Johan Huizinga

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Huizinga, Johan


Born Dec. 7, 1872, in Groningen; died Feb. 1, 1945, near Arnhem. Dutch cultural historian.

Huizinga was a professor at the universities of Groningen (1905–15) and Leiden (1915–40). During the fascist German occupation of the Netherlands, he was imprisoned in a concentration camp.

Huizinga won world renown for his works dealing with the history of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Western Europe: Erasmus (1924) and The Waning of the Middle Ages (1919). In the latter work, he uses an analysis of the Franco-Flemish culture of the Burgundian state in the 15th century to describe the essential features of medieval culture at the period when its decline had just begun.

Huizinga emphasized what was unique and concrete in the historical process and was skeptical about the possibility of formulating universal historical laws. However, in his chief work on the philosophy of culture, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture (1938), he proceeded from the category of “play” as the basic characteristic of every culture. The study of the role of ritual and other cultural phenomena was important for the development of semiotic and systemic approaches; however, Huizinga presented the play principle as if its role in different cultures was always identical. As a thinker with a liberal and humanistic orientation, Huizinga wrote regretfully about the decline of bourgeois Western civilization, suggesting a return to the old values. His works have been repeatedly republished and translated into many European languages.


Verzamelde werken, vols. 1–9, Haarlem, 1948–53.


Averintsev, S. S. “Kul’turologiia I. Kheizingi.” Voprosy filosofii, 1969, no. 3.
Kaegi, W. Das historische Werk Johan Huizingas. Leiden, 1947.
Köster, K. Johan Huizinga, 1872–1945, vol. 1, parts 1–2. Oberursel, 1947.
Vermeulen, E. E. G. Fruin en Huizinga over de wetenschap der geschiedenis. Arnhem, 1956.
Johan Huizinga, 1872–1972. (catalog). Groningen, 1973.


References in periodicals archive ?
UP's theme this Christmas is inspired by Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture, a book written in 1938 by Dutch historian and philosopher Johan Huizinga, who used the term "homo ludens" to describe the nature of man and society to create "play," which in turn forms their culture.
She also cites some major, standard historians of the Dutch, such as Johan Huizinga and Jonathan Israel.
In his most famous book, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture, Johan Huizinga writes that the 'play element' of a society is at the heart of how a society forms and defines its community and culture.
Y con igual esmero, sin interrumpir el flujo natural de la narracion, evoca lo que Johan Huizinga llamaba "el tono de la vida": costumbres religiosas que marcaban el reloj cotidiano, el mundo material de los oficios y el comercio, las sequias, terremotos y plagas que provocaban mortandades biblicas, asi como las turbulencias de la politica nacional que, a pesar de las distancias abismales y la falta casi total de caminos, se replicaban en la local.
There is perhaps no finer example of the philosophical or conceptual history advocated by Mortimer than the work of the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga.
It also serves to theoretically contextualize the analyses to follow in which scholars like Mikhail Bakhtin, Johan Huizinga, and Gregory Bateson are among those whose visions shape Israel's thought.
1) Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1949 [1938]); Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life (New York: Basic Books, 1997); Stuart Brown, Play (New York: Penguin, 2009); Thomas Henricks, Play Reconsidered (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2006); and Thomas Henricks, Play and the Human Condition (Champain, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2015).
Tal como pone de manifiesto el historiador holandes Johan Huizinga en el Homo Ludens, obra clasica bien conocida entre nosotros, la dimension jocosa, ludica y creativa a traves del juego es una de las senas de identidad del hombre, en cualquier contexto sociohistorico.
Along the way, he might refer to Marsilius of Padua, Johan Huizinga, Thomas Muenzer, Karl Lowith, and Manuel Garcia Pelayo.
do historiador holandes Johan Huizinga na secao Textos e Documentos Historiograficos.
They support a progressivist view of history that creates a breach between periods and that treats modernity as a more evolved stage, not unlike those promoted by the twentieth-century scholars Norbert Elias and Johan Huizinga.
Por ultimo, Kristine Vanden Berghe analiza La virgen de los sicarios (1994) y El ejercito iluminado (2006) vis a vis el concepto del Homo Ludens en "La teoria del juego segun Johan Huizinga y los estereotipos de la guerra.