Masaryk: Religious Heretic

  • H. Gordon Skilling


Religion runs like a red thread through all of Masaryk’s thinking and writing and affected, at least indirectly, many of his public actions. In his opinion life without religion was unthinkable; it provided a secure basis for national existence and for an ethical personal life. Yet in spite of the importance he assigned to religion, wrote R. R. Betts, ‘he never tells us what religion is. An admiration of Jesus and a somewhat vague belief in Providence seem to be the substance of his theology. To him religion is primarily ethical and practical’.1


Protestant Church Blind Faith Catholic Clergy Church Doctrine Jesuit Priest 
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  1. 1.
    R. R. Betts, ‘Masaryk’s Philosophy of History,’ Slavonic Review, vol. XXVI, no. 66 (November 1947) p. 42. For Masaryk’s own exposition of his views, see Karel tapek, Hovory s T. G. Masaryk (Prague, 1969) pp. 113–5, 202–43.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Simon R. Green, Thomas Garrigue Masaryk: Educator of a Nation (Ph.D. thesis, University of California, 1976 ) pp. 35–7, 100.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    Roland J. Hoffmann, T. G. Masaryk und die tschechische Frage (Munich, 1988) pp. 242, 263.Google Scholar
  4. 49.
    T. G. Masaryk and V. Bouček, O svobodě a volnosti přesvědčení (Prague, 1904), also given as ch. 1, V boji o náboženství.Google Scholar

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© International Council for Soviet and East European Studies, and John Morison 1992

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  • H. Gordon Skilling

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