In Reinhard Brandt & Karlfriedrich Herb (eds.), Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Vom Gesellschaftsvertrag oder Prinzipien des Staatsrechts. Akademie Verlag. pp. 213-240 (2000)

Michaela Rehm
Bielefeld University
The author offers a critical commentary on Rousseau’s chapter on civil religion in the “Social Contract”, book 4, chapter 8. It investigates Rousseau’s attempt to overcome the conflict between politics and religion by merging a civil religion that creates an emotional bond to the particular state without fostering superstition and intolerance, and it shows that this attempt fails. It is demonstrated that Rousseau’s concept of civil religion neither offers any doctrine of salvation transcending this life nor prescribes any content going beyond moral norms. Civil religion for Rousseau is in service to politics and its instrumental character is desired by the citizens who are supposed autonomously to agree on the need of a secularized civil ethic.
Keywords civil religion  profession of faith  autonomy  tolerance  social contract  lawgiver  political philosophy
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Bürgerreligion und politische Verpflichtung.Heinz Kleger - 1985 - Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte 29:47-98.

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