The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has not only a political, economic, and military component, but also a religious one. These components co-exist and support each other, both in Ukraine and in Russia. Why? In this essay I try to give an answer by analysing the religious elements of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict from a historical and a phenomenological perspective. In doing this I hope to shed light on a situation that worsens day by day.
This paper concentrates on Schmitt’s concept of the Großraum, and its relevance to international relations and international law as perceived by some notable contemporary Chinese thinkers. I explain the general relevance of Schmitt’s The Nomos of the Earth for contemporary Chinese thinkers, then examine the concept of the Großraum its possible incorporation into international law and relations. I considers whether the Großraum model in which regional hegemons are recognized internationally and juridically, would help to resolve China’s conflicting relationship with the (...) United States. I also consider whether an alleged cosmopolitanism, based on the global acceptance of human rights norms, would be incompatible with regional powers that reject the universality of liberal values. (shrink)
One of the concerns in the modern democratic state is what place there should be, if any, for the recognition of cultures and cultural identities. Should a democratic state concern itself with the preservation of culture? Should it recognize or promote a national culture – a German culture in Germany, for example, – or should it recognise or promote some kind of national cultural pluralism or multiculturalism? Should a culture or one’s cultural identity have special protections or rights in the (...) state? In this paper, work towards answers to some of these questions. I begin with a brief statement of what I call the ‘modern’ liberal democratic view, and present how it generally understands the place of cultural identity and culture. I then consider a response to it – a view that has been called ‘communitarian.’ Following this, I present an alternative to both views that situates itself within ‘postmodern’ liberal democratic tradition and, again, see how it understands the place of cultural identity and culture. I argue that this latter view, and indeed all three views, neglect some key issues on the nature of identity and, by extension, culture. It is only by being attentive to these key issues that we can arrive at a plausible and practicable statement of the place of cultural identity and of culture in the modern democratic state. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Maritain rejects any attempt to reduce ethics to a set of moral rules that can be derived from natural law. Rather, in his work we find a nuanced account of the virtue of prudence, which applies the precepts of the natural law to particular situations. We also find him insisting that the appropriate animation of ethical action springs not from the law, but from love. Maritain’s metaphysical existentialism leads him to insist that the natural (...) law is never sufficient to meet the exigencies of determining action. Accordingly, the authentically metaphysical basis of his ethics is thoroughly existential (in the Thomistic sense) and must include the prudential governance that guides human action, because an account of human nature and its ends only informs us of the range of possibilities for human goodness, without showing how to actually achieve them. In arguing for this claim I begin by situating Maritain’s ethical discussion in the context of his metaphysics. I then explore his understanding of natural law and its limitations when it comes to governing action. Finally, I explain the place of prudence as the virtue that applies the natural law to the particular. From this the role of existence and love as the interconnected basis for the foundations of ethics in Maritain’s thought is made clear. (shrink)