlyle, Writer / Historian". Answers.com. 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2009.