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Facing FearThe History of an Emotion in Global Perspective$
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Michael Laffan and Max Weiss

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153599

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153599.001.0001

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Fear of the Thirty Years War

Fear of the Thirty Years War

(p.10) Chapter 1 Fear of the Thirty Years War
Facing Fear

David Lederer

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the relationship between fears and crises by focusing on the Thirty Years War. It considers how the war evoked a universal fear response and highlights expressions of preexisting apocalyptic fears in the material context of a long-term crisis. It also examines universal and traditional elements in contemporary portrayals of fear aroused by the specific events of the war. During the Thirty Years War, the body politic often appeared twisted, contorted, or monstrous in form, suggesting a fearful condition affecting society as a whole. In other words, the body functioned as a repository of fear during the conflict. The chapter argues that the linchpin of the relationship between crises and fear during the Thirty Years War was their literal embodiment by contemporary political culture and a peculiar understanding of history.

Keywords:   fear, crises, Thirty Years War, body politic, political culture, history

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