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(3,509 words)

Author(s): Viering, Jürgen
1. The Term: History and Problems The term “modernity” is a relatively new one related to the adjective “modern.” It obviously stands opposed to antiquity, though more in the sense of contrasting with the obsolete classicism of the 19th century. There is thus an implied rejection of an outdated past and an orientation to the future. (“Modernity” is considered here primarily in its reference to the arts, esp. literature. The related word “modernism,” which is often used in similar contexts, refers more exclusively in this encyclopedia to particular theological …