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Coming from Darmstadt, and having delivered a few lectures at the Mannheim Monday Club, Dittmar had very little to do with Baden.Even her friends, Struve and Scholl, do not really define the religious politics of Baden.It was rather the shortlived--and blatantly opportunistic-- who sought to redefine the content.The author provides some insight into feminist theory and Liberal historiography, but the treatment of religious history is cursory and idiosyncratic.
But perhaps more offensive was the Catholic Church's attempt to control or limit mixed marriages.The author shows that on the eve of the 1848 Revolution, Struve, Scholl, and Dittmar moved completely away from traditional Christianity in an effort to create a "religion of humanity." Dittmar is clearly the star of this study.A self-taught philosopher whose public career Struve and Scholl helped launch through the Mannheim Monday Club, Dittmar was one of the few feminists of that period to challenge the concept of the differences between the sexes.Jews were also perceived as suspect because of their "orientalism," and in the final analysis, the dissenters' philo-Semitism amounted to Jewish conversion to the new, ostensibly Christian, religion.
Herzog reveals the limits of philo-Semitism and feminism among most , but closes her study with a critique of Gustav Struve, Carl Scholl, and Louise Dittmar--the most radical voices from one cell of the movement.
Reviewed by Eric Yonke (University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point) Published on H-German (August, 1996) , Dagmar Herzog examines the sexual mores expounded publicly in Baden during the 1830s and 1840s to argue that sexuality did indeed shape politics on the most heated conflicts of the time.