The Rediscovery of Place

  • L. Michael Harrington
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


It is a sad fact that Martin Heidegger and Mircea Eliade, two thinkers who have revitalized the study of place in the twentieth century, both patronized regimes now remembered only for their brutality. Heidegger’s involvement with the National Socialist movement in Germany is well known, and Eliade’s support for the Romanian Iron Guard is gradually getting more attention.1 The most unsettling aspect of their involvement with these regimes, for our purposes, is that it may possibly explain their interest in the concept of place. Especially in essays written and courses taught during the National Socialist period in Germany, Heidegger emphasizes place as grounding the world of a historical people. Eliade speaks repeatedly of the degradation of modern industrial society where, “properly speaking, there is no longer any world.”2 Industrial society produces houses and people without distinctiveness in a space which is likewise homogeneous and undistinguished. Did Eliade look to Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, the head of the Iron Guard, as someone who could forcefully reimpress a center on a world become homogeneous?


Geometrical Object Natural Place Sacred Place Greek Term Silent Word 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    H. Ott, Martin Heidegger: a Political Life, tr. A. Blunden (New York: Basic Books, 1993).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    D. Franck, Heidegger et le Problème de VEspace (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1986).Google Scholar
  3. 19.
    P.W. Rosemann, “Heideggers Transcendental History,” in Journal of the History of Philosophy, vol. 40, no. 4 (2002), pp. 501–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 39.
    S. Eiden, “Heidegger’s Hölderlin and the Importance of Place,” in Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, vol. 30, no. 3 (1999), pp. 258–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 52.
    R. MacMullen, Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1997), pp. 64–65.Google Scholar
  6. 55.
    L. Jones, The Hermeneutics of Sacred Architecture (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000), vol. 2, pp. 33–35.Google Scholar
  7. 59.
    S. Coleman and J. Eisner, Pilgrimage: Past and Present in the World Reli-gions (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1995), pp. 48–51.Google Scholar
  8. 61.
    D. Cave, Mircea Eliade’s Vision for a New Humanism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 19.Google Scholar
  9. 90.
    Catherine Bell, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 44.Google Scholar
  10. 95.
    C. Long, Significations (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986), p. 2.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael L. Harrington 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Michael Harrington

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations