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Paedagogica Historica 39 (2003), 6

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Paedagogica Historica 39 (2003), 6
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Frank Simon, Universiteit Gent
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Paedagogica Historica. International Journal of the History of Education
Barthel, Claudia


Editorial staff (p. 1)

Paedagogica historica: International journal of the history of education (p. 1)

"It was affecting the medical profession": The history of masturbatory insanity revisited
Lesley A. Hall (pp. 685-699)

There is a considerable historiography of the Western panic over masturbation which began early in the eighteenth century and which still lingers in mutated forms in the twenty-first century. This article looks in particular at the nineteenth-century phenomenon of the rise of the belief, initially, that masturbation was a contributory cause of insanity, and, subsequently, that a particular and identifiable form of insanity was the outcome of self-abuse. By the end of the century the patients' fears of having risked insanity through masturbation were increasingly being seen as more damaging than the practice itself, though this might be blamed for causing the lesser affliction of neurasthenia. A number of scholars - some of them practising psychoanalysts and psychiatrists - have addressed this subject over the past fifty years. An account is given of the most significant contributions to the subject, and the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments analysed. It is argued that there are still several unanswered questions about the rise of the idea of masturbation as mentally (as well as physically) deleterious, and its decline. Some suggestions are made for reasons why fears of masturbatory insanity became so acute in the mid to late nineteenth century, particularly, within the European context, in Britain (this article does not address the particular hysteria and ferocity manifested in North America). Hypotheses are advanced for the still unexplained decline of the strongest version of the theory of masturbatory insanity several decades before the end of the nineteenth century. It is particularly intriguing that this decline is perceptible in the writings of those who had previously been leading advocates of the theory. Social, medicopolitical, and personal factors were all doubtless contributory, but a number of questions on this apparently extensively researched topic remain open.


The Crime of Onan and the Laws of Nature. Religious and medical discourses on masturbation in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries
Michael Stolberg (pp. 701-717)

This article takes a closer look at the arguments and intellectual context of theological and medical discourse on masturbation in the early stages of the anti-masturbation campaign, from about 1680 to 1730. It identifies a first stage, during which moralist and religious writing dominated the campaign. The authors used medical arguments on the fatal health hazards of masturbation in support of their message. But the crucial shift in religious discourse on masturbation compared to previous times was the emphatic association of masturbation with the sin of Onan. This shift is linked, in particular, to the rise of traducianist accounts of human conception among Protestant theologians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. While traditional Aristotelian and Thomistic philosophy claimed that the rational human soul was created and infused by God only weeks after conception, traducianists saw the parental semen itself as the decisive vehicle for the transmission of the immortal human soul. Within this framework, the ontological and theological status of semen changed markedly. Traducianism remained far from being universally accepted, but it created a growing readiness to accept that the immortal soul was at least potentialiter in the semen. Masturbation came much closer to murder, or was even explicitly condemned as such. The deadly punishment which God had inflicted on Onan for having spilled his semen was fully justified. During a second stage, from about 1710, medical arguments increasingly took the forefront. A group of London venereal specialists elaborated on occasional earlier claims that masturbation damaged the genital vessels and fibres, bringing forth impotence, seminal efflux and gleets with devastating long-term effects on the whole body. John Marten, the anonymous author of "Onania" and various members of the venereal trade published extensively on the topic and popularised the issue of masturbation and its health effects on an unprecedented scale. At the same time, they further strengthened the link between masturbation and the sin of Onan. Like Onan (and his brother Er), every "onanian" would bring death upon himself. In parallel development, some academic physicians began to question the validity of traditional fears of "seminal retention" and with it the traditional idea that according to the laws of nature seminal emissions sometimes might also have a beneficial effect on physical health. Rather than putrefying in the body, the semen was said to recirculate into the body after its preparation in the seminal vessels and served an indispensable re-invigorating function. It was responsible for the typical masculine traits of the male body. Divine law and natural law now fully coincided.


Diskurs und Sexualpädagogik: Der deutschsprachige Onanie-Diskurs des späten 18. Jahrhunderts
Franz X. Eder (pp. 719-735)

This article treats the conflict-laden relation of discourse analysis and the history of sexuality on various levels: at first it is shown how discourse analysis has become relevant for the history of sexuality in the wake of the transformation Foucault initiated. Continuing this discussion, the author outlines the theoretical connection between discourse and sexual experience. He thereby relies on Norman Fairclough's "text-oriented discourse analysis", a method that marries linguistic analysis and social theory, and thus facilitates research into the interactive kind of "sexuality". The author deals with the linguistic, discursive and social practices of the German-language pedagogical onanism discourse of the late eighteenth century along its respective dimensions. The texts of the late eighteenth century were more strongly oriented towards pedagogy and medicine compared with the religious-transcendental direction of the seventeenth century. Autobiographically infused texts on onanism served to demonstrate "real" case and life histories of onanists. Since the onanist was considered to be completely determined by his disease, one of the first "sexual subjects" emerged. Letters of consultation show that to some extent the consumers frequently adopted the existing model of onanism, but they also produced interpretations of their own. Precisely, those texts by onanists make evident that neither the concept of a passive registration of sexual discourses nor that of a one-way communication can do justice to social reality. On the contrary, interplay between professionals and consumers developed. The "performance" of the texts could only succeed because scholars and onanists shared a common sociocultural "body" and could, therefore, understand, accept and sense within themselves the importance and meaning of onanism. The German-language onanism discourse was part of the educationalist discussion throughout Europe in the eighteenth century, and yielded to the professional interests of a discipline on the cusp of becoming established.


A Catholic Public School in the making: Beaumont College during the Rectorate of the reverend Joseph M. Bampton, S.J. (1901-1908). His implementation of the "Captain" system of discipline
Bernardo Rodríguez Caparrini (pp. 737-757)

This article traces the rectorate of Fr. Joseph M. Bampton, S.J. at St. Stanislaus' College (or "Beaumont College"), a Jesuit boarding school for boys opened in 1861 near Windsor (Berkshire, England). Although Bampton did not succeed to a flourishing school (the number of students was then extremely small), his term of office (1901-1908) was so productive that Beaumont received recognition as a public school with the admission of its Rector to the Headmasters' Conference (HMC) in 1906. Several factors which made this recognition possible, and which Beaumont shared with its Protestant counterparts (Eton was only a few miles upstream on the other side of the Thames), are analysed: character formation, athleticism, scholarship, Oxford and Cambridge links, leadership, gentry aspirations, intimacy with aristocracy and royalty, and military spirit. Prominent among them (and of special relevance in this study), is Bampton's introduction of the "Captain" system of discipline, or government of boys by boys, as opposed to the age-long Jesuit system of strict and "ceaseless" boy supervision by masters of discipline or prefects. The latter was the method pursued at Stonyhurst (Lancashire), the "doyen" of the Jesuit colleges in England, and also at the sister educational establishments of France and Spain. The practice of surveillance in French and Spanish colleges run by the Society of Jesus also receives its due share of attention. At once, Bampton's method invites comparison with the reforms introduced by Thomas Arnold (1795-1842) at Rugby in the 1830s. Like Arnold, Fr. Bampton had to face opposition from his community, but his strong will and determination enabled him to pass on to his successor a school restored to its former prosperity. By the 1920s, the "Captain" system of discipline had become a Beaumont tradition which was copied even by Stonyhurst, for so long the sanctuary of Jesuit orthodoxy. For the explanation of Bampton's scheme, "revolutionary" in a Jesuit college, both unpublished material written in the Rector's own hand and the expository articles from his pen which appeared in The Beaumont Review, the school magazine, have been drawn upon. An Appendix at the end of the article gives the names of all the Beaumont Captains between 1901 and 1908.


The discourse of German Geisteswissenschaftliche Pädagogik - A contextual reconstruction
Daniel Tröhler (pp. 759-778)

The framework of German educational discourse of the twentieth century is so-called geisteswissenschaftliche Pädagogik, or education as one of the humanities or arts rather than as a science. It triumphed around 1925 in the second half of the Weimar Republic. This article outlines in three steps the core elements of this educational discourse. First, it shows that the mode of thinking of the exponents of geisteswissenschaftliche Pädagogik was dualistic in a traditional Protestant manner. They juxtaposed empiry and Geist, plurality and unity, and outward and inward, and they favoured the inward unity and coherency of Geist. The contextual analysis shows, however, that the dualistic thought schema was virulent not only among German educationalists and philosophers, but also found strong expression in novelists and essayists like Thomas Mann, or the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Rudolf Eucken. Mainstream thinkers criticised the plural systems of Western democracy and capitalism - first and foremost, however, American democracy and capitalism - which were seen to epitomise both of these "un-German" movements. The true German nature was thought to be an inner spiritual life, which was originally religious and through the course of history came to characterise the whole of German life and thought. It was believed that this spiritual inner life was revealed best by German art, particularly German music. This resistance to empiricism led, and this is the second step, to two analogous notions of the totality or wholeness of the individual and the nation. Man is not understood to be merely an individual, but more importantly a "personhood" (Persönlichkeit), which was described as an inward spiritual life that arose through effort and self-cultivation, or Bildung. In addition to this inward personhood, however, the conception of "nationhood," a national spiritual life as Volksstaat, or the ethnocultural nation as detached and distinguished from the political sphere, is seen as important. The individual person can perfect himself only in the framework of the typical characteristics of his Volk - the German Volk. Western democracy and plurality are seen as an atomistic "aggregate of individuals" and juxtaposed against the German concept of the ethnocultural Nation, the Volk community composing an organic unity that transcends the individual. Bildung is the spiritual formation of integrated, cultivated personalities who would orient themselves to the Volk community. In the curriculum of true education, along with the German language the study of Heimat becomes the fundamental element. In contrast to specialised subjects, the contents of Heimat would reflect the organic in the world, the totality of life: in the Volk and in the spiritual-mental unity within the Persönlichkeit. The two constructions - deepest roots in the tradition of the Volk on one side, and highest inner spirituality in the personality on the other - resulted in education that had to oscillate between lowest and highest and, through this, had to lose sight of empirical, that is, social and political, dimensions. This is the third step that the present article wants to address. The true understanding of education, according to the exponents of geisteswissenschaftliche Pädagogik, puts social and political issues in their only proper place: inside the inner 760 Daniel Tröhler personality. Politicisation of the German person had to take place in the context of Volksstaat, not in democracy. To be free meant the embedding of the individual into the harmonious beauty of the whole. This notion created a social and political vacuum between the lowest denominator or totality of the Germanic people and the highest whole or totality of the Germanic personality, so that education had to be given the attribution - one that continues to be variously described and affirmed in education research in the German-language realm up to the present day - that education is autonomous, independent of social or political context. This was based on the term Bildung - the inner ideology set against a pluralistic world. Autonomy means insisting on the inner freedom of man, on his inner coherency, and his will. In the midst of the confusing simultaneous demands of society on youth, educational autonomy is believed to be a means of assuring human unity and wholeness; it serves a protective dam to contain the danger of persons being ripped apart or pulled hither and yon. With its goal of awakening a unified spiritual life against the modern plural democratic world, the true educational community becomes crucial.


Scolarisation, cultures et pratiques scolaires au Brésil: Éléments théoriques et méthodologiques d'un programme de recherche
Luciano Mendes de Faria Filho (pp. 779-799)

This article concentrates on some considerations concerning the schooling process in Brazil during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Taking as reference the research carried out in the state of Minas Gerais, it particularly focuses on elementary/primary education there. First, it looks at the different schooling models in Brazil during that period of time and argues that educational statistics are one of the most interesting ways to study the representations about this phenomenon. It then looks at the sociocultural consequences of schooling and stresses the importance of educational institutions as a socialisation model for children, young people and society as a whole.


Contributors (pp. 801-805)
Book reviews (pp. 807-852)
Books received (pp. 853-856)

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