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National Characterology in the Interwar Hungarian Thought

Filozofia, 2020, vol. 75, No 1, pp. 40-50.
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The theory of Béla Hamvas on Hungarian national character is one of the less known aspects of his oeuvre concentrating upon the question of self-redemption with the help of ancient esoteric wisdom hidden in the holy books of different world religions. The paper puts the conception of Hamvas concerning national character into the interwar Hungarian and European context giving special emphasis to the German thought. The main hypothesis that national characterology was a reaction to the modernity-crisis of the interwar period that culminated in totalitarianism. Hamvas wasn’t an exception to the rule in this respect: his national characterology had been intertwined with his cultural criticism: the core of his theory was the resacralization of soulless, profanized modernity. This is true for the theories of László Németh, János Kodolányi and Sándor Karácsony.

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