Palingenesis


Palingenesis

Palingenesis is a concept of rebirth or re-creation, used in various contexts in philosophy, theology, politics, and biology. Its meaning stems from Greek palin, meaning again, and genesis, meaning birth.

In biology, it is another word for recapitulation - the phase in the development of an organism in which its form and structure pass through the changes undergone in the evolution of the species. In theology, the word can be used to refer to reincarnation and Christian spiritual rebirth during baptism.

Contents

Philosophy and Theology

The word palingenesis or rather palingenesia may be traced back to the Stoics, who used the term for the continual re-creation of the universe by the Demiurgus (Creator) after its absorption into himself. Similarly Philo spoke of Noah and his sons as leaders of a renovation or rebirth of the earth, Plutarch of the transmigration of souls, and Cicero of his own return from exile.

In philosophy it denotes in its broadest sense the theory (e.g. of the Pythagoreans) that the human soul does not die with the body but is born again in new incarnations. It is thus the equivalent of metempsychosis. The term has a narrower and more specific use in the system of Schopenhauer, who applied it to his doctrine that the will does not die but manifests itself afresh in new individuals. He thus repudiates the primitive metempsychosis doctrine which maintains the reincarnation of the particular soul.

Robert Burton in the Anatomy of Melancholy (1628) writes, "The Pythagoreans defend metempsychosis and palingenesia, that souls go from one body to another."

In the Gospel of Matthew[1] Jesus is quoted in Greek (although his historical utterance would most likely have been in Aramaic) using the word "παλιγγενεσια" ("palingenesia") to describe the Last Judgment foreshadowing the event of the regeneration of a new world. Palingenesia is thus as much the result of, or reason for, the Last Judgement as it is directly the Judgement itself.

Politics

Although Josephus used the term for the national restoration of the Jews, the core tenets of the political ideology of fascism earn its description as a "palingenetic ideology", primarily as a result of the notion that fascism itself is the rebirth of a state and/or empire in the image of that which came before it - thus, the ancestral political underpinnings. Specifically academic political theorist Roger Griffin refers to fascism as "palingenetic ultranationalism". The best examples of this can be found with both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany - Italy looking to establish a palingenetic line between the 20th century regime under Benito Mussolini as being the second incarnation of the Roman Empire, while Adolf Hitler's regime was seen as being the third palingenetic incarnation - beginning first with the Holy Roman Empire ("First Reich") then with Bismarck's German Empire ("Second Reich") and then resulting in Nazi Germany ("Third Reich").

Biology

In modern biology (e.g. Haeckel and Fritz Müller), palingenesis has been used for the exact reproduction of ancestral features by inheritance, as opposed to kenogenesis, in which the inherited characteristics are modified by environment.

Notes

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Palingenesis — Pal in*gen e*sis, Palingenesy Pal in*gen e*sy, n. [Gr. ?; pa lin again + ? birth: cf. F. paling[ e]n[ e]sie. See {Genesis}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A new birth; a re creation; a regeneration; a continued existence in different manner or form. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • palingénesis — 1. regeneración de una parte perdida. 2. transmisión hereditaria de las características estructurales ancestrales. Diccionario Mosby Medicina, Enfermería y Ciencias de la Salud, Ediciones Hancourt, S.A. 1999 …   Diccionario médico

  • palingenesis — index reconversion, revival Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • palingenesis — [pal΄in jen′ə sis] n. [ModL < Gr palin, again (see PALINDROME) + genesis, birth, GENESIS)] 1. a new birth; regeneration 2. METEMPSYCHOSIS 3. that phase in the development of an individual plant or animal which theoretically repeats the… …   English World dictionary

  • palingenesis — Recapitulation Re ca*pit u*la tion (r[=e] k[.a]*p[i^]t [ u]*l[=a] sh[u^]n), n. [LL. recapitulatio: cf. F. recapitulation.] 1. The act of recapitulating; a summary, or concise statement or enumeration, of the principal points, facts, or statements …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • palingenesis — Recapitulation Re ca*pit u*la tion (r[=e] k[.a]*p[i^]t [ u]*l[=a] sh[u^]n), n. [LL. recapitulatio: cf. F. recapitulation.] 1. The act of recapitulating; a summary, or concise statement or enumeration, of the principal points, facts, or statements …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • palingenesis — noun Etymology: New Latin, from Greek palin again + Latin genesis genesis Date: 1668 metempsychosis • palingenetic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • palingenesis — n. [Gr. palin, back; genesis, descent] 1. Characteristics of an individual that repeats the phylogenetic development of its taxon. 2. The regeneration or restoration of a lost part. 3. Abrupt metamorphosis; see cenogenesis, recapitulation theory …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • palingenesis — palingenesian /pal in jeuh nee zhee euhn, zheuhn/, palingenetic /pal in jeuh net ik/, adj. palingenetically, adv. /pal in jen euh sis/, n. 1. rebirth; regeneration. 2. Biol. a. embryonic development that reproduces the ancestral features of the… …   Universalium

  • Palingenesis — Pa|lin|ge|ne|sie, die; , n, Pa|lin|gẹ|ne|sis, die; , ...nesen (Biol.): ↑Palingenese (2) …   Universal-Lexikon


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.