Another genealogy : art philosophy, politics and personalism : the case of Edgar De Bruyne
Faculty of Arts. History
COnTEXTES : Revue de sociologie de la littérature
, p. 1-11
University of Antwerp
To understand the complex nature of 20th century Belgian personalism, historians and political scientist have mainly focused on the political context in which it developed. They defined personalism as a decisive step in the challenging political process Catholics were part and parcel of. In their eyes, interwar personalism incarnated a harsch criticism of the liberal democracy and, at the same time, it formed the preperation of a political formula gaining currency after World war Two: modern Christian democracy. In this paper, I will develop another understanding of the formation and dissemation of Belgian interwar personalism. I will do this by focussing on one of the founding fathers of the postwar Christian democracy: the art philosopher and politican Edgard De Bruyne. During the twenties and thirties he was a pioneering thinker who tried to combine a neo-thomistic thinking and new phenomenological theories within the field of art philosophy. I will argue that a better understanding of this innovative aesthetical theory can help to uncover a forgotten dimension of interwar personalism: art philosophical thinking which did function as a science pilote because it helped to define the role of creative individuals and creativity in a rapidly changing world.