The personality of Metropolitan Bartolomeu Valeriu Anania has been extremely complex, first of all due to the various domains of his work - literature, essays, art history, theology and biblical theology -, and secondly due to his relation to politics, especially his connections with the Legionary Movement and with Communism. Despite having been incarcerated as a political prisoner in some of Bolshevik Romania's famous prisons (Jilava, Pitești, Aiud), Bartolomeu Valeriu Anania is still accused of having collaborated with the political (...) police of Ceaușescu's regime, Securitatea . The present text analyses the writer's work in order to explain the relationship between religion, literature, and politics, stressing both their connections, as well as his journey from being a writer to being the theologian commenting on and revising the translation of the Holy Scripture. The analysis is therefore oriented towards Valeriu Anania's literary works, namely his poetry, prose, and theatre, so as to underline its religious background, be it either theological or alluding to Romanian popular religiosity; furthermore, it focuses on his theology, from icon to biblical theology, stressing the associations with literature and the importance of literary workmanship. Finally, based on the cultural analyses which unveil his deep affection for the Romanian spirituality and considering several politically controversial episodes of his biography, the text will attempt to argue in favour of the lack of sufficient and reliable evidence that could prove his collaboration with the political police of Communist Romania. (shrink)
This study deals basically with the combination of religion and politics in American foreign policy in the Near East in the immediate aftermath of the First World War. The diplomatic activities regarding the protection of American religious, educational, philanthropic institutions, the safety of American interests and missionary activities and the safeguarding of a future for the Ottoman Armenians are examined in two parts: the first dealing with the spread of Protestant missionary activities in the Ottoman Empire, and the (...) second, coping with the US political struggle for protecting American political, religious and commercial interests during the Paris Peace Conference through an analysis of diplomatic correspondence in the US archives. (shrink)
Editorial - Dossiê: Biodiversidade, Política e Religião - (Dossier: Biodiversity, Politics and Religion) Biodiversidade, política e religião (Biodiversity, politics, religion) - DOI: 10.5752/P.2175-5841.2010v8n17p7.
I analyze Hegel’s conception of nationality in order to make clear how he conceives the precise relation between the state and religion. This analysis also allows me to draw conclusions about whether Hegel can be considered racist or Eurocentric. My project involves understanding nationality as Hegel presents it in the anthropology: viz., as a form of spirit immersed in nature and closely related to geography. The geographical features of a nation’s land are reflected in its national religion; its (...) nation-state is a positive expression of this national religion; national religion further functions to reconcile a nation to the particular positive character of its nation-state. Yet as nation-states clash and collapse in history (i.e. the state proper), an absolute (non-national) religion emerges which reconciles its adherents not to the positive form of a certain nation-state, but to the state proper, i.e. the course of world history: this is “Christianity.” Christianity is not a national religion, tied to a certain part of the natural world, but, oddly, it does emerge with a certain peculiar ‘nation’: the “Germans.” Contrary to appearances, the “Germans” for Hegel are necessarily not a nation or race in the traditional sense, because as the vehicle for the absolute religion, their ‘nationality’ is not a form of spirit immersed in nature. Instead, the “Germans” (the apex of history) are beyond race and nationality. Any representation of the “Germans” as exclusively white or European, by Hegel or anyone else, is thus false: the “German” and “Christian” spirit is really just the modern spirit, which is necessarily trans-racial and trans-national. (shrink)
This paper comprises a critical examination of foundationalist conceptions of comprehensive doctrines in the religion in politics-debate. I argue that John Rawls, the towering figure of this debate, operates with a foundationalist conception of comprehensive doctrines that has shaped the debate’s view of relevant alternatives (often referred to as exclusivism and inclusivism). However, there are several problems with foundationalist conceptions, and the most serious is that they are empirically inadequate in relation to modern Western societies. I conclude that (...) participants of the exclusivist/inclusivist debate ought to look closer at alternative, non-foundationalist conceptions, and I supply a brief sketch of one such approach, inspired by American pragmatism. (shrink)
Cosmopolis A Review of Cosmopolitics -/- 2015/3-4 -/- Editorial Dominique de Courcelles & Paul Ghils -/- This issue addresses the general concept of “spirituality” as it appears in various cultural contexts and timeframes, through contrasting ideological views. Without necessarily going back to artistic and religious remains of primitive men, which unquestionably show pursuits beyond the biophysical dimension and illustrate practices seeking to unveil the hidden significance of life and death, the following papers deal with a number of interpretations covering a (...) wide field extending from belief to theory, from emotions to concepts, from the wisdom of personal experience to the most sophisticated doctrines. Spirit and spirituality are indeed many-faceted notions. They may refer to the intricate world of the interacting spirits which inhabit living beings in animistic traditions, without excluding a “grand force” linking human beings within a dynamic whole on which their very existence rely . They also bear upon more atomistic and either/or approaches of Western philosophy, which have become embodied in Cartesian dualism against a monotheist background, to the point of freezing the essence of individuals and culminating in the extreme individualism that characterizes our contemporaries. However, this equally refers to the opposite conception of materialism, across times and cultures, from ancient India and Greece (Cārvāka, originally known as Lokāyata, or some Buddhist doctrines for the former, Democritus or Lucretius for the latter) to more contemporary materialistic schools, whether modern or postmodern. -/- The following papers look at the contrasting forms of the philosophy and spirit of the human factor set into a whole, with no artificial disjoint between the psychical and the physical levels, as Wittgenstein put it: “And how can a body have a soul?”. This approach is not unrelated to the notion of anthropocene examined in a recent issue of Cosmopolis, with provides another comprehensive framework open to a spiritual life emerging from the very environment that generated it. -/- *** The first section of this issue was edited by Dominique de Courcelles, director at the National French Research Centre (CNRS), whom we wish to thank for collecting relevant studies relating to the religious and political questions, with a view to focusing on the war of ideas inevitably waged behind images, concepts and perceptions, taking an asymmetrical approach. To the extent that they are mindful of global/local interactions and include representations, opinions and beliefs, such disciplines as philosophy, philology, history and social sciences can provide useful studies accounting for new practices in geopolitics and a fair diplomacy. -/- In her introduction, Dominique de Courcelles first poses the question of how the religious and political spheres interrelate, with their corresponding religious demands and humanistic values. She then suggests that the right question today may be breaking with the philosophy of human rights concerned with the defense of human beings against the hazards of arbitrary politics or the instrumental use of religion, in favour of a fair philosophy of humankind, a new humanism. This would consist in recognizing a common loyalty of all towards one interhuman, not only interstate community, to protect it from both the autonomy demanded by individuals and the instrumental use of minorities. -/- Considering the fact of diversity, so important today in terms of both politics and religion, Abdelhai Azarkan looks at the conditions under which tolerance could obtain the double status of right and duty. He revisits to two philosophers, John Locke and Voltaire, who thought about it from the historical reality of religious wars. The former made tolerance into a right, basing his analysis on the political-legal level, while the latter saw tolerance as a duty, from an analysis based on ethical-political criteria. -/- Mathieu Guidère examines what he calls semantic denominationalism, a term which implies religious attributes and identities, whichever national loyalties or personal belonging they may have at the same time. Since the early 2000s, thie phenomenon has expanded tremendously, compounded by the “war on terror” and the over media-oriented terrorist actions. Denominational expressions act as formal names for ordinary and high-profile players in domestic and foreign policies of democratic states. These systems reveal a receding secularization, while the powerful comeback of religious identities signals the failure of nation-states and the weakening of the humanist spirit. -/- Barbara De Poli retraces the history of a contemporary jihadism claiming its Islamic essence and asserting the truth of genuine coranic principles via the war on infidels, with a view to restoring the Caliphate. After defining the term jihad, she shows that even if this contemporary jiadism is spreading in the Muslim world, it radically departs from Islamic law and the received use of the term jihad, in so far as it is rooted in the early radical thinking of Islamic ideologues in the 20th century, starting with with Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. This current has been fueled by by international conflicts since the outbreak of the war in Afghanistan, in which the so-called Western countries bear a major responsibility. -/- Abderrazak Sayadi starts from the Tunisian experience to ask the question of humanist values and democracy within the relationships between the religious and political spheres. As a historian of religion, he is brought to demystify certain islamic principles and to paying attention to the reform of law, seeing the separation of religion and politics as a precondition to a successful democratic gamble and the establishment of a renewed humanism. -/- Dominique de Courcelles reminds us that getting a better knowledge of narrations and words makes it possible to better understand how logical and rhetorical thinking works for those who wage an asymetriccal war, re-enchanting and mystifying the world to better take control. As soon as 1932, an exchange of letters between Einstein and Freud made it clear that, in order to free man from fatality and war, education understood as culture was fundamental. Such illustrations as the exécution of Oussama ben Laden and the Caliph’s speech in Mossoul show that a premiminary analysis of images and words is essential to a fair diplomacy conducted by people from civil society, whose culture and wisdom allow justice and force to speak together and better resist war. -/- Marcel Boisard thinks that on the day the guns fall silent, exhausted by war, we will not return to the state borders that have prevailed for a century as an outcome of the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916. It is time to prepare the “day after”, which will be a huge challenge. To this end, a summit of Middle-East nations is urgently needed to globally decide the fate of those peoples. On the condition that we know who the enemy is and accept to name it, to understand the history of the countries, groups and alliances, and to question any false or self-interested sense of certainty. -/- *** In the second section, Paul Schafer provides the author’s experiences to explain how culture, from the artistic to the biological, has the power to to open the doors to spirituality, from the inner self to the global environment. He asks himself whether a relative permanence of spirituality can arise from the specific moments that characterize it. Laurent Ledoux synthesizes the conclusion of a symposium held on 22 January 2015 on the links between philosophy and management, on the basis of the spiritual dimension conceived as “natural” and the answers it may suggest to the issues that face the organizations in a “contemporaniversal” world. Jacques Rifflet makes that question in a secular perspective, based on the wellsprings of personal commitment before it can be caught by any religious creed or scientific theory. In this sense spirituality, in alliance with reason, both inspires human consciousness and illuminates its destiny. Sami Aldeeb asks himself whether Islam can be reconciled with human rights. Caught between the belief in an absolute and final Word descended from the sky, and evidence showing that any religion is the creation of a given culture and a society situated in time and space, the Makkan and … contexts et médinois call for differentiated, if not opposite answers and exegeses. Bernard Carmona provides the outline of a dialogical framework, which is known to be a feature of debates between the various philosophical schools of classical India, exemplified here by the transdisciplinary perspective of debates within a Buddhist context. *** The articles not focused on the previous topic include a study by Landry Signé on China’s strategy, competing with the United States to control African resources. The author deals with the specific case of China’s rapprochement with Southern Sudan since Sudan was broken up. In the last paper, Goran Fejić and Rada Iveković, return to the essential role that women should play, and comments upon the role of some international legal instruments related in particular to the elimination of all forms of discrimination. The perspective is transnational and transethnic and is based on secular criteria, as regards nation-building and more generally society-building. Considering the persistence of widespread violence, whether in times of armed conflict or in times of peace, the question remains whether it is possible to fully implement rights and justice instruments. (shrink)
As a way of thinking through the bleakness of the political present through which we are all too precipitously moving, this essay attempts to demonstrate the interconnections between three concepts: politics, law and religion. By way of a detailed reading of Rousseau, I try to show how any conception of legitimate politics and law requires a conception of religion at its base and as its basis. In my view, this is highly problematic and in the conclusion (...) an argument is presented for a politics of the supreme fiction, which attempts to show how poetry might take the place of religion. (shrink)
Review of Sandu Frunză, Între moartea politicii ș i moartea lui Dumnezeu. Eseuri despre literatur ă, religie ş i politic ă [ Between the Death of Politics and the Death of God. Essays on literature, religion and politics ],.
Contains fourteen essays and an introduction addressing the main areas of scholarly interest for Richard W. Davis, Professor Emeritus, Washington University, St Louis Questions how individuals envision the public good in modern Britain and how, through religious and moral beliefs, coupled with wisdom and political savvy, they can improve the public good through the ever-changing nineteenth century political institutions Essays range from studies of local electoral politics and parliamentary reform campaign to national political party organization, high politics and (...) the role religion and empire played in the creation of national policy Examines the influence of individuals on the political process through their professional work in historical and philosophical writing, journalism and missionary work at home and abroad Provides new original research in the area of modern British political history together in Parliamentary History. (shrink)
In this book, Michael Perry addresses several fundamental questions about the proper role of religion in the politics of a liberal democracy, which is a central, recurring issue in the politics of the United States. The controversy about religion in politics comprises both constitutional and moral questions.
Professor Rosenblatt presents a study of Benjamin Constant's intellectual development into a founding father of modern liberalism, through a careful analysis of his evolving views on religion. Constant's life spanned the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Napoleon's rise and rule, and the Bourbon Restoration. Rosenblatt analyses Constant's key role in many of this era's heated debates over the role of religion in politics, and in doing so, exposes and addresses many misconceptions that have long reigned about Constant and (...) his period. In particular, Rosenblatt sheds light on Constant's major, yet much-neglected work, De La Religion. Given that the role of religion is, once again, center-stage in our political, philosophical and historical arenas, Liberal Values constitutes a major and timely revision of our understanding of the origins of modern liberalism. (shrink)
The liberal enlightenment as well as the more radical left have both traditionally opposed religion as a reactionary force in politics, a view culminating in an identification of the politics of religion as fundamentalist theocracy. But recently a number of thinkers—Agamben, Badiou, Tabues and in particular Simon Critchley—have begun to explore a more productive engagement of the religious and the political in which religion features as a possible or even necessary form of human emancipation. The (...) papers in this collection, deriving from a workshop held on and with Simon Critchley at the University of Texas at San Antonio in February 2010, take up the ways in which religion’s encounter with politics transforms not only politics but also religion itself, molding it into various religions of politics, including not just heretical religious metaphysics, but also what Critchley describes as non-metaphysical religion, the faith of the faithless. Starting from Critchley’s own genealogy of Pauline faith, the articles in this collection explore and defend some of the religions of politics and their implications. Costica Bradatan teases out the implications of Critchley’s substitution of humor for tragedy as the vehicle for the minimal self-distancing required for any politics. Jill Stauffer compares Critchley’s non-metaphysical religiosity with Charles Taylor’s account of Christianity. Alistair Welchman unpacks the political theology of the border in terms of god’s timeless act of creation. Anne O’Byrne explores the subtle dialectic between mores and morality in Rousseau’s political ethics. Roland Champagne sees a kind non-metaphysical religion in Arendt’s category of the political pariah. Davide Panagia presents Critchley’s ethics of exposure as the basis for a non-metaphysical political bond. Philip Quadrio wonders about the political ramifications of Critchley’s own ‘mystical anarchism’ and Tina Chanter re-reads the primal site in the Western tradition at which the political and the religious intersect, the Antigone story, side-stepping philosophical interpretations of the story (dominated by Hegel’s reading) by means of a series of post-colonial re-imaginings of the play. The collection concludes with an interview with Simon Critchley taking up the themes of the workshop in the light of more recent political events: the Arab Spring and the rise and fall of the Occupy movement. (shrink)
My topic concerns the interrelation between religion, politics and ethics in a time of terror, or at least a historical moment when the general problem of terrorism has come to occupy center stage. The frequent view that 9/11 represents a wholly new situation, a break with the past makes it difficult, perhaps impossible to understand it. I believe that it is because 9/11 does not break with but continues tendencies already underway that it occurred and we can understand (...) it. My paper, which insists on continuity as opposed to rupture, consists of six parts. The ﬁrst part evokes two well known approaches to 9/11: the clash of cultures, or civilizations, due to Samuel Huntington, and religious incompatibility defended, i.A. by Bernard Lewis. In the second and third parts argue that both approaches incorrectly presuppose the autonomy of culture and religion. In the fourth part I contend that in the modern world religion and politics are subordinated to economic factors. In the ﬁfth and last part I suggest how ethics can be recovered from a constructivist perspective. (shrink)
The relationship between religion and politics complicated efforts to develop a constitutional and legal framework for the post-revolution Egyptian state. During different stages of the transitional phase, this led to results that are dangerously misaligned with the principles of democracy and citizenship. During the period between 2011 and 2013, several constitutional and legal results emerged. New laws on the exercise of political rights, election procedures and political parties did not stipulate a ban on the use of religion (...) for political, electoral, or partisan purposes. This provided a legal loophole for the use of religious slogans in politics and prevented the imposition of penalties on groups exploiting religious spaces for electoral campaigning and other political purposes. This situation is contradictory to inclusive, citizenship-based politics. It also leaves society vulnerable to serious risks related to political and partisan affiliations as well as to electoral behavior based on religious identity instead of ideas and goals common to all citizens, regardless of religion. In addition to the contradictions between the constitutional and legal results of the transitional phase and the principles of democracy and citizenship resulting from the mixing of religion and politics in post-revolution Egypt, another set of political contradictions resulted from the ongoing use of religion in politics by conflicting groups. These contradictions, among other factors, prevented the success of efforts to foster democracy, citizenship and power devolution. (shrink)
Catherine Malabou, Antonio Negri, John D. Caputo, Bruno Bosteels, Mark C. Taylor, and Slavoj Zizek join seven others--including William Desmond, Katrin Pahl, Adrian Johnston, Edith Wyschogrod, and Thomas A. Lewis--to apply Hegel's thought to twenty-first-century philosophy, politics, and religion. Doing away with claims that the evolution of thought and history is at an end, these thinkers safeguard Hegel's innovations against irrelevance and, importantly, reset the distinction of secular and sacred. These original contributions focus on Hegelian analysis and the (...) transformative value of the philosopher's thought in relation to our current "turn to religion." Malabou develops Hegel's motif of confession in relation to forgiveness; Negri writes of Hegel's philosophy of right; Caputo reaffirms the radical theology made possible by Hegel; and Bosteels critiques fashionable readings of the philosopher and argues against the reducibility of his dialectic. Taylor reclaims Hegel's absolute as a process of infinite restlessness, and Zizek revisits the religious implications of Hegel's concept of letting go. Mirroring the philosopher's own trajectory, these essays progress dialectically through politics, theology, art, literature, philosophy, and science, traversing cutting-edge theoretical discourse and illuminating the ways in which Hegel inhabits them. (shrink)
Arguing that intellectual movements, such as deconstruction, postsecular theory, and political theology, have different implications for cultures and societies that live with the debilitating effects of past imperialisms, Arvind Mandair ...
The Democratic Party government, covering the period 1950-60, is seen as one of the most important stages on the road to democracy in Turkey. The Republican People’s Party, which ruled the country from the proclamation of the republic in 1923 to the end of World War II, found itself in opposition for the first time after the 1950 elections, and thus Turkish democracy was given a first chance to stand on its own feet. This work aims to read the era (...) through the eyes of French diplomats, giving an external and disinterested perspective on DP power and the Menderes government, a critical time in the history of Turkish democracy. The study is based on the thoughts and analysis about the DP’s representation of democracy and attitudes towards opposition from 1956 to the coup on May 27, 1960 written down by the 69th and 70th French ambassadors to Turkey, Jean Paul Garnier and Henry Spitzmuller. The reports that Garnier and Spitzmuller sent to Paris contain harsh criticism of the Menderes government for its authoritarian and anti-democratic practices and for its religious policies. These criticisms provide us with important clues about the ways in which the DP transformed the fundamental principles and policies of the Atatürk era. (shrink)
In Western public discourse there is a long tradition of opposing secular and religious values. In consequence, religion has been increasingly excluded from the public domain and relegated to the realm of personal motivation. From different perspectives, the present collection of essays shows that religion still has an important role to play in the public domain. In exploring the possibility of a rapprochement between religious and secular values, the contributions to this volume offer important insights for ongoing debates (...) on the question whether Western, and particularly European, democracies have entered a ‘postsecular’ phase. (shrink)
European legislators must increasingly deal with issues related to fundamental rights. Religion is a frequent topic obliging them to do so. It is not directly part of the EU’s competences but is a source of values underlying policy choices and a tricky political object. Relying on the findings of a survey about what Members of the European Parliament believe and what they do with these beliefs, the article analyzes potential tensions created by religion in the implementation of human (...) rights by the EU. A first part shows how and to what extent European law meets religion, and how it leaves ample room for flexibility but also for divergent interpretations. A second part states that MEPs agree largely on the principle of separation between politics and religion, but may be divided when it comes to drawing boundaries between the two domains. The conclusion points out the limits of the rule of law to prevent conflicts and suggests that human rights may inspire support as well as cause resistance to Europeanization. (shrink)
This book offers a systematic examination of the place of religion within Kant's major writings. Kant is often thought to be highly reductionistic with regard to religion - as though religion simply provides the unsophisticated with colourful representations of moral lessons that reason alone could grasp. James DiCenso's rich and innovative discussion shows how Kant's theory of religion in fact emerges directly from his epistemology, ethics and political theory, and how it serves his larger political and (...) ethical projects of restructuring institutions and modifying political attitudes towards greater autonomy. It also illustrates the continuing relevance of Kant's ideas for addressing issues of religion and politics that remain pressing in the contemporary world, such as just laws, transparency in the public sphere and other ethical and political concerns. The book will be valuable for a wide range of readers who are interested in Kant's thought. (shrink)
This book seeks to show how religion is controlled by political ideologies, and how evangelism is moulded and manipulated by the demands of the dominant political order of the day. Out of his experience as a Christian in India, the author challenges churches and congregations to participate in political action as an expression of their commitment to evangelism and to a better society.
In Politics, Religion, and Art: Hegelian Debates, Douglas Moggach moves the discussion past the Cold War–era dogmas that viewed the Hegelians as proto-Marxists and establishes their importance as innovators in the fields of theology, ...
The question raised by the article is: can democracy be religious and, if so, how? Can religious faith be reconciled with modern democratic political institutions? The article takes its departure from the biblical admonition to believers to be ‘the salt of the earth’ — a phrase that militates against both world dominion and world denial. In its long history, Islam (like Christianity) has been sorely tempted by the lure of worldly power and domination. Nor is this temptation entirely a matter (...) of the past (witness the rise of the Christian right and of ‘political Islam’ in our time). Focusing on contemporary Iran, the article makes a constitutional proposal which would strengthen the democratic character of the Iranian Republic without canceling religious faith. If adopted, the proposal would reinvigorate the ‘salt’ of Muslim faith thus enabling believers to live up to the Qur‘anic summons for freedom, justice and service in the world. (shrink)