The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 6, 1997 - History - 235 pages
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"This is a thorough re-analysis of both nationalism and nations. It challenges the current 'modernist' orthodoxies of such writers as Eric Hobsbawm, Benedict Anderson and Ernest Gellner, and it offers a systematic critique of Hobsbawm's best-selling Nations and Nationalism since 1870. In opposition to books which limit nations and nationalism to the eighteenth century and after, as an aspect of 'modernization', the author argues for a medieval origin to both, dependent upon Biblical religion and the development of vernacular literatures. While theorists of nationhood have paid mostly scant attention to England, the development of the nation-state is seen here as central to the subject, but the analysis is carried forward to embrace many other examples, including Ireland, the South Slavs and modern Africa, before concluding with an overview of the impact of religion, contrasting Islam with Christianity."--Back cover.
 

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Contents

The nation and nationalism
1
England as prototype
35
Englands western neighbours
66
Western Europe
96
The South Slavs
124
Some African case studies
148
Ethnicity further considered
167
Religion further considered
185
Notes
210
Index
228
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