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Encyclopedia > Triumphalism

Triumphalism is the attitude or belief that a particular doctrine, culture, or social system is superior to and should triumph over all others. Triumphalism is not an articulated doctrine but rather a term that is used to characterize certain attitudes or belief systems by parties such as political commentators and historians. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Triumphalism. ... Doctrine, from Latin doctrina, (compare doctor), means a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system. ... A historian is someone who writes history, and history is a written accounting of the past. ...



The term triumphalism is what anthropologists call an "observer's category"; it is generally taken as having a pejorative sense (see the Oxford English Dictionary) and few members of groups would identify themselves as being triumphalist. Emic and etic are terms used by some in the social sciences and the behavioral sciences to refer to two different kinds of data concerning human behavior. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is generally regarded as the most comprehensive and scholarly dictionary of the English language. ...

The term is sometimes used to refer to relatively inconsequential behavior, such as excessively demonstrative glee at the defeat or failure of a sports rival. People experience triumphalism in this recreational form as collective pride (e.g., school spirit) or sports fanaticism (“We’re Number One!”). People participating in summer luge as a form of recreation, in the Vosges. ...

Triumphalism also takes more consequential forms, including extreme forms of patriotism, nationalism or religious extremism. This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ... Eugène Delacroixs Liberty Leading the People, symbolizing French nationalism during the July Revolution. ... Religious is a term with both a technical definition and folk use. ...

Triumphalists may derive a sense of pride, security, or virtue from their sense of superiority and expectation of ultimate triumph. However, those who believe in their own group’s superiority or inevitable ascendancy do not typically claim the label ‘triumphalist.’ Instead, the term usually has a negative connotation and is used by those who do not accept the superiority of the belief or group in question, or by those who are warning against the effects of over-confidence and hubris within their own group.


Triumphalism may both benefit and prove detrimental to the survival of a doctrine, culture, or social system. Dangers include:

  • Impaired ability to judge the value or morality of the group's actions;
  • Cessation of creativity and innovation within the group;
  • Blindness to other groups’ strengths and innovations;
  • A tendency to over-reach against the group’s competitors, based on an inflated sense of the likelihood of triumph in conflict.

At the same time, triumphalism also provides impetus to proselytization, conquest and the general expansion of a group or doctrine. Many successful historical movements have worked from a triumphalist base. Examples include the Islamic conquests of the 7th century, European colonialism, and the concept of manifest destiny which helped the United States to dominance in North America and eventually the world. Islam (Arabic: ; ( ▶ (help· info)), the submission to God) is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the worlds second-largest religion. ... The 7th century is the period from 601 - 700 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... See colony and colonisation for examples of colonialism which do not refer to Western colonialism. ... This painting (circa 1872) by John Gast called American Progress is an allegorical representation of Manifest Destiny. ...

Movements need not be triumphalist to be dynamic and successful. The Western drive for the emancipation of women and the civil rights movement, for instance, succeeded on the basis of egalitarianism rather than triumphalism. Feminism is a social theory and political movement primarily informed and motivated by the experience of women. ... Historically, the civil rights movement was a concentrated period of time around the world of approximately one generation (1924-1980) wherein there was much worldwide civil unrest and popular rebellion. ... Egalitarianism can refer to moral as well as factual theories. ...


2005, Muslim A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Turkish: Müslüman, Persian and Urdu: مسلمان, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of Islam. ...

  • The upshot of the matter is that to reduce Islam—with its transcendental moral essence which is based on commitment to 'enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong’—is universal. (Qu'ran 3:103) Those who reduce Islam to an ideological agenda, under the socio-political reality...and all the Muslim triumphalism that this brings, simply have not understood the message of Islam comprehensively. Tarek A Ghanem, in Islam Online [1]

2004, Jewish The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination...

  • Yet in addition to being self-defeating, sectarian triumphalism undermines core Jewish values of common peoplehood and mutual bonds between Jews worldwide. Steven Bayme, in The Jewish Week

2004, American Steven Bayme is an essayist and author. ... The Jewish Week is an independent community weekly newspaper serving the Jewish community of the metropolitan New York City area. ...

  • The abasement rituals at Abu Ghraib were most generally conditioned by the climate of impunity created by triumphalist strategy, ideology and rhetoric, which led, at least, to dismissive negligence and then cover-ups by authorities. Dr. Michael A. Weinstein, in The Power and Interest News Report

2001, scientific For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ...

  • A better understanding of science should lead not to triumphalism but to the kind of humility recently expressed by Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Francois Jacob in Of Flies, Mice and Men: "Science cannot answer all questions. . . . It can, however, give some indications, exclude certain hypotheses. Engaging in the pursuit of science may help us make fewer mistakes.” Jon Beckwith, in American Scientist Online

2001, Christian Jonathan Beckwith is a prominent American microbiologist and geneticist. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Christianity. ...

  • Christian triumphalism has been the energy that has marred our missionary efforts around the globe and in all ages. Consider what we have done to the Native Americans in this country - from the time of Columbus to the time of the great Western Migration. .... Just read Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible to get a sense of the effects of Christian triumphalism.” The Rev. Canon Elizabeth Kaeton, in a sermon preached at Christ Episcopal Church, New Jersey on September 23, 2001 [2]

1994, Soviet The word episcopal is derived from the Greek επίσκοπος, transliterated epískopos, which literally means overseer; the word, however, is used in religious contexts to refer to a bishop. ... Soviet redirects here. ...

  • But not only did Soviet triumphalism eventually provoke the Reaganite reaction in the United States, but, Kissinger suggests, it produced the over-extension of Soviet resources that led directly to economic and ultimately political collapse. Michael Howard, in Foreign Affairs.

The Rt Hon. ... This article is about a journal. ...

See also

  Results from FactBites:
2000 Years: Relations Between Catholics and Jews Before and After Vatican II (10954 words)
He detected a note of triumphalism in one section and likened it to statements from Cyprian and Origen, that "outside the Church there is no salvation" (Fisher, Klenicki, In Our Time 89).
Pope John Paul II has attempted to didactically push aside the concept of Catholic triumphalism, which inappropriately supports the concept that, if the Jewish faith begot Catholic Christianity, it died during childbirth.
Conversely, he contends that the "Catholic faith is rooted in the eternal truths of the Hebrew Scriptures and in the irrevocable covenant made with Abraham" (Fisher Klenicki On Jews and Judaism 13).
  More results at FactBites »



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