HIB011b Chapters to study totalitarianism and political religions

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2021
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Mgr. Jiří Němec, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Jiří Němec, Ph.D.
Department of History - Faculty of Arts
Supplier department: Department of History - Faculty of Arts
! HIB0405 Chapters to totalitarianism
A basic overview of the history of the 20th century, especially Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Bolshevik Russia (or the USSR), is expected.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 20 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/20, only registered: 0/20
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 9 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
Political historiography found a new concept of totalitarianism in second half of the 20th Century to describe European authoritarian political regimes of national socialism and communism. In the beginning was the concept not elaborated by historians, but political thinkers and philosophers like Franz Borkenau, Carl J. Friedrich und Hannah Arendt. In addition to their interpretations developed Raymond Aron and Eric Voegelin their own concepts of „political religion“. Although all of these interpretations were during the time criticised, a rethinking of them can bring some new ideas to study the 20th Century. A good example is study of relationship between ideology, propaganda and ethics of the „New man“. The aim of the course is to familiarise with these classical interpretations of totalitarianism and an attempt to apply their results in study of contemporary publications.
Learning outcomes
The student will be able to describe the development of the theory of totalitarianism in the 20th century.He will be able determine when and why the theory of totalitarianism emerged and how it has changed in line with political and cultural developments.
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Brief history of totalitarian system of national socialism
  • 3. Brief history of totalitarian system of communism
  • 4. Georg Orwell and literary fiction of totalitarism
  • 5. Concept of totalitarianism according to Franz Borkenau
  • 6. Concept of totalitarianism according to Carl J. Friedrich
  • 7. Concept of totalitarianism according to Hannah Arendt
  • 8. Concept of totalitarianism and political religion according to Raymond Aron
  • 9. Concept of political religion according to Eric Voegelin
  • 10. The idea of „New man“
  • 11. Ethics, moral and rituals of „national socialist“ man
  • 12. Ethics, moral and rituals of „socialist“ man
    required literature
  • ARENDT, Hannah. Původ totalitarismu. Translated by Jana Fraňková - Helena Vebrová - Jan Rybka - Zdenka Strettiová. Druhé vydání. Praha: OIKOYMENH, 2013. 679 stran. ISBN 9788072984831. info
  • Za obzor totalitarismu :srovnání stalinismu a nacismu. Edited by Michael Geyer - Sheila Fitzpatrick, Translated by Jan Mervart - Jakub. Vydání první. Praha: Academia, 2012. 686 stran. ISBN 9788020020352. info
  • GENTILE, Emilio. Politická náboženství : mezi demokracií a totalitarismem. Translated by Hana Mondelli-Lhotáková. 1. vyd. Brno: Centrum pro studium demokracie a kultury, 2008. 223 s. ISBN 9788073251536. info
  • BURLEIGH, Michael. Třetí říše : nové dějiny. Translated by Petr Pálenský. Vydání první. Praha: Argo, 2008. 711 stran. ISBN 9788025700549. info
  • FURET, François. Minulosť jednej ilúzie :esej o idei komunizmu v 20. storočí. Vyd. 1. Bratislava: Agora, 2000. 630 s. ISBN 80-967210-4-6. info
  • MAIER, Hans. Politická náboženství :totalitární režimy a křesťanství. Translated by Klára Osolsobě. 1. vyd. Brno: Centrum pro studium demokracie a kultury, 1999. 134 s. ISBN 80-85959-43-7. info
  • ARON, Raymond. Demokracie a totalitarismus. Translated by Vladimír Jochmann. 2. vyd. Brno: Atlantis, 1993. 218 s. ISBN 8071080640. info
    recommended literature
  • BÄRSCH, C.-E.: Die politische Religion des Nationalsozialismus. München 1997.
  • ARON, R.: Historie XX. století. Praha 1996, s. 137-216.
  • VOEGELIN, Erich: Vzpomínky na život a filozofii. Brno 1998.
  • BURLEIGH, Michael. Pozemské mocnosti : politická náboženství od Velké francouzské revoluce do 1. světové války. Translated by Alena Faltýsková. V českém jazyce vydání p. Voznice: Leda, 2016. 516 stran. ISBN 9788073354152. info
  • VOEGELIN, Eric. Politická náboženství. Translated by Jan Frei. Vydání první. Praha: OIKOYMENH, 2015. 87 stran. ISBN 9788072982165. info
  • WOLTON, Thierry. Rudohnědá - nemoc 20. století. Vyd. 1. Praha: Volvox Globator, 2003. 436 s. ISBN 8072075136. info
  • ARON, Raymond. Opium intelektuálů. Translated by Helena Beguivinová. 1. vyd. Praha: Mladá fronta, 2001. 355 s. ISBN 8020408428. info
  • BESANÇON, Alain. Nemoc století :komunismus, nacismus a holocaust. Vyd. 1. Praha: Themis, 2000. 94 s. ISBN 80-85821-89-3. info
  • VOEGELIN, Erich. Nová věda o politice. Translated by Tomáš Suchomel - Ivo Lukáš. 1. vyd. Brno: Centrum pro studium demokracie a kultury, 2000. 170 s. ISBN 80-85959-67-4. info
Teaching methods
Reading and interpretation of texts, active participation on discussion.
Assessment methods
Final colloquium; seminar paper in form of an essay on given topic.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught: every week.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2021, recent)
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