The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 6, 1997 - History - 235 pages
4 Reviews
The Construction of Nationhood, first published in 1997, is a thorough re-analysis of both nationalism and nations. In particular 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 1780. In opposition to a historiography which limits nations and nationalism to the eighteenth century and after, as an aspect of 'modernisation', Professor Hastings 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, while evaluating the ability of each to support supra-national political communities.

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Review: The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism

User Review  - JM Hushour - Goodreads

Not bad. A badly-needed, tentative critical look at the Hobsbawm/Anderson nationalist-modernist school. Taking England as a prototype, Hastings shows how ideas of nationhood go back waaaay further in ... Read full review

Review: The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism

User Review  - Nicholas - Goodreads

The late Adrian Hastings offers the view that England presents a prototype of the nation and the nation state. Hastings convincingly argues the case for an ancient English nationalism, citing many ... Read full review


The nation and nationalism
England as prototype
Englands western neighbours
Western Europe
The South Slavs
Some African case studies
Ethnicity further considered
Religion further considered

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