French Nationalism and Joan of Arc : the Use of the Cult of Joan of Arc in France between 1871-1926

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Högskolan i Gävle/Ämnesavdelningen för kultur- och religionsvetenskap

Författare: Jakob Ringbom; [2010]

Nyckelord: Joan of Arc; Action Française; nationalism; cult; France; saint;

Sammanfattning:

The cult of Joan of Arc has always had an effect on the people of France, throughout history. It has aspired too many different views and re-surfaced at times in crisis for France. During some turbulent years after the mid 19th century the cult seems to have gained popularity. Emotional and historical writing became a fashion and Joan was presented in different ways depending on the writer and his motifs. As nationalistic front gained in popularity they understood to use her symbol in the name of France.

This following study, named French Nationalism and Joan of Arc: the Use of the Cult of Joan of Arc in France between 1871-1926, has been an attempt to study her cult from an ultra nationalistic point of view. By approaching the subject by a history of ideas theory I have tried to answer my questions in the matter, and tried to de-code the image of Joan of Arc in the name of nationalism. By first studying the nationalistic development in France as background and the basics and philosophy of the ideas I have then begun the research of the period mentioned. First and foremost I have studied the framework of nationalism and then I have used material coherent to my study, such as Action Française, writers of the 19th-20th century and other studies. I have come to learn that the cult of Joan was perfect for the time when ultranationalistic feelings grew in the late 19th century as a response to the ever twisted Dreyfuss-affair. Along with nationalism came anti-Semitism and fascism and in the line of Action Française also royalism. Joan of Arc stood for all those things, at least that is what the nationalist thought, using history and documents to back it up. And if the legend did not fit the purpose, it was made to fit, all in the ideology of nationalism. Joan of Arc became the symbol they wanted for all their own beliefs. Joan of Arc was to be a piece of raw clay, able to take on any form in the hands of politics.

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