Selbstfindung im Süden? Die Reisen der protestantischen Schriftsteller Johann Gottfried Herder (1788/89) und Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1775) ins katholische Italien
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While Johann Wolfgang von Goethe found the legendary »Arcadia« during his travels in Italy – something he strove to recapture for the rest of his life in Weimar – the only discovery their sojourns in Italy and particularly Rome brought the German Protestant writers Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Johann Gottfried Herder was the crass antithesis between the Mediterranean way of being and way of life. Not least astonishing is that, and the extent to which, the two northern intellectuals tragically failed in their Italian quests. Even more astounding is the fact that with his interest in the philosophy of religion, Lessing and – all the more so – the leading clergyman Herder noted down almost no theological, religious or denominational observations.