Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts [The Education of the Human Race]

(1535 words)
  • Friederike von Schwerin-High

Published in its entirety in 1780, Lessing’s treatise Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts [The Education of the Human Race] was printed in the form of one hundred numbered paragraphs. Consisting of the first 53 paragraphs, its first part was originally published separately in 1777. The treatise employs three important strategies: it draws a sweeping analogy between revelation and education, – “Was die Erziehung bey dem einzelnen Menschen ist, ist die Offenbarung bey dem ganzen Menschengeschlechte” [“That which education is to the individual, revelation is to the race”] –, it correlates human reason and divine revelation as co-constitutive (…

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von Schwerin-High, Friederike. "Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 February 2008
[, accessed 26 November 2015.]