‘I Lift Up My Eyes to the Hills …’

  • George Pattison


Even in a secular age, mountains continue to be sites of religious and spiritual significance, whether on account of their sublime grandeur or with regard to the sense of a different time-order, eternal or sempiternal, that they inspire. This chapter examines two modern thinkers in whom the spiritual significance of mountains is expressed in especially striking terms: John Ruskin and Martin Heidegger. Although these may seem to be thinkers of a very different stamp, they can both be seen as arguing for the importance of art (respectively painting and poetry) in the human response to modernity and industrialization and, through their privileged artists (respectively J. M. W. Turner and Friedrich Hölderlin), giving a special place to representations of mountains that are attentive to their potential spiritual significance.


Heidegger Ruskin Mountains in painting and poetry Modernity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Pattison
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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