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WAGNERS THOUGHTS ON CHRISTIANITY AND ANTI-SEMITISM Prof Colette Simonot Music 3653 Amy Kebernik Friday April 6 2001 CONTENTS I INTRODUCTION 3 II POLITICAL AND SOCIAL INFLUENCES 4-5 III WAGNER AND ANTI-SEMITISM 5-6 IV WAGNER AND CHRISTIANITY 7-8 V SPIRITUAL RACIAL CONCEPTS IN HIS MUSIC 8-9 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 10s The thoughts and ideas of Richard Wagner in relation to anti-Semitism and Christianity are linked not only to the social atmosphere he grew up in but also to the writers and dramatists of that era whose works influenced and inspired many of his own Although there are some conflicting statements written by him on these two subjects the overall messages are of similar content These statements are found in his racial and religious essays scattered throughout many of his other writings and are present in some of his musical works as well Wagner was apparently familiar with the old and new testaments of the Bible could quote the Talmud and was able to discuss religions such as Buddhism and Confucianism This lent credibility to his outspoken opinions on the importance of language Volk and Kultur in German society However it is thought that the only person to have believed all of these theories was Wagner himself Most of the people who supported him were not aware of every idea that made up Wagnerian thinking in particular his views on anti-Christianity and anti-Semitism Most people only agreed with one or two of Wagners ideas but what made his opinions so interesting was that everyone could find at least one thing that they could agreed with no matter how misplaced the sentiment was For example many Protestants willingly accepted his views on anti-Catholicism without recognizing
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