Robbert-Jan Adriaansen in BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review
Robbert-Jan Adriaansen has published the article 'Voorvechters van regeneratie. Geschiedbeeld en toekomstverwachting in de Praktisch Idealisten Associatie (1919-1931)' in the latest edition of BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review.
Champions of Regeneration: Conceptions of History and Expectations of the Future of the Praktisch Idealisten Associatie [Practical IdealistsAssociation] (1919-1931)
Historical debates about reform movements in the fin de siècle and the interwar period in the Netherlands have focussed on what the Marxist historian Jan Romein once called ‘small faiths’ – naïve idealistic movements resulting from the guilt complex of the bourgeois class. Romein’s analysis has been criticised numerous times and historians have argued that although many ‘small faiths’ did not succeed in reaching their goals, at least they contributed to the imagination of the future. In this article Robbert-Jan Adriaansen argues that such analysis should always be paired with that of the conceptions of history that underlie the imaginations of the future. Not only the imagination, but also the meaning and function of the ‘future’ are historically variable. The ‘small faiths’ were environments par excellence in which conceptions of history were explored that are at odds with the modern historical consciousness usually presupposed in the study of history. In
this article this approach is used to analyse the Praktisch Idealisten Associatie (1919-1931) – a bourgeois youth movement striving for a new and better society inspired by a conception of history derived from the odd combination of Hegelianism and Theosophy.