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Henning Ottmann ; Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politische Wissenschaft, München, Njemačka

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 3.804 Kb


str. 189-201

preuzimanja: 884



The logic of civil religion consists of minimizing community in order to maximize
pluralism. Every modern society needs pluralism on the one hand, and
securing of its foundations on the other. Still, civil religion may raise suspicion
with regard to use of religion for political purposes. And instrumentalization
is contradictory to the character of religion, although the latter always has
political consequences as well. Civil religion serves politics with the aim of
educating citizens. Perhaps, however, it can also be perceived as preparation
of totalitarian beliefs and liturgies, such as are known to us from the first half
of the 20th century. Civil religion can go hand in hand with excessive nationalism,
proselytism, and Satanization of enemies. Such undesirable consequences
of civil religion are discussed in this article on the basis of examples from
the time of the French Revolution. The Revolution was largely marked by
civil religion, the former even legitimized the latter. Four examples from the
history of the French Revolution are analyzed: human rights as civil religion;
cult of reason and of the supreme being; worship of the Revolution’s “martyr”
Jean-Paul Marat, and, finally, Satanization of enemies. Following his expose,
the author confronts these questions: Is the confusing element of civil religion
the fact that it wants to utilize religion per se for political purposes? What is
it that protects civil religion from degenerating into nationalism and proselytism?
Or else civil religion can be both: the basis of a tolerant pluralist democracy
as well as the preparatory stage of totalitarianism?

Ključne riječi

civil religion; religion; politics; French Revolution; cult of the supreme being; Jean-Paul Marat

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