Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order 9780231526623

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Table of contents :
Contents
Acknowledgments
I. The Enlightenment Revisited. Theoretical Questions
1. Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order
2. Religious Violence or Religious Pluralism.The Essential Choice
3. Religion, Enlightenment, and a Common Good
4. How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence in Its Foundational Political Principles
II. The Enlightenment, Secularity, and the Religions
5. The Enlightenment Project, Spinoza, and the Jews
6. Puritan Sources of Enlightenment Liberty
7. India. The Politics of Religious Reform and Conflict
8. Reason and Revelation in Islamic Political Ethics
9. Islam, Constitutionalism, and Liberal Democracy
10. Religion and Politics.The Identity of the Christian Democrat Movement and Theory of Democracy
11. Concluding Thoughts
Contributors
Index
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r e l i g i o n , t h e e n l i g h t e n m e n t, a n d the new global order

Columbia Series in Religion and Politics

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the columbia series on religion and politics, edited by Gastón Espinosa (Clare­ mont McKenna College) and Chester Gillis (Georgetown University), addresses the growing de­ mand for scholarship on the intersection of religion and politics in a world in which religion at­ tempts to influence politics and politics regularly must consider the effects of religion. The series examines the influence religion exercises in public life on areas including politics, environmental policy, social policy, law, church-state relations, foreign policy, race, class, gender, and culture. Writ­ ten by experts in a variety of fields, the series explores the historical and contemporary intersection of religion and politics in the United States and globally. Mark Hulsether, Religion, Culture, and Politics in the Twentieth-Century United States Gastón Espinosa, ed., Religion and the American Presidency: George Washington to George W. Bush with Commentary and Primary Sources Richard B. Miller, Terror, Religion, and Liberal Social Criticism Gary Dorrien, Economy, Difference, Empire: Social Ethics for Social Justice

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order

edited by

John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen

columbia university press   new york

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Columbia University Press Publishers Since 1893 New York  Chichester, West Sussex Copyright © 2010 Columbia University Press All rights reserved Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Religion, the Enlightenment, and the new global order / edited by John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen.     p.  cm.  —  (The Columbia series on religion and politics)   Includes bibliographical references and index.   ISBN 978–0–231–15006–4 (cloth : alk. paper) — ISBN 978–0–231–15007–1 (pbk. : alk. paper) — ISBN 978–0–231–52662-3 (e-book)   1. Religion and politics.  2. Enlightenment.  3. Islam.  I. Owen, John M.  II. Owen, J. Judd III. Title.  IV. Series.   BL65.P78425  2010   201'.72—dc22

2010021650

Casebound editions of Columbia University Press books are printed on permanent and durable acid-free paper. Printed in the United States of America c 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 p 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 References to Internet Web sites (URLs) were accurate at the time of writing. Neither the author nor Columbia University Press is responsible for Web sites that may have expired or changed since the book was prepared.

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To our mother,

Patricia Smith Owen

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contents

acknowledgments  ix I. The Enlightenment Revisited: Theoretical Questions  1 1. Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order  3 John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen

2. Religious Violence or Religious Pluralism: The Essential Choice  37 William A. Galston

3. Religion, Enlightenment, and a Common Good  57 Jean Bethke Elshtain 4. How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence in Its Foundational Political Principles  74 Thomas L. Pangle II. The Enlightenment, Secularity, and the Religions  107 5. The Enlightenment Project, Spinoza, and the Jews  109 David Novak

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viii —Contents

6. Puritan Sources of Enlightenment Liberty  140 John Witte Jr. 7. India: The Politics of Religious Reform and Conflict  174 Pratap Bhanu Mehta

8. Reason and Revelation in Islamic Political Ethics  194 Abdulaziz Sachedina

9. Islam, Constitutionalism, and Liberal Democracy  221 Sohail H. Hashmi 10. The Identity of the Christian Democratic Movement and Theory of Democracy  240 Roberto Papini

11. Concluding Thoughts  265 John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen contributors  275 index  279

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acknowledgments

This book was produced under the auspices of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture (IASC) at the University of Virginia, and our first debt is to that institute and its executive director, James Davison Hunter. In 2003 James approached John with an idea for a project. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, academic and public discourse in the United States and much of the rest of the world had focused on modern­ ization—and particularly the Enlightenment and secularism—as the cure for religious violence. Without prejudicing the debate, James and John were struck that the arguments seemed innocent of the critiques to which the En­ lightenment has been subjected in the West itself in recent decades. Here was an angle that needed exploring. We also are deeply grateful to the Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation of Greenwich, Connecticut, for agreeing with us and for generously fund­ ing the project. The foundation enabled us to enlist an impressive group of thinkers and assemble them for our manuscript workshop in June 2005 in Laxenburg, Austria. We thank the International Institute for Applied Sys­ tems Analysis in Laxenburg, for hosting the workshop, and Marilyn Roselius and Susan Witzel of the IASC, for all they did to bring the workshop and

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x —Acknowledgments book to fruition. Judd thanks the National Endowment for the Humanities for its support during the book’s preparation. Each of our authors submitted original, thoughtful, and provocative chapters and submitted one another to rigorous and productive criticism in Laxenburg and over dinners in Vienna. We thank them for the seriousness with which they took our common task. Also offering valuable criticism were Ashley Rogers Berner, Joseph Davis, Slavica Jakelić, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Joshua Yates. At various times, writing and editing the book took us away from our families for long stretches. John thanks his wife Trish, and children Malloy, Frances, and Alice, and Judd thanks his wife Marion, and children Dorothy and Isaac, for tolerating so many evenings and weekends at the computer and the occasional uncomprehending stare from a preoccupied daddy dur­ ing dinner. A full tracing of the deeper sources of a work such as this is impossible, but there is no doubt that the household in which we grew up is essential to the story. So we close by thanking our father, the late John Malloy Owen III, our mother, Patricia Smith Owen, and our sister, Patricia Owen Palardy. Our father, a United Methodist minister, believed intensely in both a public order that was pleasing to God and in religious liberty—we can still hear him over­ enunciating, jovially yet sincerely, the motto of his Presbyterian alma mater Davidson College, “Alenda lux ubi orta libertas” (Let light be sustained where liberty has arisen). Little did either of us know that as adults we would still be puzzling out the particular set of issues compressed into that motto. Perhaps our mother suspected, however. It was she who insisted, over their protests, that her two political-scientist sons would someday do a book together. And it is to her that we dedicate this book with love and gratitude. At Columbia University Press, Wendy Lochner was steadfast in her support for this project, and Susan Pensak, William Meyers, and Christine Mortlock all provided invaluable help in bringing it to publication. Kirsten Howard compiled the superb index.

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r e l i g i o n , t h e e n l i g h t e n m e n t, a n d the new global order

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I The Enlightenment Revisited Theoretical Questions

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chapter one

Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven—Oh! times, In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways Of custom, law, and statute, took at once The attraction of a country in romance! When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights, When most intent on making of herself A prime Enchantress—to assist the work, Which then was going forward in her name! Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth . . . —w ordsworth, “The French Revolution as It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement” (1805)

O

nce it became clear who had flown the airplanes into the buildings on September 11, 2001, murdering thousands and wrenching the world into a new era, it took little time for many to diagnose the causes of the event and prescribe treatments. One prominent diagnosis was that the Muslim world was trapped in a benighted past—a latter-day Dark Age—and the treatment was to join the modern world by passing through the set of changes through which the West emerged from its own Dark Ages, summed up in the proper noun Enlightenment. The terrorists of 9/11, after all, were obviously people who rejected modernity in favor of authoritative tra­ dition, discussion and compromise in favor of violence and coercion, reason in favor of revelation, democracy in favor of theocracy. In Osama bin Laden’s declaration of war against “the Americans” and “their collaborators,” he be­ moaned the “suspension of Islamic shari‘a law,” which had been exchanged for “man-made civil law.” The goal, to establish a strict form of shari‘a over the umma or Muslim world and thereby restore the latter’s religious fidelity and greatness. At the furthest reach of the ambition, to establish God’s sover­ eignty through the rule of shari‘a over all mankind. And so, much to its amazement, the United States (and its “collabo­ rators”) found itself the enemy in, of all things, a holy war. The nineteen

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4 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen hijackers were literally killing in the name of God. Bin Laden’s war is one, as he put it, between “the side of believers and the side of infidels,” including “atheists . . . Crusaders and Jews.” This holy war has shocked Western sensi­ bilities. It has done so not only because of the scale and ruthlessness of the violence, or indifference to the innocence of the victims, but also because of the emphatically religious root of the assault. Holy wars are not supposed to happen in the modern world. Islam, according to the radicals, is pitted not only against the U.S. and its allies but more fundamentally against a whole array of modern ideas and institutions, political and moral, whose goodness and justice is taken for granted almost universally within the West and by large numbers outside it. Yet, in his struggle against constitutional democ­ racy in Iraq, Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi criticized democracy’s core principle for granting sole sovereignty to the people, not to God. Not God’s will, but the people’s “will is sacred, its choice binding . . . that which the people permits is permitted, that which it forbids is forbidden.” Moreover, in democracy “a man can believe anything he wants and choose any religion he wants and convert to any religion he wants, even if this apostasy means abandoning the religion of Allah.” Democracy, he wrote, is “the very essence of heresy and polytheism and error.”1 The West so takes for granted the justice of democrat­ ically elected government and individual religious freedom that the thought of a holy war opposing such things as the heresy of infidels is hard to fathom. Fighting crusaders? Is this the twenty-first century or the twelfth? And so the appeal to the Enlightenment for many has seemed obvious. “Wanted: An Islamic Enlightenment to End Religious Intolerance,” was the headline of an article in the International Herald Tribune on December 16, 2001. The author, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, drew upon the dominant lesson about how the West was won for toleration. Friedman, also an author of important books on the Middle East and globalization, wrote that the real struggle signaled by 9/11 was not between America and terrorism, but between modernity/pluralism/toleration and religious to­ talitarianism—a battle that must be fought within Islam.2 In a similar vein, Germany’s interior minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, told reporters in January of 2007 that “there are still parts of the Muslim world where historical en­ lightenment still needs to be implemented,” adding that “we should not be arrogant but only helpful,” since “Christianity waged terrible conflicts for a few centuries until the process of Enlightenment took root.”3 The same prescription for Enlightenment can be found among Muslim writers as well. Ibn Warraq writes, “What we need is an Enlightenment in the

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—5

Islamic world, of the Islamic mindset or worldview. For the Enlightenment marks the most dramatic step toward secularization and rationalization in European history and has no lesser significance for the entire world.”4 Bas­ sam Tibi writes that “September 11 . . . should be a lesson for rethinking Is­ lamic self-image and our image of others as well.” He speaks of the challenge for “us Muslims in our coping with modernity,” as he attempts to identify “the needed seeds for an Islamic enlightenment.”5 And, again, Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “Islam is in need of enlightenment. Islamic societies still wrestle with the problems of the Dark Ages (prejudice, restricted thought, superstition) that strapped Christian societies before the Reformation and the Age of Reason questioned central tenets. . . . Let us have a Voltaire.”6 This book addresses the new global order, which has repeatedly been called the “post-9/11 world.” But, while the center of attention in the post-9/11 world is radical Islam, radical Islam is not the chief focus of this book. Our attention is on the broader question of the Enlightenment in its relation to religion in the new global order. This broader concern requires explanation. Although radical Islam is, for obvious reasons, the center of attention in the post-9/11 world order, it is far from alone in its deep-seated opposition to the forces of modernity, nor is religious violence its preserve. Jewish ex­ tremists in Israel have killed Muslims and indeed an Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, for making peace with Yasser Arafat. In East Africa, Christian militias terrorize civilians, creating thousands of refugees.7 Hindu militants in India have for years used violence on religious minorities; most notorious­ ly, a group destroyed a five-hundred-year-old mosque at Ayodhya in 1992, triggering riots that killed two thousand. In Sri Lanka, relations between Hindu Tamils and the majority Buddhist Sinhalese are intermittently violent. Indeed, the predominantly Hindu Tamil Tigers, whose suicide bombers are honored as martyrs on Heroes’ Day every July 5, are the world’s leaders in suicide terrorism.8 In March 1995, in Japan, adherents of Aum Shinrikyo, a cult that grew out of Buddhism, killed a number of commuters and injured thousands more with sarin gas. The prominence of radical Islam on the world stage forces us to ask if such examples are not isolated events, but rather part of a broader phenomenon, an eruption of intense religiosity in tension with, if not in open opposition to, modern sensibilities. Perhaps an Enlightenment is called for the world over. The question is not simply one of “the west versus the rest,” as Roger Scru­ ton has recently put it. For one thing, as many who call for Enlightenment outside the West observe, killing in God’s name is something that Westerners

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6 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen themselves once did promiscuously. In the Middle Ages European Christians fought Muslims for control of Palestine, each side convinced it was fighting for God. A few centuries later, following the Protestant Reformation, Chris­ tians turned on one another in God’s name, most ferociously in the miserable Thirty Years’ War (1618–48). Western Christians also persecuted Jews and al­ leged witches for their infidelities. Yet modernity has brought an amazing change in the West. In the modern period, by contrast to what came before, the West has been the cockpit of catastrophic violence, especially in the wars and genocides of the twentieth century, but modern Western violence is almost never religious. In the West, killing in God’s name is exceedingly rare. The sharp diminution of religious violence, such that it is considered horrible and aberrant, is a remarkable achievement and part of what we generally mean by the Enlightenment. And yet Western-Christian terrorism is certainly not unknown in recent years, despite the long and pervasive influence of the Enlightenment, most notably in Northern Ireland but also in America.9 It is arguable that the Okla­ homa City bombing of 1994, prior to September 11 the deadliest terrorist at­ tack on U.S. soil, was an act of terrorism done in the name of Christianity. Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, was evidently an adherent of the Christian Identity movement, which claims that Anglo-Saxons rather than Jews were God’s original chosen people. Also linked to the Christian Identity movement is Eric Rudolph, who was found guilty of bombing the Centennial-Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympic games in Atlan­ ta and subsequently confessed to bombing abortion clinics and a homosexual night club.10 Add to these examples the fact that three of the four terrorists that attacked the transit system in London in July 2005 were born and raised in the England (the fourth moved to the UK from Jamaica at age five) and it is clear that Western society is not necessarily rocky soil for the growth of religious terrorism. Many observers, moreover, fear a kinship between violent religious ex­ tremism, which remains rare in the West, and nonviolent fundamentalist strands, which are alive and well, at least in the United States. For these ob­ servers, that kinship was epitomized by the now infamous comments on Sep­ tember 13, 2001, of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson who, despite decrying the terrorist attacks of two days earlier, agreed that they were small in com­ parison to what the United States deserved for its moral decay and embrace of secularism. The concern over religious fundamentalism in the U.S. has led to a recent string of best-selling books attacking religion in the name of sci­

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—7

ence and reason, books with titles such as The God Delusion, The End of Faith, Breaking the Spell, and God Is Not Great.11 These writers argue for the need to renew the Enlightenment’s most radical secularist and rationalist agenda within the West itself, especially though not only in America. In Breaking the Spell Daniel Dennett claims that it is a mistake to suppose that the Enlight­ enment succeeded in dealing with religion once and for all: “Ever since the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century, many quite well informed and bril­ liant people have confidently thought that religion would soon vanish, the object of a human taste that could be satisfied by other means. Many are still waiting, somewhat less confidently.”12 The reason for this waning confidence has been documented by Gilles Kepel in The Revenge of God: The Resurgence of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism in the Modern World.13 The question then concerns neither merely Muslim societies nor non-Western societies that re­ main relatively unaffected by the Enlightenment. How do we begin to tie all of this together? We have said that the least controversial focal point for defining the post-9/11 world is radical Islam. But, while the practical and political preoccupation with radical Islam is rea­ sonable, its global impact and capacity to initiate a new world order compel us to raise broader and more fundamental questions. For radical Islam, in its earnest religious opposition to so much that comes with and underlies the modernity initiated by the Enlightenment, is only the most visible and, to be sure, the least-possible-to-ignore part of a widespread religious resistance—a resistance that extends far beyond the Muslim world, that extends well be­ yond its most violent and gruesome expressions, and that extends into and indeed emanates from within the West itself. Radical Islam is indeed impossi­ ble to ignore and is of unique concern for obvious reasons. But it also forces us to wonder whether the rest, which may have been easy to ignore as excep­ tions or aberrations in a world that generally marched to the Enlightenment’s drummer, are not far more significant than they had previously appeared. The question this book aims to confront is the broader one of the relation between principles of the Enlightenment and religion. To what extent is the Enlightenment able to extend its influence beyond the West? To what extent should we wish it to do so? Does the post-9/11 world force us to confront some essential limitations of Enlightenment principles, which as such affect their validity not only outside the West but within it? The Enlightenment seems today to be at once urgently needful and more radically open to challenge than any time in recent history. Consider that, in 1989, as communism was crumbling in eastern Europe, Francis Fukuyama

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8 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen could confidently and plausibly assert the “end of history.” He meant that, as communism seemed headed for the same dustbin of history that held the remains of fascism, all indicators seemed to point in the direction of the orig­ inal Enlightenment program: representative democracy, toleration, market economics. Fascism and communism, still essentially modern movements, had lost to the original modern movement; and it was only a matter of time before Enlightenment ideas realized their universal aspirations. And so, in 1991, George Bush Sr. could speak of a new world order marked by global consensus around these ideas, replacing the bipolar division of cold war: Until now, the world we’ve known has been a world divided—a world of barbed wire and concrete block, conflict and cold war. Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real pros­ pect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a “world order” in which “the principles of justice and fair play . . . protect the weak against the strong . . . ” A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations.14

It is safe to say that the post-9/11 world is not the world order Fukuyama or the first President Bush thought they saw on the horizon. Much of the present volume is a sustained consideration of the question Is the Enlightenment solution to religious violence feasible or appropriate outside the West? Since its emergence in early modern Europe, advocates of the En­ lightenment have claimed that its principles are rooted in nature, therefore seeming to suggest that the answer must be affirmative. Indeed, as we will discuss, universalism is constitutive of the Enlightenment, asserting the pri­ ority of reason and a common human nature over tradition and custom. If the Enlightenment is not in principle applicable across time and space—if it is contingent upon Western culture or history—does it then fail on its own terms?15 Thus have the Enlightenment’s critics since the beginning argued that it is in fact contingent or particular. Our question thus implicates the larger one of whether Enlightenment principles are true. The question takes on a special urgency today—not simply because of the Western elite discourse we have sampled. It is also crucial to questions of Western foreign policy. Between the start of the U.S. led wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, George W. Bush began promoting the vigorous use of foreign policy to spread liberal democracy throughout the Middle East and the entire

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—9

globe. In the speech that became identified with the “Bush doctrine,” he said, “The 20th century ended with a single surviving model of human progress, based on non-negotiable demands of human dignity, the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women and private property and free speech and equal justice and religious tolerance.” It was, he told an audience of West Point graduates, America’s duty to support these demands. Aware of the charge that such a model of human life represents merely one view of civilization that is in conflict with others, Bush defended its universal valid­ ity: “When it comes to the common rights and needs of men and women, there is no clash of civilizations. The requirements of freedom apply fully to Africa and Latin America and the entire Islamic world.”16 Critics on both the left and right have not ceased to accuse Bush’s view of naïveté in supposing that liberal democracy possesses such clear transcultural appeal. In Iraq, crit­ ics say, liberal democratic universalism met its match in deep-seated sectarian animosities and rivalries—rooted in religion (Shi’a versus Sunni) and race (Arab versus Kurd). Consider too the widespread unease in Europe about the prospect of Turkey’s admission into the European Union. In the words of Fadi Hakura, concern over Turkish membership “come[s] down to religion. . . . The fear is that Muslims, and the Turks in particular, due to reasons of religion and culture, cannot fully integrate into European culture.”17 Meanwhile, much support within the EU for Turkish membership stems from a wish to dem­ onstrate to the world, and to the broader Muslim world in particular, that the cultural-religious divide can be overcome by the EU’s most modern gov­ erning principles. And so, in 2006, Tony Blair said, “It is important that we recognize that this has an importance not just in respect to Turkey but with wider relationships between the West and the Muslim world.”18 Touching this nerve of the debate, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that “the EU will either decide to become a global actor or it must accept that it is a Christian club.”19 Proponents of Turkish membership would seem to be in harmony with those Enlightenment ideals that influenced the founding of the European Union in the 1950s, ideals that placed a common humanity (including, sig­ nificantly, the common human desire for economic gain) over national, cul­ tural, and religious divisions. And, despite all that has been said about the di­ visions between western Europe and the United States over Iraq and broader policy toward the Muslim world, the Bush doctrine is linked to the EU’s founding principles by the notion that modern liberal democracies are far

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10 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen more pacific in their relations than are other regime types. The EU aimed to end (and has ended) centuries of massive continental wars; Bush declared in his second inaugural address that “the best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.” The notion that the path to peace was the spread of modern, enlightened constitutional government, a notion that has come to be known among scholars as democratic peace theory, was first made famous by the Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant in his essay “Perpetual Peace.” Peace required the spread of enlightenment, and religion is the “focal point of enlightenment.” So wrote Kant, the author of Religion Within the Bounds of Reason Alone.

Why Religious Violence? An act as lethal as the 9/11 attacks first seems one of simple savagery, with blind hatred its motive and destruction its object. Other acts of religious ter­ rorism by Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and others leave the same initial impression. Having learned that the terrorists are highly religious, one may tend to move toward the conclusion that their religion is the problem. They must have believed that their victims deserved death—perhaps they be­ lieved them subhuman—and that the murders pleased God or were some­ how sanctified. But they cannot have had any purpose that most of us would recognize as rational, such as the construction of a social or international or­ der that is just even by their own lights. Their aim—divine reward for killing infidels—can only be seen as otherworldly. This would seem to follow from their conviction that their instructions derive from divine revelation and are thereby not susceptible to reason.20 We shall call this the irrationality thesis. Behavioral social scientists tend to take roughly the opposite view, namely, that religion is not a true cause of so-called religious violence. Instead, reli­ gious violence is as rational (read strategic) as other political uses of force: it is the familiar quest for power, but with a religious veneer. The real story for these researchers is one of deprived people—the perpetrators of violence— being manipulated by cunning, power-hungry elites—the instigators of vio­ lence. Elites mobilize the miserable masses with myths about internal and external enemies and cosmic forces. The masses are indoctrinated into sacri­ ficing their own miserable lives for the sake of these myths; the elites such as Osama bin Laden walk away with the power. In more religious societies, reli­ gious myths are the most useful; in less religious societies, ideologies such as

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—1 1

nationalism or Maoism work better.21 In this view, as Mark Juergensmeyer writes, religion is actually innocent of violence.22 We shall call this the instrumental-rationality thesis. In principle, irrational hatred and cynical manipulation are possible causes of violence. But these two theses are neither collectively exhaustive nor, in our view, empirically plausible in the case of religious terrorism. A close look at the ways such terrorists understand themselves reveals that although they certainly hate and intend destruction, they typically have in mind a positive program, one that is simultaneously religious and political. The error of the irrationality thesis is that, ironically, it begs the question of what religion entails. The thesis projects an Enlightenment notion of the separation of re­ ligion from politics onto societies for which that separation is alien. It misses the possibility that the vision of the terrorists may be derived from revelation rather than reason, but is nonetheless a vision for earthly society that neces­ sarily involves the state or some other coercive apparatus—is, in other words, political. Religious terrorists kill one set of people so that another set may live under what they believe to be divine authority. On the other hand, the error of the instrumental-rationality thesis is to miss the importance of that belief itself, which often animates elites as well as masses (and, indeed, in the 9/11 case none of the nineteen hijackers was poor). For those who theorize and plan terrorism, it is not enough to seize power: the society in which they want to wield power must be constituted by a particular order. Some political leaders, including some terrorist mas­ terminds, may well be cynical, but some truly do mean it when they claim to be willing to die so as to bring about a better social order. We take the view, then, that politics is about not simply coercion and exploitation but also competing (and sometimes ghastly) conceptions of the good. Take the case of September 11 itself. Clues left by the hijackers suggest that they believed themselves not cold-blooded murderers but martyrs for Islam. Indeed, the meditations of Mohammed Atta, found in his luggage after the killing, suggest that the hijackers thought of the act as sanctified and sancti­ fying. Before their “martyrdom” they were to become and remain purified from sin—by, for example, bathing and dressing in particular ways—and to stay “busy with the constant remembrance of God” while on the airplanes. As Bruce Lincoln writes, each mundane act leading to the murders, from boarding the plane to slitting the throats of flight attendants, “is invested with religious significance in one fashion or another.” To combat fear, Atta quoted from the Qur’an:

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12 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen Fight the leaders of unbelief . . . Are you afraid of them? You would do better to be afraid of God, if you are believers. Fight them, and God will chastise them at your hands And degrade them, and He will help you Against them, and bring healing to the breasts of a people who believe.23

The hijackers’ understanding of their action, then, was overwhelmingly religious. Yet, the final line, concerning “a people who believe,” implicates politics, for it refers to Muslims as a people or nation, the umma, a unit constituted by adherence to a particular set of beliefs and practices. Atta’s meditations in fact linked the hijackers with early warriors of Islam, and America with the jahiliyyah, or barbarians whom the early Muslims defeated. Here Lincoln recognizes the influence of the Egyptian theologian Sayyid Qutb (1906–66), the intellectual father of al Qaeda and much of the Sunni Islamic resurgence of recent decades. Qutb, who spent most of the last twelve years of his life imprisoned under Gamel abdul Nasser’s regime, was mainly concerned that Muslims lead pious lives, that is, live under shari‘a. Shari‘a involves not only personal practices but real punishment for infractions by authority; tradition­ ally, then, it entails a mingling of mosque and state. Thus far Qutb is in the historic mainstream of Islamic theology and jurisprudence. But for Qutb, impiety was not simply a temptation each believer faces; it had a concrete existence in the form of Zionists and Crusaders.24 The use of “Zionists and Crusaders” to denote the West may seem to im­ ply that Qutb’s chief complaint against the West was imperialism. He was indeed bitter about Christian and Jewish rule and influence in the Middle East. But, more than conquest, it was the ideas of the modern West—ideas that we identify with the Enlightenment, and that for him were the products of the inevitable degradation of the Jewish and Christian religions—that he feared. Those ideas, he maintained, had penetrated the Muslim world so that in Nasser’s Egypt, for example, “Our whole environment, people’s beliefs and ideas, habits and art, rules and laws—is jahiliyyah, even to the extent that what we consider to be Islamic culture, Islamic sources, Islamic phi­ losophy, and Islamic thought, are also constructs of jahiliyyah.”25 What was required was the purgation from Muslim society of all notions from non-Is­ lamic sources. These included secularism, nationalism (including Egyptian), sexual permissiveness, and the separation of religion and politics. Ideas ema­

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—1 3

nating from the West would “confine Islam to the emotional and ritual cir­ cles, and . . . bar it from participating in the activity of life, and . . . check its complete predominance over every human secular activity, a preeminence it earns by virtue of its nature and function.”26 In other words, as Paul Berman writes: “[Qutb’s] deepest quarrel was not with America’s failure to uphold its principles. His quarrel was with those principles.”27 Nor was that quarrel due to unfamiliarity with Western ideas or practices. His earliest writings place him in the tradition of liberal Egyptian literature.28 It was during his three-year sojourn in the United States (1948–51), when he studied at three U.S. colleges, that he began to turn decisively against the West. In his Amrika allati Ra’aytu (America that I saw), Qutb reports that Americans attend church in huge numbers but that church for them was a “for anything except worship. It would be very hard for you to distinguish it from places of fun and amusement.” He was also disturbed by the attitude that he frequently encountered that sex could be separated from morality.29 He developed his critique of the West over the ensuing years into a specifi­ cally Islamic critique of Christianity. In his thirty-volume magnum opus, In the Shade of the Qur’an, he asserts that in the United States and Sweden, “the most affluent and materially advanced” societies in the West, people are “miserable” and “have lost touch with their own souls.”30 The fundamental problem was that Christianity, the religion that shaped the West, tends to separate aspects of life that belong together, beginning with the spiritual and the physical. The resulting “schizophrenia” is seen in the Western separation of science and faith and, most reprehensibly, religion from politics, which “denies or suspends God’s sovereignty on earth.”31 In other words, secular modernity is a natural end point of Christianity. Owing to Western imperialism, this secularization has infected Muslims as well.32 The archetype was Kemal Atatürk’s Turkey, which separated mosque from state and hence made more likely a reversion to pagan immorality or jahili by Muslims.33 Qutb defined Islam as “a complete divorce from jahiliyyah.”34 To combat a concrete entity such as the modern Western version of jahiliyyah, an opposing concrete entity or system was needed to come into the battlefield as an organized movement and a viable group. . . . The Muslim society cannot come into existence simply as a creed in the hearts of individual Muslims, however numerous they may be, unless they become an active, harmonious, and cooperative group, distinct by itself, whose different elements, like the limbs of a human body, work together

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14 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen for its support and expansion, and for its defense against those elements that attack its system. This group must work under a leadership that is independent of the jahiliyyah so it can organize its various efforts in sup­ port of one harmonious purpose, and strengthen and widen the Muslims’ Islamic character in order to abolish the negative influences of jahili life.35

In other words, under the conditions that Muslims faced in the twenti­ eth century—a struggle against a secularizing juggernaut that has already claimed the seat of the old caliphate and that has gained influence over other Muslim rulers—an opposing, cohesive group, not co-opted by the West, must form to defend and deepen Islam. It is important to recognize, too, that Qutb’s project was not simply antimodern. Its telos was a united, pious umma that, by example, would attract the unbelievers: “The social order in the Muslim world must present itself to the non-Muslim world as the prac­ tical interpretation of the teachings of Islam, so that the non-Muslim world, when it starts looking in earnest for a way out of its intellectual and spiritual strife, will not fail to be impressed by the beauty and charm of true Islamic ideology in its practical phase.”36 This is neither a transcendent vision having nothing to do with politics or strategy, nor cynical power seeking by elites. It is a grand, even universal theologico-political project. Mohammed Atta and the other 9/11 hijackers, it seems, believed that in destroying buildings that symbolized American power, and slaughtering thousands, they were participating in this project. What about putatively sanctified violence by adherents of other religions? •  In Israel, Baruch Goldstein murdered twenty-nine Muslim worshipers in 1994. The following year Yigal Amir assassinated Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister. Both Goldstein and Amir were religious Jews animated by a vision of a confessional Israel, free of Arabs, that will supplant the current secular Israel. Both men were followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of the Kach Party who was himself assas­ sinated by a Muslim in 1990 in New York. Kahane’s movement invests the conflict between Israelis and Arabs with cosmic significance; in fine, he asserted that Arabs had to leave Israeli land because the Jewish Mes­ siah was coming soon. Kahane said his real enemy was not Arabs but the secular Jewish state; he professed to “feel closer to [Ayatollah] Kho­ meini and other militant Muslims than he did to such framers of secular political thought as John Locke or even to secular Jews.”37

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—1 5

•  In India, the Sikh bodyguards who assassinated Indira Gandhi in 1984 were avenging her government’s raid earlier that year of the Golden Temple of Amritsar, Sikhism’s most sacred site. That raid was an at­ tempt to apprehend Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a Sikh militant. Bhindranwale had preached of a conflict between good and evil, like preachers of most religions; but he had linked evil to the secular Indian state. “The satanic forces had somehow come to earth and were residing in the official residence of India’s head of state.” What appears to many social scientists a secular struggle among ethnic groups competing for scarce resources such as power and wealth is, for the radical Sikh, a tran­ scendent contest with supernatural significance.38 •  Also in India, Hindu militants who slaughtered hundreds of Muslims in Gujarat in February and March 2002 were responding to the burn­ ing to death of fifty-eight Hindus on a train by Muslims.39 But the Hindu movement that supports such violence is linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a former member of which assassinated Mohan­ das Gandhi in 1948. The RSS, founded in 1925, and similar movements envisage not the secular India of Nehru and the Congress Party, nor Gandhi’s compromise between Hinduism and other religions, but a purely Hindu India. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar argued for hindutva, “the idea that virtually everyone who has ancestral roots in India is a Hindu and that collectively they constitute a nation.”40 •  In the United States, Christians have occasionally bombed abortion clinics or murdered their staff. In 1994 the Rev. Paul Hill killed Dr. John Britton and an escort outside an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida. A few years earlier, “Rachelle Shannon, a housewife from rural Oregon . . . confessed to a string of abortion clinic bombings” and “was convicted of attempted murder for shooting and wounding Dr. George Tiller as he drove away from his clinic in Wichita, Kansas.” Hill, Shannon, and others are influenced by so-called Reconstruction theology, which in­ sists that America must set up institutions and enact laws drawn directly from the Bible. In Hill’s words, they see “the cutting edge of Satan’s current attack” as “the abortionist’s knife” and that these killings are thus justified and theologically significant.”41 The violent believers in these and other stories demonstrate that profound alienation from the secular or this-worldly state is not limited to Islam. Be­ yond alienation or a feeling that secularism is inadequate, however—a feeling

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16 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen shared by many nonviolent believers—is evidently the conviction that mat­ ters are near some sort of tipping point. The current order is so illegitimate, the divinely structured order so imminent, that the use of targeted violence is justified because it will help topple the old and usher in the new: a pure so­ ciety living under divine law.42 To see how the Enlightenment rejected such thinking, we move directly to a consideration of what it was and is.

What Is (or Was) the Enlightenment? The suggestion that the Enlightenment might offer a solution to today’s religious violence around the world is prompted, as we have noted, by its success in nearly eliminating religious violence in the West, whose history of religious strife is as bloody as any. What exceptional religious violence one still finds in the West is largely associated with pockets of resistance to the Enlightenment within the West that stand out precisely because they are exceptions. Here too, it may seem, an advance of the Enlightenment is the solution. What do we mean by this proper noun with the definite article: the En­ lightenment? The Enlightenment grew out of a revolutionary movement in philosophy and science in the West, the roots of which are debated, but can arguably be traced to the sixteenth century. The Enlightenment began to blossom in the seventeenth century with such thinkers as Descartes, Bacon, Hobbes, Bayle, Locke, Newton, and Spinoza. As a movement, it enjoyed its most visible heyday in the eighteenth century, with such thinkers as Hume, Kant, the philosophes in France, as well as Madison, Franklin, and Jefferson in America. The revolutions in America and, more importantly, in France were seen as marking a watershed in human history, dividing a benighted past from an enlightened future. As Wordsworth’s poem indicates, however, the period of greatest hope for the Enlightenment would not last. Doubts, which had naturally accompanied the Enlightenment from the start, grew and deepened in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Yet, despite these doubts, much of the Enlightenment project remains alive and vigorous, and few of its Western critics repudiate its achievements entirely. The term the Enlightenment refers to a range of views that is far from uni­ fied. The disagreements between Descartes and Locke and Hume and Kant fill volumes. Yet a unifying thread is indicated already in the name: the En­ lightenment aimed to benefit humankind through a widespread transforma­

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—1 7

tion of public opinion, a transformation in the direction of and effected by reason and science. The Enlightenment was to usher in an unprecedented condition for human kind: the Age of Reason. No longer content to remain a preserve of the few, no longer content to maintain an emphatic orientation to purely speculative thought, reason and science were on the march. Marx expressed the spirit of Enlightenment philosophers’ attitude toward their pre­ decessors when he wrote: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.”43 The Enlightenment, then, can be viewed in two distinct aspects: first, as a new orientation in philosophical thought and, second, as a sociopolitical project. The Enlightenment marked a radical transformation in the under­ standing of the social and political meaning and relevance of reason and sci­ ence. In its political philosophies the Enlightenment sought what Machia­ velli called the “effectual truth,”44 spurning the impractical and utopian or merely theoretical quest for the “best regime,” exemplified by Plato’s Republic. Likewise, the new natural science would be practical in orientation and dedicated to the benefit of humankind. Francis Bacon, for example, sought to turn natural science away from speculation on the natures of the beings— “a vain pursuit”45—and toward the study of “nature altered” or “history me­ chanical,” which “is of all others the most radical and fundamental towards natural philosophy; such natural philosophy shall not vanish in the fume of subtle, sublime, or delectable speculation, but such as shall be operative to the endowment and benefit of man’s life.”46 The new natural science and the new political science were two wings of what was to be the same advance of reason in human society. Owing to the Enlightenment, reason and science would no longer have to be on the defensive—no more trials of a Socrates or Galileo. The examples of Socrates and Galileo serve to highlight the centrality of the question of religion for the Enlightenment. Kant stated bluntly that “matters of religion” are “the focal point of Enlightenment.”47 The motto of Enlightenment, Kant wrote, was sapere aude! which he took to mean “Have the courage to use your own understanding.”48 Prior to the rise of the En­ lightenment, the minds of the vast majority of human beings were ruled, ac­ cording to Kant, by religious dogmas and superstitions. Through that mental and political enslavement, humanity had been torn apart in bloody religious conflict. Only now, with the Enlightenment, was humankind beginning to come into its own and find its way to perpetual peace: “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from self-incurred immaturity.”49

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18 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen Thus Kant acknowledged that the Enlightenment was not yet in its ascen­ dancy: “If it is now asked whether we at present live in an enlightened age, the answer is: No, but we do live in an age of enlightenment,” which pro­ ceeds “slowly.”50 Kant’s younger contemporary Thomas Jefferson also sup­ posed himself to live still in the “dawn of reason and freedom of thought.”51 Or in the words of Wordsworth elsewhere in the poem with which we be­ gan, “the beauty wore [of] promise, that which sets . . . / The budding rose above the rose full blown.” But in what, more substantively, would this transformation consist? In the first place, as Jefferson indicates, the Enlightenment demanded freedom of thought—freedom, that is, as a matter of law. And that freedom necessar­ ily involved legal freedom of religion, especially religious opinion—hence the intimate association between the Enlightenment and religious toleration. Re­ ligious opinion, according to the new political science, is no concern of the state, whose sole concern is our earthly and material welfare—above all, our peace and security. Such a reasonably limited goal of government can be met, provided that inherently controversial religious questions are placed squarely outside the political sphere. The truth does not need the coercive powers of the state to make itself evident. Those powers, indeed, can only hinder the free inquiry that alone can bring the truth to light. And besides, as Jefferson stated in Virginia’s Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, “all attempts to influence [the mind] by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness.” The powers of the state cannot coerce sincere opinion. Enlightened government according to the new political science, therefore, is tolerant and secular, i.e. strictly this-worldly. Secularism has emerged thus far as a central current in the Enlighten­ ment’s legacy. It is against this secularism, or strict this-worldliness, that many of today’s religious opponents of the West rebel. This means the West’s commercialism and materialism, to be sure, but, more fundamentally, the secularism of law and political authority. Qutb identifies the basis of Western society as “opposition to God’s rule over the earth and the major characteris­ tic of the Divinity, namely sovereignty.”52 Qutb’s suspicions are at least partly confirmed by John Adams’s praise of state constitutions of the newly formed United States: “the United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; it will never be pretended that any persons employed in framing the United States’ governments had interviews with the gods or were in any degree un­ der the inspiration of Heaven.”53

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—1 9

Surely a number of proponents of the Enlightenment would insist that, although government should be secular, it is also limited. God’s sovereignty is not denied; it may be exercised in the congregation of believers and the hu­ man heart, to say nothing of the natural order. But nature and nature’s God intended religion to be a subpolitical concern. The Creator that the Decla­ ration of Independence declares endowed human beings with unalienable rights intended that government, the protector of those rights, be secular. (The Creator of the Declaration is nowhere mentioned in the U.S. Consti­ tution.) The moderate Enlightenment, in other words, may well have been content to privatize religion. That was still a bold and even revolutionary ambition, but one that seems not to have necessarily involved the profound hostility to religion that Qutb fears. Many in the moderate Enlightenment, in fact, argued that secular government would benefit religion, which would flourish when left alone. But implicit in Qutb’s critique is the doubt that secularization stops with the state: when the law of the land does not look beyond human authority, neither will those subject to that law. And indeed there were more radical ele­ ments of the Enlightenment that did shun divine authority over human life, elements that hoped for a thoroughly human solution to human problems, a solution to be realized in this world. Signs of the more radical aspiration were already surfacing in the seventeenth century, as Bayle argued that a society of atheists is not only possible, but would be superior to one based on “super­ stition.”54 The thought that the nature of things did not allow for a solution in this world, Kant claimed, “would force us to turn away in revulsion, and, by making us despair of ever finding a completed rational aim [in nature], would reduce us to hoping for it in some other world.”55 Or, to return to Wordsworth’s poem, the Enlightenment sought satisfaction “Not in Utopia, subterranean fields, / Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where! / But in the very world, which is the world of all of us,—the place where in the end / We find our happiness, or not at all!” The new orientation pointed away from not only utopia but the City of God as well.

The Enlightenment and Imperialism It seems significant that few calls for an Enlightenment have emanated from the Muslim world itself.56 Indeed, few Hindus or Buddhists seem to want one either. Perhaps this lack of enthusiasm is due to a suspicion or conviction that

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20 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen the Enlightenment is a destroyer of revealed religion, that only the Radical Enlightenment was candid or self-aware enough to state this openly. Several of our contributing authors consider this suspicion in the chapters that follow. For now we note that it is not only adherents of non-Western religions who look askance at the Enlightenment. It has had enemies within the West from the beginning. Among its most vigorous critics have been religious writers.57 Doubtless the notion that the Enlightenment is antireligious is partly, but not wholly, responsible for the relatively poor reputation from which it suffers in the West itself today. Or perhaps the leeriness of the Enlightenment among devout non-West­ erners is more due to the identification of its principles with Europe or the West and hence with the hated European imperialism of the past and per­ ceived American imperialism of the present. Fears of American imperialism are fed by America’s role in the creation and flourishing of Israel, its support for authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere, its war in Iraq, which began in 2003, and its intimate involvement in extracting Mid­ dle Eastern oil. The question of imperialism runs through this volume. For now we simply identify an ambiguity in the question whether non-Western religions can or ought to go through an Enlightenment: Is the Enlighten­ ment based on a set of universally valid principles that merely happen to have emerged first and most robustly in the West? As we have noted, that is the self-understanding of the historical movement itself: right reason is a uni­ versal, not a Western, standard. And, in its appeal to nature, the Enlighten­ ment stood in radical opposition to much of the West’s own traditions and customs. If the Enlightenment is indeed somehow universal, then calling for its spread to (or emergence within) non-Western areas of the world is not per se imperialistic, for it entails no domination, but rather liberation from both “East” and “West.”58 Or is the Enlightenment instead a movement inherently particular to a time (roughly the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries) and place (western Europe and North and perhaps Latin America)? That is how critics typically characterize it. Indeed, even the most influential accounts of liberal democracy today seem to tend toward this historically particular view. John Rawls conceded in 1985 that his influential theory of justice was “political, not metaphysical,” i.e., not true for all people bur rather particular to modern American culture and traditions.59 “Political liberalism,” as Rawls calls it, “is not a form of Enlightenment liberalism.”60 Richard Rorty applauded Rawls’s “political, not metaphysical” liberalism, since the “rationalist justification of

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—2 1

the Enlightenment compromise [with religion] has been discredited.”61 Lib­ eral democracy, according to Rorty, is no less ethnocentric than any other political and moral attachment. If that is the case, then those who identify promotion of the Enlightenment with some form of imperialism would seem to be correct.

Faith-Based Toleration Perhaps, however, it is hasty to link religious toleration too tightly with the Enlightenment. Religious toleration, after all, has been advocated by writ­ ers and practiced by groups who were no part of the Enlightenment. In the abstract, a believer convinced that his was the one true religion and that his society ought to put that religion into practice might find the use of force for religious ends illegitimate if 1. the doctrines of his religion—which he regarded as true—forbade violence, at least for religious ends; 2. his religion had traditionally been nonviolent in practice; or 3. he believed that his re­ ligion would triumph without violence—that, for example, God insured its triumph regardless of what the faithful did. Protestants in early modern Europe appealed to all three of these bases for nonviolence, and many of these Protestants could only be lumped with the Enlightenment under an extremely expansive definition of the latter. The Puritan divine John Owen, for example—no relation to us, so far as we know—argued that neither the practice of the primitive Church nor the Bible itself anywhere authorized the imposition of religious practice on the dissenter. Christians are bound to respect “God’s great Viceregent,” the individual’s conscience.62 Owen was an orthodox Calvinist and chaplain to Oliver Cromwell; today many would consider him a religious “fundamentalist,” not least because, as a Puritan, he was at pains to effect a religiously pure society. Probably the most famous Christian advocate of conscience is Martin Luther, initiator of the Protestant Reformation. Asked to repudiate his antiCatholic writings before Emperor Charles V, Luther replied, “I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.”63 Although Luther himself eventually proved intolerant of non-Lu­ therans, in his early years he urged German princes to allow the heretical preaching of Thomas Müntzer and his followers. “Simply let them preach with vigor and confidence. . . . If their spirit is genuine, it will have no fear of us and will endure; and if ours is genuine, neither will it fear them or any­

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22 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen one,” he wrote in Against the Seditious Spirit (1524).64 In general, an early dis­ tinguishing mark of Protestantism was the confidence that individuals free to read the Bible for themselves would apprehend the true Gospel. Even when one was laboring to build a pious society, intolerance was only neces­ sary against the intolerant. Moreover, not only might there be grounds outside the Enlightenment for quelling religious violence, the Enlightenment’s legacy has not simply been one of peace and toleration. Consider the Reign of Terror in France, which Hegel attributed to the mistakes that “Spirit,” or universal reason, commits in its dialectical movement: when Spirit encounters “negation,” to prevent its own demise it kills others, inflicting “the coldest and meanest deaths, with no more significance than cutting off a head of cabbage or swallowing a mouthful of water.”65 Marxism too, including Stalinism and Maoism, are descendents of the Enlightenment;66 and the Frankfurt School (see below) saw the Enlightenment as laying the groundwork for the horrors of Nazism and fascism. The amount of blood spilled by these secular ideologies in the quest for a human solution, even or especially for a final and perpetual peace, is staggering. Perhaps, then, intolerance and violence can emerge from any system whose telos is a pure society, even if the telos is strictly this-worldly in orientation. People who, on their own account, employ reason alone often profoundly disagree over profound matters. The Enlightenment may have begun by repudiating the notion of a “pure society,” but did that repudiation not transform itself into the basis of new sort of purity? If nonviolence is the goal, the record of the Enlightenment is mixed.

The Intra-Western Culture Wars Insofar as the Enlightenment is identified with secularism, calls for (and re­ sistance to) an Enlightenment outside the West are bound up with the intraWestern culture wars. For Tariq Ali, the problem is the hold that clergy have over the minds of the faithful; for Simon Schama, the persistence of revealed religion; for Thomas Friedman, the assertion that we can know absolute truth; for Richard Dawkins, belief in an afterlife. All these alleged “prob­ lems,” of course, endure in the United States and, due in part to the presence of Muslim immigrants, in Europe as well. American politics since the 1960s has revolved increasingly around questions of morality and values, questions that for some Americans are only adequately addressed by revealed religion

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—2 3

and for others ought to be addressed by the individual unencumbered by tra­ dition (or perhaps by religion unencumbered by tradition). A typical strategy of those struggling to implement a particular vision on their own society is to try to export it to others, in hopes that they can thereby discredit their do­ mestic opponents by identifying them with foreign enemies.67 If the West’s struggle against Islamism is framed as part of the more general struggle be­ tween secularism and religion, then secularism gains the high ground in the West. (Perhaps Islamists themselves, who face modernizing opponents in the Muslim world, are likewise using this sort of strategy in attacking the West.) In other words, if there is a clash of civilizations, as Samuel Huntington has argued,68 then there is another clash that cuts across civilizations, a clash between religious traditionalism and secularism.69 When public figures call for an Islamic Enlightenment, they are recruiting 9/11 to join the secular side in this clash. Some, such as journalists Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Sullivan, both of whom vigorously endorsed the U.S.-led war in Iraq, are explicitly doing this.70 The configuration of ideas and interests among social movements makes for some interesting and sometimes bizarre political flirta­ tions. Consider, from the American Right, the comments of the Revs. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, speculating that 9/11 was a foretaste of divine judgment upon a degenerate America. Western antiliberal leftists, too, have hinted at common cause with various religious insurgent movements. In 2006 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presented leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez with Iran’s highest state medal, the Islamic Republic Medal, for his resistance to imperialism; meanwhile Chavez has supported Iran’s nuclear ambitions. For a time Michel Foucault became something of an apologist for the Iranian Revolution of 1979.71 Some antiglobalization activists argue that the diagnoses of religious insurgents have some merit, even if the religious misdirect blame to modernity and toleration rather than global capital.72 And yet, if calls for an Islamic Enlightenment sound offensive to many non-Westerners, those same calls sound merely quaint to many Westerners, who have been accustomed of late to thinking of themselves as bearers not of Enlightenment but of destructive practices and technologies. It is at least ironic that some call for the West to help spread something that is in crisis within the West itself. Indeed, it stands to reason that Westerners take the question of non-Western Enlightenment to be urgent not only because of the threat of religious terrorism but also because it seems to implicate the fate of the Enlightenment in the West itself.

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24 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen The Enlightenment, to be sure, has always been controversial in its birth­ place. The same French Revolution whose spell was captured by Wordsworth led his countryman Edmund Burke to lament that “the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophists, economists and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is gone forever.”73 Indeed, Wordsworth’s poem itself is already, if not a eulogy, a sort of postmortem assessment of extreme Enlightenment opti­ mism. Two generations later, again from the right, Thomas Carlyle thundered, “There is no longer any God for us! God’s Laws are become a Greatest-Hap­ piness Principle, a Parliamentary Expediency: the Heavens overarch us only as an Astronomical Time-keeper; a butt for Herschel-telescopes to shoot science at, to shoot sentimentalities at:—in our and old Jonson’s dialect, man has lost the soul out of him; and now, after the due period,—begins to find the want of it!”74 The Enlightenment has also been attacked from the left, most famously by the Frankfurt School after the Second World War; the general argument was that the Enlightenment claim to liberation through reason had become a support for an oppressive status quo.75 From Rousseau to Nietzsche and beyond, controversy over the Enlightenment has never been quieted in the West. Indeed, doubts about its fundamental soundness have never been more widespread than they are today. Even the most prominent liberal theorists in the United States have emphatically distanced themselves from the Enlighten­ ment, as we have seen in the case of John Rawls and Richard Rorty, the latter having gladly conceded that the Enlightenment’s rationalist pretensions were a fraud and that liberal democracy “can only be something relatively local and ethnocentric—the tradition of a particular culture.”76 The loss of confidence in the Enlightenment has affected Western soci­ ety on practical levels, particularly in politics and culture. On the left, “iden­ tity politics,” which insists that all knowledge is perspectival, a function of one’s race, class, or gender, is a direct challenge to the Enlightenment claim that objective knowledge is available to all who employ right reason. On the right, assertions are increasingly heard that law and public policy ought to, or at least may, derive from premises of consensus-revealed religion, challeng­ ing the Enlightenment principle of secular government. We do not simply mean the radical right exemplified by the Christian Identity movement. The conviction that Christianity ought to shape public life is taken for granted by many Americans, perhaps a majority, all but a tiny percentage of whom would not dream of using violence to enact this norm. That the victory of the Enlightenment over both right and left is only partial is one root of the socalled culture wars that have been raging with varying intensity in America

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—2 5

since at least the 1960s.77 The U.S. national elections of 2004 emphasized this divide, as many analysts concluded that George W. Bush’s victory was largely due to the enduring and perhaps growing appeal of religious conservatism. This situation is riddled with ironies. An American president perceived in much of the Islamic world as shoving secularism down the throats of the pi­ ous is perceived by secularists in the West as doing the opposite in America.78 Many of these same secularists see the spread of liberal democracy abroad as a form of Western imperialism, thereby finding themselves in agreement with antimodern theocrats. As we have already discussed, in the West today it is pro­ gressives who are most likely to doubt the universal validity of liberal democ­ racy. Their wariness of the aggressive promotion of liberal democracy abroad stems in part from a desire to respect cultural diversity (central to their domes­ tic agenda), even as the regimes that oppose liberal principles do not share that desire. Meanwhile, Bush’s policies in Afghanistan and Iraq have been open to the cultural difference of distinctly Islamic constitutions. Perhaps that is in part because Bush does not see liberal democracy as purely secular, but as “God’s gift to all peoples” and therefore as compatible with public religion. Portraying the struggle within the West as Enlightenment versus anti-En­ lightenment, then, oversimplifies matters. Even devoutly religious Americans tend to revere their country’s founders and documents, men and statements clearly shaped by Enlightenment movements in England, France, and Scot­ land. As Friedman writes, most Americans, religious and other, are highly tolerant of people of faiths not their own. “Whenever I encounter the reality of religious tolerance in America,” he writes, “it strikes me almost as a miracle. I know that religious intolerance is also alive and well in this country, but it is not the norm.”79 The fact is that even Americans who believe their religion to be true and others false hardly ever use violence on heretics and infidels, any more than nonbelievers use violence on them.

Religious Resurgence as a Reaction to the Enlightenment It is sometimes said by Westerners that the essential problem with Islamism is that Islamists misapprehend the West or modernity. Perhaps it is simply a matter of too little exposure to the goods and goodness of life in modern society: the vitality, the prosperity, the individual freedom. Even devout Muslims, unimpressed with those qualities, would be pleased at how Is­ lam thrives in the West; mosques and Islamic schools and publications and

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26 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen communities flourish under tolerance. Or perhaps it is that the only expe­ rience Islamists have of modernity is in breathing its exhaust fumes, as it were, suffering the disrupting effects of globalization without the material gains that accrue to the West. All these hypotheses are consistent with the Enlightenment notion that reason can rise above the contingencies of time, place, and culture, and doubtless they contain some truth. But as the story of Sayyid Qutb shows, it is also the case that some influential Islamists know Western modernity quite well. The young Osama bin Laden lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and in Beirut, cities teeming with Westerners and Arabs who had spent time in the West.80 The Dutch-Moroccan Mohammed Bouyeri, the confessed mur­ derer of the secularist provocateur filmmaker Theo van Gogh, was a resident of Amsterdam, that most progressive of Western cities.81 The same is true of some terrorists adhering to other religions. Baruch Goldstein, who in 1994 murdered twenty-nine Muslim worshipers and wounded dozens more, was born and raised in New York.82 In general, as Juergensmeyer argues, far from being innocent of secular modernity, religious terrorists are reacting to it. They would not exist without it. This very much complicates the call for as Islamic enlightenment. Both Bassam Tibi and Fouad Ajami present Islamism as a response to the failure of Arab nationalism, which had hoped to deliver both entrance into modernity and a distinctly Arab (not Western) culture.83 As Arab nationalism—like oth­ er early twentieth-century nationalisms, already a response to the culturally thin rationalism of the Enlightenment—failed to fulfill its promise, Islamism stepped in. Not secular nationalism, but revealed religion would provide the morally substantive way of life that the Enlightenment, it seemed, had only served to undermine. In this view Islamism does not simply represent a lat­ ter-day Dark Age, innocent of the Enlightenment, but instead a late modern, even postmodern, response, familiar with its inadequacies.

The Rest of the Book In the chapters that follow, our authors consider these questions from a variety of angles. Part 1 addresses, in theoretical and historic terms, the ques­ tions of whether religious toleration can be sustained without some version of the Enlightenment and the very desirability of the Enlightenment in at least some of its forms. William Galston argues that religious skepticism is

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—2 7

not the only basis for toleration. Alternatives include a modus vivendi under which all agree that under current conditions violence is counterproduc­ tive and a religious prohibition of coercion of belief. Galston offers three conditions that affect how prone a religion will be to toleration: how far it demands an external law, how extensive is its scope, and how broad are its claims. Among the three Abrahamic faiths, Catholic Christianity and Islam are in the abstract most resistant to toleration, Protestant Christianity and Judaism the most receptive. But how open a religion is to toleration is a function not only of its doc­ trines but also of its historical development—in particular, whether its prac­ titioners have been minorities struggling to maintain their practices and be­ liefs. Galston finds that the Catholic experience as a minority in the United States—itself a country that exemplifies the “moderate Enlightenment”—led indirectly to the Church’s dramatic shift from hostility to pluralistic democ­ racy in the nineteenth century to a principled embrace in the second half of the twentieth. Jews’ long history as minorities have led them to emphasize the coexistence of secular and religious rule that Galston traces to the biblical book of Judges. Islam has far less history as a minority religion, and hence less upon which to draw; but Galston points to hopeful signs among Mus­ lims who have lived in the West and now accept the legitimacy of a secular component of public order. Jean Bethke Elshtain too directs her attention to Enlightenment moder­ nity itself, and finds a harmful tendency toward “monism,” or the insistence that all institutions in society employ a single standard of rationality and justice. In today’s liberal democracies, monism maintains that society must either be secular or theocratic; either the unencumbered self is sovereign or it is not. Monism compels liberals to rid society of the authority of tradi­ tional religion. Rousseau’s regime, with its invented civil religion, is the most hard-edged form of liberal monism; Locke’s regime, which tolerates (some) religions that keep out of public affairs, is softer. The procedural liberalism of Rawls, with its demand that public arguments not be grounded in religion, is now regnant in the United States. Elshtain contrasts liberal monism with the social teaching of the Catholic Church, based upon the late-antique Pope Gelasius I’s “two swords” as in­ terpreted by John Courtney Murray. The Church refuses to reduce the per­ son to a sovereign self or society’s choices to a single stark decision between secular and religious authority. The works of Murray and Pope John Paul II emphasize not the right-bearing autonomous individual but rather human

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28 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen dignity and sociality as well as the necessary relation of freedom to truth. She concludes that the emphasis on human dignity is a surer grounding for just war theory and the promotion of democracy and that new democracies would do well to reject monism for a version of Gelasian “two swords.” If a deep discontent, even alienation, with the Enlightenment in the West itself is evident in some of the essays, Thomas Pangle notes that such is typi­ cal of our time. The individual liberties that the West enjoys, Pangle writes, are grounded in a set of notions to which most sophisticated Westerners no longer adhere: in particular that there is a universal rationality upon which a liberal social contract can be negotiated and toleration based. Christians have tried to fill the gap by appealing to natural law, but that also seems an inad­ equate foundation in the twenty-first century. The effort to promote liberal principles thus appears simply an exercise in power, an imposition of alien forms upon societies unable too weak to resist. Pangle traces the progressive alienation from Enlightenment principles through modern Western political theory. For early figures such as Spinoza and Locke, the good regime aimed not at the moral or spiritual improvement of man but rather at creating conditions for comfortable self-preservation. Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx all saw that discontent with bourgeois man was inevitable. Nietzsche faced the problem most squarely by declaring that man has killed God, who was the instantiation of his highest aspirations. Man’s task was then to create a new god. Pangle sees an ominous Nietzschean influ­ ence upon at least some in the recent Islamic revival—a postmodern attempt to create a man who, in the words of one Iranian theorist, “holds the sword of Caesar in his hand and has the heart of Jesus in his breast.” Pangle, then, is less confident of a way forward for a world that has weighed the Enlighten­ ment and found it wanting. David Novak turns his attention to the normativity of the Western secular state itself, a state that he takes to be an entity unaccountable to any preex­ isting or transcendent morality and that state’s relations to Judaism. Novak write that most Western Jews accept the secular state as a positive good, inas­ much as it includes them as full citizens; today’s Jews fear that a state whose legitimacy derives from religion will relegate them to second-class status at best and perhaps persecution. This fear derives from Jewish experience in medieval Christendom and Islam, and the secularist solution was first offered by the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632–77). Before Spinoza, Western Jews were content with communal status—that is, as a semiautonomous community tolerated within Christian society but

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—2 9

not granted the full range of rights. Regarding that status as too precarious, Spinoza argued for a reversal of the traditional understanding of the relation of religion, morality, and the state. If society is to foster conditions under which its people may live in peace and prosperity, it is the state that must create morality and (public) religion, rather than the reverse; this religion can be neither Christianity nor Judaism. In justifying this reversal, Spinoza turned the traditional Jewish covenant on its head by arguing that ancient Israel chose God, rather than vice versa, and hence Israel invented the Law. Novak finds Spinoza’s solution inadequate to the problem of religious mi­ norities. As Spinoza anticipated, it effectively encourages today’s Jews either to embrace individual autonomy as superior to traditional religious ethics or to plead for exemptions from secularist culture—exemptions that are them­ selves precarious. Better to formulate a public philosophy that recognizes the priority of morality to politics, a philosophy grounded in a natural law that Jews, Christians, and (probably) Muslims already posit. Criticisms of Enlightenment secularity aside, do revealed religions have the internal resources for toleration? John Witte shows that America’s con­ stitutional government, including the separation of church and state and re­ ligious toleration, has roots in a movement many now regard as theocratic: New England Puritanism. As John Adams, himself a Deist, noted, the Eng­ lish religious dissenters who immigrated to the New World derived from the Bible strong notions of covenant, both between God and his people and among individuals. The Puritans’ respect for individual conscience is evident in their insistence that a covenant be entirely voluntary. By the eighteenth century, mainstream Puritanism had come to see even God as being bound by his covenants—i.e., no longer as an arbitrary deity—and itself as bound to tolerate alternative forms of Christianity. Church and state were separate but cooperative entities. Clergy could not be magistrates, but the church was to support societal order; the state, public morals. Witte argues that what is typically called the Enlightenment has histori­ cal roots in this particular form of Christianity. He claims that John Locke’s famous Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), for example, owes debts to the Puritans for its emphasis on the inconveniences of the state of nature and the voluntary social contract. Elements of the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers, checks and balances, and church-state separationism likewise derive from Puritan principles and practices. Thus those who would narrate a con­ stitutionalism that is simply in competition or combat with religious order­ ings of society get the history wrong. Witte concludes that much the same

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30 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen could be said of Catholic Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. He argues that religious persons today and advocates of human rights must therefore under­ stand themselves to be mutually supportive rather than antagonistic. Pratap Mehta’s chapter concerns the history of India’s secular government, and its courts in particular, to deal with the Hindu majority and sizable Mus­ lim minority. Mehta argues that the courts have seen relatively greater success in the case of Hinduism owing in part to a greater willingness to enter theo­ logical questions and defining what is essential to Hinduism and what is not, all with a view to modernization. Islam has enjoyed greater freedom from this agenda, but Muslims were simultaneously alienated from Indian poli­ tics. Mehta contends that the Indian theological engagement with Hinduism is in fact not theological but political, as indeed the whole question raised by religious conflict is ultimately political. Abdulaziz Sachedina finds in statements of Pope Benedict XVI and recent liberal political theory an insistence that religion be infused with secular rea­ son lest it be coercive. Islam, in particular, has been taken to task for main­ taining a strict distinction between believers and nonbelievers—a distinction at odds with a social contract theory to which all are party. While acknowl­ edging that Islam is a “world-embracing” religion that must influence all as­ pects of human life, and that a militant version of Islam currently ascendant is antidemocratic, Sachedina maintains that the Qur’an and Islamic tradition lend support to a tolerant, pluralistic democracy. Democracy in Islamic societies cannot be secular, however: it is constitutive of the religion that the community and moral order be shaped by the faith, and efforts to sidestep or overcome that fact will fail. Islam instead supports plural­ ist democracy by virtue of its recognition of both universality and particularity. The Qur’an makes clear that all persons have a capacity to distinguish right from wrong; that is why God entrusted the world to Adam and Eve rather than to other creatures. Alongside this universalism, the Qur’an recognizes his­ torical particularity, for example the shame Adam and Eve felt at their naked­ ness is an especially Semitic reaction. Sachedina argues that this coexistence of universal and particular profoundly implicates Islamic politics. God demands human government be just and work for the common good. But Islam no­ where mandates a particular form of government to accomplish these ends; contra the claims of today’s militants, the historic caliphate and sultanate were contingent. What is more, Islam offers separate jurisdictions over divine-hu­ man and interhuman relations. Sachedina is encouraged by the growing insis­ tence of the people of Iran that their leaders be held publicly accountable.

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—3 1

Sohail Hashmi raises a question analytically prior to that of Islam and toler­ ation: Is Islam compatible with an earthly constitutional order? Constitution­ alism entails holding government accountable to a higher order; it is opposed to arbitrary government. Liberal democracy is a type of constitutional order, one whose content is secular but that originates in religious and well as secular motives. Of course, Islamist militants insist that government be accountable to God. So the heart of the disagreement is whether secular government can not merely find and execute law, but make law or legislate. For example, under Islam may a secular government alter divine commands regarding women? Hashmi briefly recounts the medieval Muslim debate between Mu’tazilites, who regarded the good as objective and independent of God’s will, and the Ash’arites, who insisted that the good is completely contingent upon the di­ vine will. Mu’tazilites argued for natural law accessible even to infidels, while Ash’arites rejected natural law. For political rather than intellectual reasons, the Ash’arites had won the arguments by the end of the twelfth century. Their victory followed the mythical “closing of the gates of ijtihad,” or end of Is­ lamic interpretation. From then on, the dominant views among Muslims were that only clergy could interpret divine law and that new interpretations were illegitimate. Although modern Muslim states have drafted and ratified constitutions, tensions between the constitutionalists and conservatives have plagued the construction of modern societies in places such as Tunisia, Iran, and Pakistan. What is the way forward? Hashmi notes that Turkey, Indo­ nesia, and Malaysia have all removed Islam from the public order, but, like Sachedina, he doubts that this is the best course for other Muslim countries. Rather, the right path is back to the Mu’tazilite tradition of natural law and ongoing interpretation of the sacred text—a tradition closer to that of the early generations after the Prophet Muhammad. A somewhat different pluralist-democratic tradition has emerged in Ca­ tholicism, argues Roberto Papini—a tradition evidently invisible to AngloAmerican liberal political theory and what Elshtain calls its monism. Papini reminds us that we have at hand, in the robust Christian Democratic tradi­ tion, a tradition demonstrating that, even in the West, the reduction is un­ necessary. Christian Democratic parties, which have been prominent and at time dominant in Italy, Germany, and other European and Latin American countries since the Second World War, affirm pluralistic democracy as the best possible political system under modern conditions. Papini traces the development of Christian Democracy by briefly explor­ ing the thought of three twentieth-century Catholic thinkers: Luigi Sturzo,

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32 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen Jacques Maritain, and Pope Pius XII. These thinkers were at pains to reject the aggrandizement of power by the state, seen especially in fascism, that took hold after the First World War. Accepting the legitimacy of a secular politics, yet refusing to see purely procedural democracy as the only alternative to stat­ ism, Christian Democracy rejects individualism and social contractarianism. It proposes instead a democracy that upholds personalism, social solidarity, and subsidiarity or a strong role for mediating institutions between state and citizen. As such, it may point to a direction for other traditional religions, similarly concerned to reject purely procedural democracy and a public order free of religious values, to make peace with modern pluralism. The volume closes with a brief consideration of a few issues that emerge in especially sharp relief. One is whether and how a religion may become more tolerant while remaining true to itself. Another is whether religious tolera­ tion can proceed from extra-Enlightenment sources and, if so, what those sources are. A third is the peculiar fact that the West is simultaneously un­ comfortable, even disillusioned, with the Enlightenment and yet confident that it would benefit other societies.

notes 1. “Zarqawi and Other Islamists to the Iraqi People: Elections and Democracy Are Heresy,” Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch Series no. 856, February 1, 2005. 2. Cited in Darrin M. McMahon, “Sweep of Reason,” Boston Globe, June 22, 2003. 3. “Germany Pushes Muslim Integration,” BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/ pr/fr/-/2/hi/Europe/6256357.stm, January 12, 2007. 4. Ibn Warraq, “The Need for Qur’anic Criticisms, Part 1,” Free Inquiry, April/May 2006, p. 59. 5. Bassam Tibi, The Challenge of Fundamentalism: Political Islam and the New World Disorder, Updated Edition (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2002), pp. x–xi. 6. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam (New York: Free Press, 2006), pp. 40–41. 7. “Northern Uganda as Bad as Darfur, UN Says,” New Vision (Kampala), October 9, 2004, http://allafrica.com/stories/200410110285.html. 8. Robert A. Pape, “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” American Political Science Review 97, no. 3 (2003): 1. 9. Christian Identity certainly deviates widely from Christian orthodoxy. It could doubtless be said, however, that Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, or Jewish terrorists are like­ wise heterodox or heretical. Rather than attempt to delineate orthodoxy for each re­

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—3 3

ligion, we shall simply take as given any terrorist’s self-description as adhering to a particular religion. 10. Rudolph and other “heroes of faith” are honored at the Web site www.armyofgod .com, the banner of which quotes Hebrews 12:4: “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” 11. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (New York: Mariner, 2008); Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (New York: Norton, 2005); Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (New York: Pen­ guin, 2007); Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (New York: Twelve, 2009). 12. Dennett, Breaking the Spell, p. 44. 13. Gilles Kepel, The Revenge of God: The Resurgence of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism in the Modern World (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994). 14. George H. W. Bush, “Address Before a Joint Session of Congress on the Ces­ sation of the Persian Gulf Conflict,” March 6, 1991, http://www.c-span.org/executive/ transcript.asp?cat=current_event&code=bush_admin&year=0391. 15. Not all Enlightenment thinkers supposed that political principles that are natu­ ral are therefore suitable to every time and place. Consider, most prominently, Mon­ tesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws. 16. “President Delivers Graduation Speech to West Point,” June 1, 2002, www .whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/06/20020601–3.html. 17. Paul Haven, “Dispute Over Admitting Turkey Into EU Cuts to Core of Euro­ pean Identity,” Associated Press, October 4, 2005. 18. Dan Bilefsky, “Blair Tries to Reassure Turkey Over EU,” International Herald Tribune, December 15, 2006. 19. Vincent Boland and Daniel Dombey, “EU Without Turkey ‘will be just a Chris­ tian club,’” Financial Times, October 3, 2005. 20. A thoughtful treatment of the “irrationality” thesis is found in “Barbarians in and behind the Gates: The Search for Homeland Security,” Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics 1, no. 2 (2002), http://www.bepress.com/forum/ vol1/iss2/art1/. 21. A version of this thesis is in Herbert Kitschelt, “Origins of International Ter­ rorism in the Middle East,” Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, no. 1 (2004): 159–88. See also Robert Pape, “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” American Political Science Review 97, no. 3 (August 2003): 343–61. 22. Mark Juergensmeyer, “Is Religion the Problem?” Hedgehog Review 6, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 21–25. 23. Bruce Lincoln, “Mr. Atta’s Meditations, September 10, 2001: A Close Reading of the Text,” Religion and Culture Web Forum, December 2002, http://marty-center.uchicago .edu/webforum/122002/commentary.shtml. The quotation is from Sura 9.12–14. 24. Ibid. 25. Quoted in Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi’, Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence in the Modern Arab World (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996), p. 180. The quotation is from Sayyid Qutb, Milestones (Mumbai: Bilal, 1998), p. 32.

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34 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen 26. Quoted in Paul Berman, Liberalism and Terror (New York: Norton, 2003), p. 91. Berman quotes Sayyid Qutb, Islam: The Religion of the Future (Delhi: Markazi Madtaba Islami, 1974). 27. Ibid., p. 89. 28. Ahmad S. Moussalli, Radical Islamic Fundamentalism: The Ideological and Political Discourse of Sayyid Qutb (Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1992), pp. 22–23. 29. Ibid., pp. 26–28. 30. Quoted in Paul Berman, Liberalism and Terror (New York: Norton, 2003), p. 69. 31. Ibid., p. 80. 32. Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi’, Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence in the Modern Arab World (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996), p. 192. 33. Berman, Liberalism and Terror, pp. 91–92. 34. Abu-Rabi’, Intellectual Origins, p. 178. 35. Lincoln, “Mr. Atta’s Meditations,” quoting from Qutb, Milestones. 36. Abu-Rabi’, Intellectual Origins, p. 129, quoting from Qutb, “The Ideological Bankruptcy of Europe and the Future Prospects of Islam, I,” Voice of Islam 12, no. 1 (October 1963): 5. 37. Mark Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), pp. 44–59; Mark Juergens­ meyer, The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State (Berkeley: University of California, 1993), pp. 63–66. 38. Mark Juergensmeyer, “Is Religion the Problem?” Hedgehog Review 6, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 27. 39. See Amitabh Pal, “A Riot Strikes Close to Home,” Progressive, April 2002, pp. 34–35. 40. Juergensmeyer, The New Cold War? pp. 83–84. 41. Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God, pp. 19–30. As Juergensmeyer notes (p. 29), a leading theorist of Reconstructionism, Gary North, has publicly condemned abortion clinic killings as “vigilante theology.” 42. See also Juergensmeyer, “Is Religion the Problem?” pp. 27–29. 43. Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels, The Marx-Engels Reader (New York: Norton, 1978), p. 145. 44. Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), chapter 15. 45. Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning (London: Dent, 1915), p. 95. 46. Ibid., p. 72. 47. Immanuel Kant, “What Is Enlightenment?” Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970), p. 59. 48. Ibid., p. 54. 49. Ibid. 50. Ibid, pp. 58, 55. 51. Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 15 (Washington, DC: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), p. 430. 52. Qutb, Milestones, p. 10.

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Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order—3 5

53. John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (Philadelphia: William Cobbett, 1797), p. xiii. 54. Pierre Bayle, Various Thoughts on the Occasion of a Comet (Albany: SUNY Press, 2000). 55. Kant, “What Is Enlightenment?” p. 53. 56. Bassam Tibi writes: “Those intellectually significant Muslims who . . . still hope to apply reason to Islamic reform had better do so in their Western exile, be it Paris or London or Washington. Their ideas are discussed in Scandinavia, but not in the Muslim world,” The Challenge of Fundamentalism, p. 31. 57. For early examples see Darrin M. McMahon, Enemies of the Enlightenment: The French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity (New York: Oxford Uni­ versity Press, 2001); Christopher Olaf Blum, ed., Critics of the Enlightenment: Readings in the French Counter-Revolutionary Tradition (Wilmington: ISI, 2004). 58. Abdulkarim Soroush speaks of the “paradox” confronting many of his fellow Iranians who are attracted to the modern world: “On the one hand, you like mo­ dernity, but on the other you do not like its source, the West,” which has “a negative connotation in their mind . . . the imperialist West.” From “Rationalist Traditions in Islam,” www.drsoroush.com/English.htm. 59. John Rawls, “Justice as Fairness: Political not Metaphysical,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 14 (1985): 223–51. 60. John Rawls, Political Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996), p. xl. 61. Richard Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth (New York: Cambridge Uni­ versity Press, 1991), p. 176. 62. John Owen, Indulgence and Toleration Considered: In a Letter Unto a Person of Honour (London: n.p., 1667). 63. Roland Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (New York: Penguin, 1977), p. 144. 64. Quoted in John R. Stephenson, “The Two Government and the Two King­ doms in Luther’s Thought,” Scottish Journal of Theology 34 (1981): xx. 65. G. W. F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, §590. 66. On the links between the Enlightenment, Marxism, and Stalinism, see Leszek Ko­ la­kowski,  Main Currents of Marxism, 3 vols. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981). 67. For example, the Brissotins in the French Revolution pushed for war against Austria and Prussia in 1792 in an effort to discredit their royalist countrymen. See T. C. W. Blanning, The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787–1802 (New York: Arnold, 1996). 68. Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996). 69. James Kurth, “The Real Clash,” National Interest, no. 37 (Fall 1994): 3–15. 70. Andrew Sullivan, “This Is a Religious War,” New York Times, October 7, 2001; Christopher Hitchens, “Bush’s Secular Triumph,” Slate, November 9, 2004, http:// msn.slate.com. 71. Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson, Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).

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36 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen 72. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001); Corinna Lotz, “The Quest for an Islamic Enlightenment,” Socialist Future Review 10, no. 4 (Summer 2003), http://www.socialistfuture.org.uk/msf/articles/ reviews/quest.htm. 73. Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (New Haven: Yale Uni­ versity Press, 2003), p. 65. 74. Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present (New York: Scribner’s, 1918), p. 159. 75. See e.g. Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments, trans. Edmund Jephcott (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002). 76. Richard Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni­ versity Press, 1991), p. 177. On Rorty and Rawls, see J. Judd Owen, Religion and the Demise of Liberal Rationalism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001). 77. See e.g. James Davison Hunter, Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America (New York: Basic Books, 1992). 78. As Christopher Hitchens wrote with approval, “George Bush may subjective­ ly be a Christian, but he—and the U.S. armed forces—have objectively done more for secularism than the whole of the American agnostic community combined and doubled.” Hitchens, “Bush’s Secularist Triumph,” http://slate.msn.com/id/2109377/. 79. Thomas Friedman, “For an Islamic Enlightenment, the Next Phase,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 17, 2001. 80. Yossef Bondansky, Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America (New York: Random House, 2001), pp. 3–4. 81. See, e.g., Mark Leon Goldberg, “The Death of van Gogh,” American Prospect Online, December 3, 2004, http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_death_of _van_gogh. 82. Francis X. Clines, “West Bank Massacre Reaction Sad, Angry, and Fearful: Voices of Arab-Americans and American Jews,” New York Times, March 1, 1994, A15. 83. Tibi, The Challenge of Fundamentalism; and Fouad Ajami, The Dream Palace of the Arabs (New York: Vintage, 1998).

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chapter two

Religious Violence or Religious Pluralism The Essential Choice William A. Galston

T

he question of the hour is whether traditional Islam is compatible with democracy. Though important, that question is subordinate to another: whether Islamic traditionalists can make their peace with religious pluralism, whether their efforts to impose their practices on Mus­ lims who reject them will engender unending conflict. It is natural for Western observers to believe that the “irrationality” of re­ ligious violence is the problem and that rationality (or at least reasonable­ ness) is the solution. I want to suggest a somewhat different approach. The diminution of religious violence in the West, I shall argue, is the product not so much of ideas as of concrete historical experiences that made populations more receptive to the reality of religious pluralism and the necessity of toler­ ance. These practices, in turn, lent support to the theory and institutions of liberal constitutionalism. The real issue today, therefore, is whether there are concrete processes underway within Islam that may over time make the poli­ tics of pluralism more acceptable and attractive, even to traditionalist Mus­ lims unsympathetic to Western liberalism.

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38 —William A. Galston

Politics, Religion, Pluralism Speaking broadly and schematically, there are three possible relations be­ tween political and religious authority. First, political authority may be com­ prehensively dominant over religion, which is seen as serving state power (and for this reason is often called “civil”). One of many difficulties with this position is that it subordinates the religious content of faith—its theological claims—to its civil consequences. Recent controversies in France over reli­ gious garb and symbols in public schools reveal the continuing compatibility between the civic republican tradition and the consignment of religion to civil status. Second, and conversely, religious authority may coincide with, or com­ prehensively dominate, political authority, yielding some version of theoc­ racy. This stance invariably represents the dominance of a particular faith at the expense of all others. Third, political and religious authority may coexist without either enjoying a comprehensive dominance. One version of this position seeks to divide social life into different spheres, dominated by either politics or faith. (Maxims such as “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” provide the basis for such an under­ standing.) It is hard to come by such neat surgical divisions, however. More typically, the coexistence model implies overlapping and conflicting claims, generating the need for both theoretical clarification and legal adjudication. Few individual believers or faith communities can be satisfied with the civic republican approach, which embodies an ordering of values antithetical to most religious commitments. As the history of European nations such as France and Italy, with deep civic republican traditions, shows, the effort to demote religion to purely civil status is bound to spark political conflict and, on occasion, actual violence. The theocratic option fares no better. Whatever may be the case for ho­ mogeneous communities espousing a single faith (few of any size do so), the theocratic impulse creates grave difficulties for societies with multiple faith communities. In circumstances of diversity, a serious religious establishment (as distinguished from, say, the increasingly symbolic role of the Church of England) will inevitably use legal coercion to impose its views on faith com­ munities that conscientiously reject them. Here again, political conflict will tend to spill over into episodes of violent resistance. That leaves the coexistence model, a mode of pluralism that implies hori­ zontal rather than hierarchical relations, not only between political and reli­

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Religious Violence or Religious Pluralism—3 9

gious authority claims but also among faith communities. By definition, this option is bound to leave both theocrats and civic totalists dissatisfied, but it holds out the hope of reducing coercion to a manageable minimum. The problem of religiously related violence can be addressed best not through secularism but rather through institutionalized pluralism. Compared to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the level of reli­ gious violence originating in the West is low. It is natural for those who ap­ plaud this change to wonder how it happened and whether it can serve as a template for reform in regions where religiously inspired violence remains high. And it is reasonable to conjecture that ways of thinking now pervasive in the West helped shape that template. What is the relationship between the pluralist approach, the reduction of religious violence, and what is called “the Enlightenment”? For the pur­ poses of this chapter, I will presuppose what many deny—namely, that reli­ gion often serves as an independent source of conflict rather than as a rhe­ torical screen for violent antipathies spawned by oppression, deprivation, the memory of colonialism, or a deep sense of humiliation—not to mention very specific complaints. It is more gratifying and convenient for Americans to believe that we were attacked on September 11 because our adversaries “hate freedom” than because they oppose the presence of our troops in Saudi Ara­ bia. At the least, we should remain aware of the possibility that our current concerns about religious terrorism reflect tensions considerably less exalted than faith-based disputes over the content of God’s law. With this caveat firmly in mind, we can begin to engage the topic. It is a mistake, I believe, to think of the Enlightenment (even in Europe, leaving aside the encounters of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam with Greek phi­ losophy) as a single, unified historic phenomenon. We may identify a radical Enlightenment, atheistic in theory and aggressively secularist in practice. The early days of the French Revolution revealed what the politics of radi­ cal Enlightenment actually meant, leading many who initially sympathized with the revolutionary impulse to recoil. Indeed, this history shows why the proposition that the Enlightenment is the remedy for sectarian violence is false on its face. The radical Enlightenment is in fact a form of sectarianism, and in the two centuries between the onset of the French Revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall it occasioned some of the bloodiest violence the world has ever seen. But there was also a moderate Enlightenment that wished to open a social space for free inquiry and religious diversity without denigrating or expunging

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40 —William A. Galston specific faiths. The majority of the American founders fell in this category; those who did not (think of Tom Paine) tended to stand out. I would argue that the proponents of moderate Enlightenment were in fact pluralists, even though they did not use the term. For example, James Madison’s depiction of rights of religious conscience, which became canoni­ cal for American political thought and eventually American jurisprudence as well, rested explicitly on the coexistence of two different kinds of authority, neither of which straightforwardly trumps the other. To put the point more broadly: it is a mistake to see liberal constitutionalism as strictly supreme over, or subordinate to, claims based on religious conviction. It is sometimes the one, sometimes the other, and sometimes neither. It is also a mistake to trace the reduction of religious violence in the West solely to the Enlightenment, however understood. Consider the theocratic argument, stripped to its essentials. IF 1. revealed religion X is true; and 2. to secure spiritual perfection or salvation, individuals and communities must live in accordance with that truth; and 3. law backed by coercive force is a permissible means of overcoming the inevitable resistance to living in that manner, THEN there is no objection in principle to establishing and enforc­ ing religion X. But while a handful of daring Enlightenment thinkers such as Benedict Spinoza and Pierre Bayle were offering critiques of this argument’s first two premises, the most effectual response focused on the third premise, for reasons that had little to do with the Enlightenment. By 1640, a century of religious conflict had left Europe exhausted and disillusioned. Ordinary people as well as distinguished thinkers were moving toward the conclusion that coercion in matters of religion was unacceptable, even in the name of saving souls. Their experience had led them to an historic judgment: violence in the name of religion was a greater problem than the political, moral, and spiritual ills it purported to cure. Modern scholars as diverse as Judith Shklar and Leo Strauss have documented how European attitudes shifted against what Machiavelli was the first to call “pious cruelty.” While this judgment was at its core moral rather than theoretical, it sparked the development of new conceptions of religious toleration. Some argued that coercion in matters of faith was a contradiction in terms and therefore bound to fail. Others contended that Christianity, rightly understood, precluded such coercion. A few brave souls even speculated that precisely because it is given to mortals to see the divine only through a glass, darkly, there was more than one path to God and that religious controversies over which so much blood had been spilled should be regarded as matters of “indifference.”

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Religious Violence or Religious Pluralism—4 1

This thesis could, and did, verge on an approach to religion that reflected more directly the influence of the Enlightenment—the idea of “natural the­ ology,” or (in the title of Kant’s notable contribution to the genre) religion within the limits of reason alone. But while this approach might vindicate the god and cosmos of the philosophers, it was liable to leave out most of what bound the pious to their particular faiths. Worse, it denied, tacitly if not explicitly, the core claim of most actual religions—that miraculous events of revelation or incarnation had pierced the barrier between God and man, making known truths beyond the bounds of reason. Even Kant felt impelled to remark that his famous critique of pure reason had limited rea­ son’s reach in order to make room for faith. It seems safest to say that while philosophy can try to understand the conflict between faith and reason, it cannot surmount or abolish that conflict. Because there is no final solution, any viable political response must somehow embody this tension without overcoming it. This is what liberal constitutionalism at its pluralist best is able to achieve. I want to underscore that this form of liberal pluralism does not rest on an epistemology that denies the truth-claims of any religion, let alone all reli­ gions. A liberal pluralism regime can thrive even if all its citizens are believers deeply divided along religious lines . . . provided that all, or nearly all, citi­ zens accept the premise that genuine religion is incompatible with coercion. (As we shall see, all the Abrahamic faiths, including Islam, now endorse this principle.) So the state cannot legitimately use force to convert any of its citizens and must protect every citizen against the efforts of other individuals and groups to effect such conversion. To be sure, the application in practice of the anticoercion principle will lead to disputes about its meaning and scope. Some will argue that the mere existence of a state-endorsed religion ipso facto constitutes a violation of the principle; others will reply that, throughout the nations of modern Europe, the official religious establishment has proved compatible with the full range of individual freedoms, including religious liberty. The U.S. Supreme Court has adopted the position that anything declaring, or amounting to, a state “endorsement” of religion, or of a specific religion, fails the anticoercion test, a far more expansive interpretation than anywhere else in the industrialized West. We need not resolve these interpretive disputes to see that, as the basis for pluralist toleration, the anticoercion principle differs both from the kind of toleration that rests on outright denial of religious truth and from the tol­ eration that accepts coexistence with other religions only as a modus vivendi,

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42 —William A. Galston a regrettable necessity to be abandoned if the one true faith grows politically powerful enough to prevail.

“Religion” and “Violence”: Some Distinctions Up to now, I have conjured with “religion” and “violence” as undifferentiat­ ed concepts. At this stage of my argument, I need to offer some distinctions.

Religion For my purposes, I want to propose three dimensions of variation among religions. 1. Religions differ in their basic structure. Some focus on inward states, while others give greater emphasis to external behavior, in the form of worship rituals as well as laws governing daily life. 2. Religions differ in the share of human existence over which they claim primary jurisdiction. Some view their domain as partial (Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s), while others make totalizing claims to direct every aspect of life. 3. Some religions make universalistic claims, to be the one true faith for all human beings who­ ever and wherever they might be, while others are more particularistic. My suggestion is that each of these dimensions bears on the ability of a specific religion to live with moral and religious plurality. In the first place, acceptance of pluralism comes more easily to religions that emphasize inner conviction, because they need ask little of politics beyond being left alone. By contrast, religions that take the form of law, as do traditional forms of Judaism and Islam, are forced to take seriously the content of public law. The terms of engagement between religious law and public law then be­ come critical.1 Second, religions that view their domain of jurisdiction as restricted are likely to coexist more comfortably with pluralism than are those with un­ limited claims. Practitioners of a religion in which everything matters, from the consumption of food to the organization of politics, will feel compelled to use public power to mandate, or at least protect, their preferred practices. And this is bound to repress free expression and free exercise for other believ­ ers, not to mention nonbelievers, within that political community. The difficulties for plurality engendered by comprehensive faith claims are deepened whenever a religion propounds the seamless unity of all existence. According to a leading traditionalist scholar of Islam, Seyyed Hossein Nasr,

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Religious Violence or Religious Pluralism—4 3

Islam rejects the distinction (characteristic of Christianity) between the re­ ligious and the secular or the sacred and the profane: “In the unitary per­ spective of Islam, all aspects of life . . . are governed by a single principle.” From this standpoint, the idea of a secular realm of freedom and plurality, independent of religion, is a leading modern example of the “mortal threat of ‘polytheism’” against which Islam has struggled since its inception.2 Finally, universalistic religions are likely to have a less accommodating stance toward plurality, wherever it may appear. At the very least, they will proselytize, raising the hackles of religious communities subjected to their messengers. And if they view the use of more forceful modes of conversion as limited only by prudential considerations rather than moral norms, then universalistic claims can be (and during the past two millennia, have been) translated into outright coercion. My hypothesis is this: the more a religion expresses itself in external law, the more extensive its scope, and the more universalistic its claims, the less accommodating will be its stance toward plurality, and the more likely it will be to resort to violence to overcome or eliminate plurality. Thus the univer­ salism of many Protestant denominations is counterbalanced by their inward focus, and in some cases by more than prudential restraints on religious coer­ cion as well. While classical rabbinic Judaism emphasizes external observance (and must therefore engage with public law), its claims are particularistic and (as we shall see) partial as well. Of all the “Abrahamic” faiths, my hypothesis suggests that Catholicism and Islam should have had a much harder time ac­ cepting plurality and eschewing violence; Islam the hardest of all, in that it holds shari‘a to express the direct, unalterable will of God to a greater extent than does civil or canon law for Catholics.

Violence The distinctions between restricted and unlimited domains, and between par­ ticularist and universalistic faiths, allow us to distinguish between religious violence that is essentially defensive in nature and violence that is offensive. Particularist faith with limited domains are content to withdraw from the arena of power, or to participate in it on equal terms with others, so long as they are free to practice their faith. They may not accept other faiths as equal to their own. They may deplore the copresence of “foreign” or “strange” gods within their political community. But they are prepared to accept competing practices, out of necessity, as the price for being left alone. They will resort

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44 —William A. Galston to violence only to defend themselves against other religious communities or public power seeking to restrict the free exercise of their faith. Offensive religions, by contrast, seek and use power to impose their way on others. Four characteristics render them especially dangerous: their out­ look is intolerant; their stance, uncompromising; their aspirations, totalist; their tactics, coercive when necessary. These are the faiths that pluralist soci­ eties and those seeking to build such societies have good reason to fear. There is another distinction that I introduce more tentatively, as a specula­ tion for discussion. Some religious violence is instrumental—that is, consciously and deliberately chosen as the most effective way of advancing the one true faith. By contrast, another kind of religious violence is instinctive, when believers spontaneously lash out at practices they experience as degraded or disgusting. My hypothesis is that it is easier to deter instrumental violence (through incentives and disincentives that rational actors must consider) than to restrain instinctive violence. Religions that experience diverse practices—for example, in gender relations—as impure and defining are especially likely to be violence prone. Consider the case of Sayyid Qutb, arguably the father of modern Is­ lamist fundamentalism. As a graduate student at the University of Northern Colorado, he was revolted by what he felt to be the licentiousness of relations between young American men and women—a wanton intermingling (while dancing, for example) rather than the strict division ordained by God. Describ­ ing his U.S. experiences years later, his prose remains suffused with disgust. Radically divergent visions of gender relations may be close to the heart of the conflict between traditionalist Islam and social forces (within as well as outside the Islamic world) that have been influenced by Western modernity.

Pluralism and Religious Violence: Three Case Studies At the outset of my essay, I suggested that, more than ideas (let alone some­ thing as diffuse as the Enlightenment), it is concrete historical experiences that prepare the ground for religious pluralism and tolerance. In this concluding section of the chapter I offer three case studies that illustrate this thesis.

The Transformation of Catholicism Westerners troubled by what they regard as the exclusionary and antirational stance of traditional Islam would do well to remember that, as recently as the

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Religious Violence or Religious Pluralism—4 5

nineteenth century, the Catholic Church was the most vehement antagonist of liberalism, pluralism, and the Enlightenment on earth. From the early stirrings of liberalism in the eighteenth century through the mid-twentieth century, the opposition between official institutional Ca­ tholicism and liberalism was stark. The clash between natural law–based or­ ganicist monism and individualistic pluralism was at the heart of this historic opposition. As David O’Brien puts it, The problem of Quadragesimo Anno . . . was that its proposed Christian social order would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to implement in a plu­ ralistic society. How could differing interest groups be persuaded to subor­ dinate group interests to the general welfare? More important, who would define the specific requirements of the common good? The church had al­ ways regarded the democratic answer of negotiation and compromise as incompatible with natural law. . . . Refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of pluralism, [the popes prior to Vatican II] could hardly understand the necessarily messy, ambiguous ways of democratic politics.3

O’Brien’s cool scholarly account does not wholly capture the texture of nineteenth-century Catholic antipluralism. In 1864 Pope Pius IX promul­ gated an encyclical entitled Quanta Cura condemning (inter alia) popular sovereignty, freedom of speech, and liberty of conscience and worship. He also issued a “Syllabus of Errors,” each of which he condemned as absurd on its face. Some examples: error 11 reads, in part, “The Church . . . ought to tolerate the errors of philosophy, leaving it to correct itself.” Error 15: “Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.” Error 18: “Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church.” Error 77: “In the present day, it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.” Pius IX saved the worst, error 80, for last: “The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself and come to terms with progress, liber­ alism, and modern civilization.” Since then, of course, the gap between Catholicism and liberal modernity has narrowed significantly. Mainstream Catholicism has made its peace with constitutional democracy, rights of religious conscience, and individual liber­ ties generally. Indeed, this reconciliation is now expressed in the language of principle rather than of regrettable necessity or modus vivendi.

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46 —William A. Galston In Dignitatis Humanae (1965), the Second Vatican Council’s “Declaration on Religious Liberty,” we find the Church invoking principles such as the “dignity of the human person” and the “human conscience” to support reli­ gious freedom and pluralism. We read that “the human person has a right to religious freedom.” This means, in particular, that “all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any hu­ man power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in manner contrary to his own beliefs, . . . within due limits.” The stance carried broad consequences for the Church’s stance toward po­ litical life. To quote O’Brien once more: [John XXIII’s] list of human rights included both the social and economic rights developed in the social encyclicals and the political and civil rights, in­ cluding the right to religious liberty, about which the popes had long seemed more doubtful. Because they drew heavily on neo-scholastic philosophical categories, John’s encyclicals recalled those of Leo XIII, but now these af­ firmations of human dignity and human rights were placed in a democratic context: individuals and states had the obligation to share responsibility for constructing institutions in which these rights could be protected.4

Two of the most important reconciliations with liberalism have come in the areas of freedom of expression and religious pluralism. Regarding freedom of expression, the New Dictionary of Catholic Social Thought observes that in Pacem in terris John XXIII abandoned the earlier papal emphasis on cen­ sorship and recognized a person’s moral right to freedom in expressing and communicating his feelings. Though a person may think and speak incor­ rectly, the pope insisted that a distinction be made between error and the person who errs. Thus, errors must be rejected, but people in error must be allowed to speak so that they might break through their mistakes and make available to everyone occasions for the discovery of truth.5

Even more significant is the shift in the sphere of religious pluralism, which implies a fundamental shift in the relationship between the Church and public authority. Bryan Hehir notes that “in the nineteenth century churchstate controversies (Gregory XVI to Leo XIII) religious pluralism was an exception to be tolerated when it could not be overcome. . . . In the teaching of Vatican II religious pluralism was . . . the accepted setting in which the church pursued its ministry in freedom, dependent only on its own resources and the quality of its witness.”6

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In our time, accordingly, the freedom of the Church is understood as re­ quiring not a favored, publicly authorized position in society but only the protected ability to be socially engaged.7 For present purposes, the critical questions are these: How was such a radical transformation possible? What were the processes through which a church that began by demanding plenipotentiary power over the entire po­ litical and social order ended by accepting the authority of civil power and peacefully taking its place within religiously plural societies? The nineteenth-century problem was rooted in the clash between the Catholic Church and the vehemently anticlerical radical Enlightenment. Conversely, a vital part of the solution can be traced to the Church’s encoun­ ter with the moderate Enlightenment. The leaders of the burgeoning Catho­ lic community in the United States had to come to grips with a polity that rejected religious establishment but not religion. As de Tocqueville noted, in postrevolution America (unlike postrevolutionary France), faith and freedom were not opposed. America was the land of religious liberty, but not militant secularism. While American Catholics experienced more than their share of bigotry, they also learned that religious pluralism at least allowed them the social space they needed to build their own systems of worship, education, and charity. As American Catholic leaders reflected on these experiences, they grappled with the relation between liberal constitutionalism and traditional Catholic social thought. Thinkers such as John Courtney Murray developed new un­ derstandings of social liberty and freedom of conscience, rooted in the dig­ nity of the human person, that could endorse individual rights without ne­ gating the classic Catholic concern for the common good. John F. Kennedy’s election as the nation’s first Catholic president symbolized the final closing of the breach between Catholicism and American citizenship. Just a few years later, American Catholics brought their interpretation of modernity to the Second Vatican Council and, with the benign encouragement of Pope John XXIII, persuaded the entire Church to embrace it. I tell this (vastly oversimplified) tale, not for its own sake, but rather to suggest one hopeful model for transforming today’s antipluralist faiths from within. As Muslims immigrate in greater numbers to Western liberal democ­ racies, it is at least possible that they will undergo experiences comparable to those of Catholics in America. To be sure, there is nothing in Islam that parallels the hierarchical unity of the Catholic Church. The feedback loops connecting Muslim experiences in the West to conceptions of Islam in the

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48 —William A. Galston Muslim world are much more diffuse. Over time, nonetheless, increasing numbers of Muslims may decide that they can lead lives consistent with their faith even in polities whose laws they do not wholly control and even in soci­ eties they are compelled to share with unbelievers.

Claims of Politics and Claims of Faith in Judaism One might imagine that traditional Judaism would tend toward theocracy. One can certainly find examples of theocracy in the Bible. If traditional Judaism were unequivocally theocratic, this would create a deep gulf between Judaism and liberal constitutional politics, which is emphatically antitheocratic. There is a long line of biblical and Talmudic interpretation, however, that leads to at least a qualified endorsement of secular government. The discussion takes as its point of departure the establishment of king­ ship. Taken literally, the authority established by the laws of Moses was theo­ cratic and, if the book of Judges is to be received as history, was exercised theocratically for an extended period. Gideon famously refused the people’s demand that he become king over Israel: “I will not rule over you myself; nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord alone shall rule over you” (Judges 8:23). There was a problem, however; the Lord ruled, not directly, but through hu­ man intermediaries. What would happen when these theocratic authorities, the “judges,” strayed from the true path? Samuel, the last of the judges, was a righteous man, but his sons were not: “they were bent on gain, they ac­ cepted bribes, and they subverted justice.” The leaders of the people gathered to request that Samuel “appoint a king for us, to govern us like all the other nations.” Samuel resisted their demands, to no avail. The elders insisted that the administration of justice and the conduct of war made kingship neces­ sary: “We must have a king over us . . . [to] rule over us and go out at our head and fight our battles.” In the end, the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their demands and appoint a king for them” (1 Samuel 8). Although the Lord also tells Samuel that the people’s demand for a king means that “it is Me they have rejected as their king,” the Bible does not char­ acterize kingship as wrong in the same way that idolatry is wrong. Indeed, the period before kings is linked to stories of strife and disorder. Without a king, “everyone did as he pleased.” It seems that the establishment of non­ theocratic authority was needed to prevent the Jewish people from swallow­ ing one another alive. Rightly understand, kings can perform limited but

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critical nontheological functions: ensuring public order, administering jus­ tice, and safeguarding the people against external danger. As the discussion of this matter developed during the Talmudic and medi­ eval periods, kingship became a metaphor for secular government in general, not a particular form of political regime. Nissim Gerondi, a leader of the Barcelona Jewish community, argued explicitly for two “separate agencies,” one to judge the people in accordance with Torah law, the other to uphold public order. The precedent for this, he insisted, was established during the biblical period: “at a time when Israel had both Sanhedrin and king, the San­ hedrin’s role was to judge the people according to just [Torah] law only and not to order their affairs in any way beyond this, unless the king delegated his powers to them.” Gerondi accepted that the secular authority would need to use coercion “to enhance political order and in accordance with the needs of the hour,” even if the application of force is “undeserved according to truly just [Torah] law.” He went so far as to acknowledge that “some of the laws and procedures of the [gentile] nations may be more effective in enhancing political order than some of the Torah’s laws.” No matter; the king would correct these deficiencies, acting in the name of political order. The secular authority, in short, has one sphere of authority, religious leaders another; and the former need not always give way to the latter in cases of conflict. The aims of Torah law may be more elevated, but the aims of secular law may be more urgent. Sometimes efforts to achieve a spiritually good life must yield to the necessity of preserving life itself.8 Once the legitimacy of two authorities, one secular, the other religious, was accepted, a question necessarily arose concerning the relation between them. This question assumed particular urgency after the fall of the Jewish commonwealth and the dispersion of the Jews among the nations of the earth. Shmuel, an authority of the early Talmudic period, laid down a prin­ ciple that became central to all subsequent discussion of this issue: “The law of the [secular] kingdom is law.” This might seem to give secular authority plenipotentiary power over the Jewish community subject to its jurisdiction. Over time, however, two important limitations emerged—one formal, the other substantive. In the Mishneh Torah, Maimonides articulated a version of the principle that we now call “equal protection,” which he used to distinguish between genuine laws and arbitrary decrees: “The general rule is: any law promulgated by the king to apply to everyone and not to one person alone is not deemed rob­ bery. But whatever he takes from one particular person only, not in accor­

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50 —William A. Galston dance with a law known to everyone but [rather] by doing violence to this person, is deemed robbery.”9 To be valid, law must comply with the require­ ments of formal justice. When secular authority disregards these formal re­ quirements, it exceeds its just powers and may be criticized, even resisted, if circumstances permit. Alongside this formal restraint, there developed a substantive limitation on the content of secular law that Jews were require to obey. In the course of an­ swering questions posed by Napoleon to the Jews of France, Ishmael of Mode­ na observed that “all the [interpreters of Shmuel’s principle] have written that as long as the laws of the kingdom do not contradict Torah law, we must abide by them.”10 But what does it mean to “contradict” the Torah? The maximalist interpretation would be that civil law contradicts the Torah if, and to the extent that, it deviates from Torah law. To say this, however, would be to undermine virtually all civil law, contradicting the intention of the basic principle. The most widely accepted interpretation, historically and down to the present, is that civil law is valid when it “does not contravene an explicit statement of the Torah.”11 Civil law loses its claim to be obeyed if it com­ mands something that the Torah forbids or forbids something that the To­ rah commands. It does not follow, however, that traditional Jews are always required to disobey civil law when such conflicts arise. A few civil demands (such as mandatory idolatry) must be resisted, to the death if need be. In most cases, however, it is permissible to take into account the severity of the consequences of disobedience. The legal structures of traditional (rabbinic) Judaism, in short, developed over a period of nearly two millennia during which Jews were a nearly pow­ erless minority in the states they inhabited. The religious practices, such as the rituals of the Temple, that presupposed Jewish sovereignty in Israel fell into desuetude and were not revived—even after the reestablishment of a Jewish state in Israel in 1947. During the founding period, to be sure, there were some traditionalists who urged the supremacy of religious over political authorities and who were bitterly disappointed when this failed to develop. Isaac Halevi Herzog, a prominent rabbinic authority who welcomed the establishment of the state, writes that he “aspired to create a powerful movement among us whose pur­ pose would be to influence the future legislative council to include in the constitution a basic clause stipulating that the law of the state will be Torah law.”12 For him, it was “inconceivable that the laws of the Torah should allow for two parallel authorities.”13

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Religious Violence or Religious Pluralism—5 1

But not only were modernizing Jews opposed to state imposition of To­ rah law; so were many traditionalist Jews who did not see how a system predicated on millennia of political powerlessness could possibly serve as the legal framework for a modern state. The result was a political order in which secular and religious authorities uneasily coexist. The rabbinate exercises to­ tal control over the “private” laws of marriage and divorce for Jews. (Other faith communities within Israel enjoy similar prerogatives; within the state, no one has the opportunity to enter into a purely civil marriage.) The state exercises total control over civil functions such as economic regulation and national defense; Orthodox Jews use political power to bend civil author­ ity toward, e.g., enforcing Torah-based laws of kashrut and the Sabbath and granting religious students exemption from military service. And then there are constant boundary disputes over questions such as “Who is a Jew?” the answer to which determines the scope of the famous Law of Return guaran­ teeing the rights of unimpeded immigration and instant citizenship to Jews everywhere. While it would be an exaggeration to say that Jewish orthodoxy has fully made its peace with democratic pluralism, there is a rough modus vivendi on many points. Many, but not all. Citing their interpretation of God’s promise to the Jew­ ish people, some Orthodox leaders are inciting religious soldiers in the Is­ rael Defense Forces to resist the lawful commands of officials representing a democratic majority. As we saw a decade ago, religious extremists are willing to slaughter Muslims at prayer and even to assassinate an Israeli prime min­ ister. There is no evidence that they have changed their minds in the interim. Thus, despite a sustained encounter with constitutional democracy and the European Enlightenment, Judaism continues to harbor elements of intoler­ ant, fanatical violence. This fact offers grounds for doubting that Enlighten­ ment thought, or even the political institutions to which it gives rise at its best, will cure the ills of intolerance and violence in traditions far less well disposed toward the West.

Pluralism and Violence in Traditionalist Islam Those who believe that there are many paths to God, or that it is not given to finite humans to know which is the right path to the Infinite God, will find it relatively easy to embrace religious pluralism. Islamic traditionalists cannot accept either of these beliefs. They may, however, believe that other faiths are on the same (right) path although they cannot reach the end—the one true

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52 —William A. Galston faith. They may also believe that it is wrong to use coercion as an instrument of religious conversion. Each of these beliefs finds textual support as well as opposition within Islam. For example, in the Qur’an we find the following: “Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their re­ ward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” And, even more famously, the Koran declares that “there can be no compulsion in religion.” In a recent article, Reza Aslan argues that Islam is and always has been a religion of diversity. The [Wahhabist] notion that there was once an original, unadulterated Islam that was shattered into heretical sects and schisms is a historical fiction. Both Shiism and Sufism in all their wonderful manifestations represent trends of thought that have existed from the very beginning of Islam, and both find their inspiration in the words and deeds of the Prophet. God may be One, but Islam most definitely is not.14

Much depends on the ability of the proponents of a genuinely Islamic plural­ ism to broaden public support for a generous and accommodating interpre­ tation of their shared tradition. This will not be easy, in part because there are important historic differ­ ences between Judaism and Islam that make traditionalist Muslims more receptive to theocratic claims than are most traditionalist Jews. Through­ out the medieval and early modern periods, Jewish populations sought to maximize communal autonomy and to minimize conflict between the law of secular authorities and the commandments of the Torah. Efforts to enforce the fundamentals of the religion were invariably defensive, never offensive. And when, after World War II, Israel was established, it was barely think­ able that the religious law developed over centuries of political marginality in the diaspora could serve as civil legislation for the new state. For the most part, Orthodox communities and political parties in Israel ranked other goals ahead of the aspiration to rest civil legislation on Torah law, in part because applying it to political power wielded by a Jewish majority might well re­ quire sweeping revisions in the content of that law. In contrast to Talmudic law, shari‘a (the Muslim religious law founded on the Qur’an and the conduct and statements of the Prophet) developed through an extended period during which Muslims wielded political pow­ er, often over populations that were overwhelmingly Muslim. The struc­

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Religious Violence or Religious Pluralism—5 3

ture of that law thus reflects the expectation that it would have political as well as communal authority. As Khaled Abou El Fadl states, classical Mus­ lim jurists described the best system of government as “the caliphate, based on shari‘a law (which] fulfills the criteria of justice and legitimacy and binds governed and governor alike.” The idea of a secular state in which shari‘a is both distinct from and subordinate to political authority stands in uneasy relation to this ideal, and many Muslims experience that idea as an alien (Western) imposition. For example, in 1959, Iraq’s new revolutionary ruler, General Abd al-Karim Qasim, promulgated a Code of Personal Status that contradicted shari‘a in areas such as polygamy and inheritance. Clerical resistance to the code helped undermine General Qasim’s regime, and the repeal of the code was among the first acts of the new government that took power in 1963 following a suc­ cessful coup. (After taking power, Saddam Hussein permitted changes that challenged shari‘a and encouraged a substantial degree of gender equality.) Calls to ground civil law on shari‘a and to recognize the jurisdiction of religious judges have a resonance in Islamic communities without parallel for most Jews, no matter how observant. In the wake of the recent Iraqi elec­ tions, the new Shia majority is pushing for the restoration of shari‘a-based codes, especially in the area of family law. “Our position on the family sta­ tus law is non-negotiable. It will be based on shari‘a,” said Sheikh Kashef al Gatta, an influential Shiite politician who is expected to play a central role in drafting a new permanent constitution for Iraq. If this happens, traditionalist religious courts will make most decisions concerning marriage, divorce, in­ heritance, child custody, and the status of women. In this event, U.S. policy makers would be faced with an unpalatable choice between honoring the results of a democratic election and defending what most Americans regard as basic human rights. Said one U.S. official when asked about the possible majoritarian imposition of shari‘a, “There is a vision of where we want Iraq to be that would make sense in terms of the resources we’ve put into this place and our overarching goal for democracy.” The official’s clear implication was that a coercive, theocratic family code would fail that test.15 It would be too hasty to conclude, however, that Islamic traditionalism must entail some form of theocracy or always take a violent and intolerant form. There are a number of political arrangements that might express an Islamic outlook without ceasing to respect pluralism. Clearly, Ataturk’s se­ vere, French Revolution–style anticlericalism is not one of them. Nor is an American-style separation of church and state.

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54 —William A. Galston But one might well imagine an Islamic version of the Netherlands, a state in which a number of different faiths enjoy public funding and public stand­ ing, especially in the arena of education. Another possibility is a new ver­ sion of the multiconfessional structure of the Ottoman Empire (reproduced to some degree in Israel), in which a dominant religious group shares civic space with other faiths that enjoy substantial autonomy and authority, espe­ cially over family law. Two widely publicized documents, the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and the Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, suggest that this is more than an abstract logical possibility. On the one hand, both documents insist on the superiority of Islam to other religions and de­ clare that the shari‘a is the ultimate source of human rights and the guide to their proper interpretation. On the other hand, in section 10 (“Rights of Minorities”), the Universal Islamic Declaration quotes the Qur’an’s strictures against religion compulsion and goes on to say that “in a Muslim country re­ ligious minorities shall have the choice to be governed in respect of their civil and personal matters by Islamic Law, or by their own laws.”16 In short, there is no reason in principle why a moderate official “establish­ ment” of Islam need eventuate in religious persecution and repression. As Noah Feldman, author of After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy, has written If many in the West cannot imagine democracy without separation of church and state, many in the Muslim world find it impossible to imagine legitimate democracy with it. Fortunately, democracy does not require an absolute divide between religion and political authority. Liberty of con­ science is an indispensable requirement of free government—but an estab­ lished religion that does not coerce religious belief and that treats religious minorities as equals may be perfectly compatible with democracy.

Feldman is right, at least in principle. The most effectual cure for religious violence within Islam (or any other faith tradition, for that matter) is not grafting on some external concept of enlightenment, but rather mobilizing the resources within the faith that can open up social space for religious plu­ ralism. But, as the experience of early modern Europe shows, it can take a long time indeed before the combatants conclude that the costs of religious violence exceed its benefits. In the process, instability reigns, and blood spills in profusion. It is not yet clear that the brave proponents of pluralism within Islam are speaking for anyone except themselves.

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Religious Violence or Religious Pluralism—5 5

Still, there are some signs of hope. In an important recent book, Jocelyne Cesari explores the complex reactions of Muslim immigrants to Western de­ mocracies. To be Muslim in Europe or the United States, she argues, means “to lose one’s relationship as a cultural and social fait accompli and instead to open it up to questioning and individual choice.”17 Some immigrants experi­ ence a sense of rejection at the hands of the majority population and react by gravitating toward hard-line fundamentalism.18 Others embrace a distinc­ tion, new to Islam, between the private practice of their faith and a non-Mus­ lim public space. Others endorse the ethical and cultural traditions of their faith, while distancing themselves from its law and practices. (The parallel with nineteenth-century Reform Judaism is striking.) Cesari suggests that “in the same way as Catholicism and Protestantism developed personalized and secularized versions of themselves, we are now witnessing the emergence of an individualized and secular Islam.” Whether she is right to describe adherents of these views as a “silent minority” remains to be seen.19 Nor is it clear that the institutional structure of Islam is such that this newly emerging form of its faith can affect believers in Muslim-ma­ jority nations. Even if the encounter between Muslim immigrants and West­ ern democracy generates thinkers of the clarity and stature of John Courtney Murray, the decentralized pluralism of Islam makes it difficult to see what the Islamic version of Vatican II could be. It seems more realistic to project, at best, a long slow process through which westernized Muslims gradually show their brethren that the practice of their faith is fully compatible with the rejection of coercion and the embrace of tolerance understood along liberal pluralist lines.

notes 1. Using Hinduism as a case study, Jeff Spinner-Halev has developed a version of this idea as a distinction between conscience-based and practice-based religions. He rightly emphasizes that the latter can often be quite tolerant of other religions while remaining internally intolerant toward those of its members who deviate from domi­ nant modes of practice. I am less convinced than Spinner-Halev that dealing effec­ tively with religions such as Hinduism requires a fundamental alteration of tolerance understood along liberal pluralist lines. As an anticoercion principle, liberal pluralist toleration is committed to protecting the exit rights of individuals who wish to leave their community of origin. (The existence of social constraints that make this more difficult in practice raises issues that I cannot address here.) See Jeff Spinner-Halev,

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56 —William A. Galston “Hinduism, Christianity, and Liberal Religious Toleration,” Political Theory 33, no. 1 (February 2005): 28–57.

2. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Islamic Life and Thought (Chicago: ABC International Group, 2001), pp. 7, 14. 3. David O’Brien, “A Century of Catholic Social Teaching,” in John A. Coleman, ed., One Hundred Years of Catholic Social Thought (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1991), pp. 19–20. 4. Ibid., pp. 22–24. 5. Judith A. Dwyer and Elizabeth L. Montgomery, editors, The Dictionary of Catholic Social Thought (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 1994), p. 623.

6. J. Bryan Hehir, “The Right and Competence of the Church in the American Case,” in Coleman, One Hundred Years of Catholic Social Thought, p. 63. 7. Ibid., pp. 59–61. 8. For these quotations from Gerondi, see Michael Walzer, Menachem Lorber­ baum, and Noam J. Zohar, eds., The Jewish Political Tradition, vol. 1: Authority (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), pp. 156–59. As an indication of Gerondi’s endur­ ing importance as the prime expositor of the “two authorities” view, note that Isaac Halevi Herzog argues for the rejection of British and Turkish law for the state of Israel through a critique of Gerondi’s position.

9. Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Robbery and Lost Property 5:14. 10. Walzer, Lorberbaum, and Zohar, The Jewish Political Tradition, 1:451. 11. Ovadyah Haddayah, “Does Dina de-Malkhuta Dina Apply to the State of Is­ rael?” excerpted in Walzer, Lorberbaum, and Zohar, The Jewish Political Tradition, 1:477.

12. Ibid., 1:473. 13. Ibid., 1:475. 14. Reza Aslan, “From Islam, Pluralist Democracies Will Surely Grow,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 11 2005, B8.

15. Farnaz Fassihi, “Iraqi Shiite Women Push Islamic Law on Gender Roles,” Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2005, A1. 16. For the Cairo Declaration, see www.iseco.org.ma/pub/Eng/humanrights. For the Universal Islamic Declaration, see www.alhewar.com/islamdecl. 17. Jocelyne Cesari, When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), p. 45. 18. For a sobering depiction of this tendency, see Ian Johnson and John Carreyrou, “Walled Off: As Muslims Call Europe Home, Dangerous Isolation Takes Root,” Wall Street Journal, July 11 2005, A1. 19. Cesari, When Islam and Democracy Meet, p. 46.

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chapter three

Religion, Enlightenment, and a Common Good Jean Bethke Elshtain

Two Moments Reflecting on the questions laid out in this book’s introduction, I am remind­ ed of two moments. The first occurred when I was an undergraduate—over forty years ago now. I attended (with all the eagerness of one keen to hear traditional “anything” take a critical beating) a lecture by Sir Julian Huxley, scion of the Enlightenment and distinguished branch off the tree Huxley. He was formidable in his demeanor and his absolute certainty. Without any qualification or hesitation, he pronounced a prediction, nay, a certainty for the future of the West: by the year 2000 religion would have disappeared, having been supplanted by the total victory of scientific rationality. National­ ism would have disappeared, having been supplanted by the total victory of internationalism and some sort of world order. The view of the human per­ son celebrated by Huxley was very much that of the sovereign individual, ruler of his own domain, master of all he surveys, bringer of control and “reason” to what would otherwise be the messy chaos of life. I recalled this Huxley moment when, in 2005, a beloved Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, lay in repose in Rome. As his body was carried out into St. Peter’s, the pallbearers made a circle through the crowd. His body was

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58 —Jean Bethke Elshtain then taken solemnly into the basilica as crowds wept and applauded. Here another reality, another future, even another international order was em­ bodied. In addition to the chanting, the cries, and the applause, the great man’s body was accompanied to its final resting place by the litany of the saints with its haunting chant that tells us we are not alone, that when the believer makes his or her way to eternity, he or she is accompanied by the saints departed to join them in the other life. The view of the human per­ son celebrated in the litany and honored by the overwhelming spectacle of the millions who poured into Rome to peacefully celebrate and mourn one of the great lives of the twentieth century was very much that of the ensouled body, a life that is intrinsically social and whose meaning, being, and purpose are defined not by the relentlessly immanent but by the glori­ ously transcendent, very much in harmony with St. Augustine’s wonderful insistence that God has made us to Himself and “our hearts are restless ’til they rest in Thee.” There could scarcely be a more stark contrast between frameworks of meaning, existential attitudes, understandings of a, or the, good. There could scarcely be a wider gap to breach than between a view that sees human life as encompassed entirely by birth, ending definitively with death, and with that birth and death coming more and more under rationalistic control and, by contrast, a view of human life as a gift and a blessing, one unearned by us, open to grace, and given meaning because we understand that our good is not ours alone but belongs to a wider communion of saints (in the first in­ stance). This good that links us, at least tacitly, to a world of others who are, in some deep and abiding sense, our brothers and sisters, although they may be foreign and strange and even hostile. That we should wind up poised between two such powerful and contrast­ ing worlds as embodied in Sir Julian Huxley’s speech and John Paul II’s fu­ neral results from no “incoherence,” as some moral philosophers claim, but, rather, from the intrinsic telos embedded in each alternative understanding of human persons and life deeded to us by our shared history. We see clearly that we have a choice—although that choice is often presented to us in men­ dacious and startlingly inaccurate ways. By that I mean we are told we have to choose between “science” and “faith,” as if the two are irredeemably driven to collide. This, of course, usually comes from the side of science trying to discredit and discount faith. On the other hand, one sometimes sees, from the side of faith, views of the self that may well surrender too much of our capacity to choose certain goods to forces outside ourselves—as if faith is a

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Religion, Enlightenment, and a Common Good—5 9

leap into the dark, a fideistic certainty rather than a more complex contextual engagement over time. I shall try to avoid the pitfalls of presenting our situation as more stark and utterly contrasting than it is. The best way to do this, at least for the purpose of this chapter, is to examine the fate of “religion” in the Western “settlement” or regime of tolerance; to go on to look at the ways alternative pictures of reality tacitly, if not explicitly, rely on a particular philosophical or theological anthropology; and, finally, to examine what any of this has to do with the internationalization of human rights and the powerful drive toward democracy, on the popular level as well as the level of international “encour­ agement” under the auspices of such powerful entities as the United States of America.

Two Views of Liberal Monism and a Critique In an essay of a few years back arguing against what I called liberal monism, I noted that one dominant strand in legal and philosophical argumentation pushes toward a monistic logic. This monistic drive assumes that we are to speak civically in a language carefully vetted in order to remove the taint of religious belief and conviction that may cling to it. Now I appreciate that the late John Rawls, from whom much of this argument is traced, modi­ fied his views somewhat. But the modification was rather grudging, and the monistic drive remained, unsurprisingly, given Rawls’s neo-Kantian­ ism. The argument assumes tacitly that a strictly secular idiom, carefully pruned, must be the language for political deliberation. We must clean up our speech. Rather than free institutions of civil society or religious belief giving us languages of civic engagement, these forces, from the point of view of mo­ nism, are distorted by particularisms and unacceptable because they—espe­ cially the views drawing upon religious belief—allegedly see themselves as critically unassailable and, indeed, incorrigible in the philosophic sense. One might think of the monistic demand concerning civic speech as analogous to the constitutional position in American jurisprudence of strict separationism. Strict separationism I take to be a position that would strip all public life of religious symbols, signs, markers, and speech that seeks a thoroughly secular­ ized society in which religion is invisible to public life, religion having long ago been relegated to the subjectivities of multiple individual consciences.

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60 —Jean Bethke Elshtain Strong separationists in the monistic tradition hold that religion is by definition private. The idea of a “public religion” is a threat to civic life, aim­ ing, inevitably, to sacralize it. Note here that the claim that religion pushes in a monistic direction comes from those who are themselves the carriers of a monistic drive—only they see it as simply the way of the world. Any notion of “two”—of different forms of governance, reference, and meaning internal to a single society—is so troubling that it can only be read as a drive toward theocracy. In an effort to forestall this possibility, it follows that all institutions internal to a democratic society must conform to a single author­ ity principle, a single standard of what counts as reason and deliberation, a single vocabulary of political discussion. This is the logical end point of the so-called secularization hypothesis, now discarded by most explicitly but as­ sumed by many implicitly. Having become dogma, one need only assume it rather than argue in behalf of it. What is the backdrop to liberal monism? Within political theory there are (at least) two strands that I shall call the Lockean and the Rousseauian. John Locke was in some respects at least the unwitting prophet of liberal monism, given the terms under which he declared that religious tolerance must pro­ ceed. Many readers are no doubt familiar with Locke’s justly famous Letter Concerning Toleration in which he draws up a map separating soulcraft, the world of religion, from statescraft, the realm of government. One can be a citizen of each so long as religion means freedom of conscience rather than strong institutional loyalty to an autonomous religious body that engages society in all its aspects and is itself a particular form of governance. Locke ar­ gued that his separation of statescraft and soulcraft created terms that would serve toleration for all religions—save atheism and Roman Catholicism, nei­ ther of which was to be tolerated. Although there is debate about whether Roman Catholicism is to be debated at all. Atheists could not be tolerated as they refused to take an oath on the Bible, hence were untrustworthy. Catholics did not fit within the terms of tolerance because they exhibited a double loyalty: they were loyal to church as well as to polity. So long as soulcraft did not meddle with statescraft, it was fine. A strong public presence, voice, and action from the side of religion—no, that presented a danger. So private freedom of conscience fits liberal monism, but any strong expression of public religion does not. This Lockean formula finessed as many problems as it attempted to solve. It is not at all clear that human beings can seal themselves off into compartments and be believers one moment, good subjects or citizens the next. Instead, and necessarily,

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Religion, Enlightenment, and a Common Good—6 1

the categories bleed into one another—they do not remain in their “proper spheres.” The only sure guarantee against conflict is to render religion utterly private and publicly irrelevant. Now Locke didn’t teach this explicitly, but his writings helped to pave the way. Here Jean-Jacques Rousseau enters as a kind of shadow around the lib­ eral monist-disestablishmentarian project. Rousseau understood that you couldn’t demarcate spheres so tidily. His solution was not pluralism but an­ other “cleaning up” that requires of religion that it be public, but only in a certain way. The drive within his account is monistic as well. It works like this: societies require a civil religion that buttresses the legitimacy and au­ thority of the civic republic. Civil religion welds together different parts of the polity and demands that citizens, through a form of civic membership within which religion is subordinated to the good of the polity, make ongo­ ingly manifest their singular devotion to their polity. Any person divided in his loyalty and allegiance can never be a full-fledged participant in a well-or­ dered republic—and might even pose a treasonous threat. In a passage in his Social Contract germane to the topic of this volume, Rousseau commends Mohammed’s “very sane views” on the relation of reli­ gion to the state, since he “linked his political system well together.” This he sets in contrast to Christianity, especially Catholic Christianity, which sepa­ rated the “two heads of the eagle.” Christianity, Rousseau opined, is a lousy civic religion and Catholicism is the worst of all because it divides a person’s loyalties and puts him at odds with himself. He becomes schizophrenic. One must heal this division. It follows that the system invented by Mohammed is to be preferred to the schism Christianity introduced in the world when, as Rousseau asserts: “Jesus came to establish on earth a spiritual kingdom. By separating the theological system from the political system he brought it about that the States ceased to be one, and caused internal divisions which have never ceased to agitate Christian peoples.” Rousseau would heal this division by instituting a stern civic religion in which the patria substitutes for God as the singular object of devotion and loy­ alty. A citizen must gaze upon the patria lovingly from the moment he draws first breath. It must be ever in his heart, ever in his thoughts. If temporal and spiritual government are separated, men “see double”—a phrase from Thomas Hobbes, who fretted about the same thing. So—in their own ways—both Locke, at least tacitly, and Rousseau explicitly, create a monistic system: one must triumph. (The astute reader will notice the form this argument takes— one must triumph—as in later debates the insistence that “science” must trump

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62 —Jean Bethke Elshtain “faith” and so on. The point I am making here is that the monistic drive infects all areas of endeavor in modernity.) The American Jesuit scholar John Courtney Murray took on this demand for an undivided loyalty to the earthly sovereign or state or constitution. He reminds us that there was an alternative “take” on things created rather early on in the Latin Church, the so-called Gelasian doctrine associated with Pope Gelasius I and his “two swords” metaphor. There are two swords—the secu­ lar and the spiritual. The spiritual possesses a superior dignity. But the secular (as we would now say) has its own purposes and is authorized by God. Of course, for medieval popes, the spiritual sword trumped in case of conflict. We need not take up this historical issue, but simply note that there is a huge difference between the view—there must be “one”—and the view—there are in fact “two.” The latter invites, over time, a robust understanding of plural­ ism and institutional diversity; the former moves to streamline matters and to eliminate any tensions and conflicts by definitional fiat. Murray reminds us that vital to the Gelasian doctrine was the liberty of the Church. This “freedom of the Church as the spiritual authority served as the limiting principle of the power of government. . . . To put it briefly, the Church stood . . . between the body politic and the public power, not only limiting the reach of the power over the people but also mobilizing the moral consensus of the people and bringing it to bear upon power, thus to insure that the king, in the fine phrase of John of Salisbury, would ‘fight for justice and for the freedom of the people.’” In a sense, the creation of what Murray calls “free political institutions” follows from a model of the insti­ tutional freedom of the Church—and this became absolutely vital, for the bulwark provided by the institutional (nonstate) church could no longer be assumed as Christendom itself was fragmented, first at Augsburg and then at Westphalia, with its enshrining of the principle of state sovereignty, the supremacy of states, and the recognition of rulers as arbiters of the religious faith of a people. This led over time to a triumph for internal monism—tak­ ing the form, remember, of either an excess of privatization of religion or, contrastingly, an official state religion that defanged Christianity in its deal­ ing with political power. There is a longer argument that one could mount here about the relative weakness of multiple individual consciences by contrast to the hard work once done by libertas ecclesiœ—but I cannot go down this particular path here. Let me wind this section down by putting the question: Is there a push in modernity to drive out “the two”? If Murray is correct that the dignity of the

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Religion, Enlightenment, and a Common Good—6 3

human person demands a different sort of governance than that presented by monism, this is a serious matter indeed. I shall turn to it next.

Anthropologies and Politics Murray touches on the anthropological question when he suggests that any notion of the absoluteness of will, whether that of a sovereign monarch or a sovereign people, creates mutations of the sort that devastated the twen­ tieth century. He touches on a vital matter—what sort of selves are we any­ way? What sort of self is assumed by the monistic position and the sovereign mastery of the individual articulated by Sir Julian Huxley? By contrast, what sort of self is suggested at least implicitly if not explicitly by the notion of “the two,” of a world of plural sites of power, authority, loyalty, and identity? What sorts of selves committed themselves to hours and hours on their feet, little sleep, little food, for perhaps the most fleeting glimpse of the body of John Paul II lying in repose in St. Peter’s Basilica? Something tells me that the dominant econometric model of our time—human beings as calculators of their own marginal utilities—cannot quite capture that! There are multiple ways to be a sovereign self. I noted one in brief—mod­ ern homo economicus. Monism assumes that the self must be internally monis­ tic in order that it participate properly in the project of monism externally. The self cannot handle complexity or plurality. The self should never be put in a position to assess the worthy from the unworthy; indeed, the self is, in a very real sense, brought into being by society itself. In Locke’s world, we were social before we became political. Human beings possessed rudimentary social forms—but life was full of confusion and inconvenience. (He is silent on whether people precivic life had religion or not.) Only the constitution creates clarity, and it does this by spreading the writ of the sovereign over all areas of life, although that hand rests gently in some respects. Religion, as I have already noted, can be “left alone” so long as it is a religion of private pi­ ety and conscience. So there is a social self—an individual—who can multiply his “goods” by acting with others but is interested primarily in protecting his goods, his property, including a property interest in the self. Rousseau’s monism is more troubling by far. In Rousseau’s world, we were originally rather stupid wandering isolates, slaking our thirst at streams, eating berries, coming together during mating season but not forming so­ cial units. His long story of our evolution—really a devolution away from

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64 —Jean Bethke Elshtain our original isolated sturdiness—need not concern us here. Suffice to say, we were isolates and we remain such unless we are forged together into a “general will” by our initiation into a polity. Rousseau speaks of this initia­ tion in religious terms. We put off “instinct” and put on “justice.” We are utterly transformed; utterly in debt to the social power; we cannot dissent from the general will at any moment or in any particular or we, in effect, dissent from the whole, we become traitors to that which gave us our identi­ ties. We are outlaws at that moment and must be expunged. The Jacobins had read their Rousseau. Various permutations of these and other strands, including those repre­ sented by Huxley’s celebration of “Enlightened reason” by contrast to the old superstitions, including faith, have culminated in our own time in the articu­ lation of strong sovereign selves. Sartrean existentialism would be one exam­ ple of this. Some versions—only some—of American jurisprudence would be another. Some—only some—variants on American radical feminism also underscore a relentless vision of self-sovereignty. We are ourselves only when we are in control. We refuse to recognize intrinsic limits to our own projects. This notion of freedom extends not only to the world of money, property, possession, and commerce, but to all areas of human existence. Indeed, we have arrived at the point where everything is in principle commodifiable and nothing is valued for its own sake. There are so many variants on this theme, but one might point to the selling of sperm and eggs, even the advocacy of baby selling by entirely respectable, and respected, academics and jurists, as a potent example. Anything that expands choice, enhances control, and extends the freedom we associate with these, anything that diminishes the sphere of the “unchosen,” we celebrate. It follows that anything that smacks of limiting choice, or acknowledging our inability to control all outcomes, or insisting that many of our obligations and, indeed, our blessings are “uncho­ sen,” must perforce be excoriated as belonging to the backwardness we have allegedly moved out of. Philosopher Charles Taylor calls this entire cluster of commitments a position of excarnation—the self is steadily disembodied, disassembled into its component parts, all driven by will and a self-sover­ eignty that can assemble or alienate its own parts at will. What contrast does the world of “two,” of many, of pilgrimages, say about the self by contrast? A world of incarnation by contrast to excarnation? In one of my books I speak of “incarnational being-in-the-world” as a task involving displaying the fullness, the dignity, and the wonder of creation—the horror, then, at its wanton destruction. Modern “deadness” is all around us—the

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Religion, Enlightenment, and a Common Good—6 5

conviction that the world is so much matter to manipulate. Within the vi­ sion of the pilgrimage self, we are not so much individuals whose sociality is the result of voluntaristic motion but persons whose sociality is given. As humans moved into modernity, the transcendent dimension of this complex concept of person that fused together dignity, intimacy, relationality, inte­ riority, and other features of persons began to fade. Unsurprisingly, by the seventeenth century, the dominant metaphor for political organization had shifted from anything suggestive of the corporate to everything generated by contract. The presupposition underlying social contractarianism—whether of Locke’s or Rousseau’s variety—is founded on a kind of deficient sociality. The contract metaphor implicates us in a contraction of personhood. Our excised sociality follows us about as a kind of phantom yearning to be manifest. Pope John Paul II captured this bleeding away of incarnational being and ongoingly lifted up the powerful alternative—his favorite mantra—the “dig­ nity of the human person.” This is no mere slogan but a potent idea. For John Paul II, as for Augustine before him, human beings are the only creatures “God desired for himself.” It was this unique status he defended throughout his life whenever and wherever human dignity was threatened. Our “being” is not re­ ducible to psychological, biological, sociological, or economic predicates. Let’s take a closer look as John Paul’s theological anthropology. In his 1981 encyclical, Laborem Exercens, John Paul links a proper understanding of work to human dignity. Scorning all materialistic and economistic thought that reverses the right order of things by ignoring the meaning of work for the human subject, John Paul insists that all human beings, including those with disabilities, should have a place at the great “workbench of life.” All systems of forced labor, all systems that turn work “into a means for oppressing man and exploiting human labor,” must be repudiated because they do damage “to the dignity and subjectivity that are proper to him.” Further, this dignity of the human person, male and female, is inseparable from a view of human freedom worthy of endorsement. This vision of free­ dom is dramatically at odds with culturally prominent pronouncements that proclaim us sovereigns of ourselves, wholly self-possessing. In Evangelium Vitae (1995) John Paul writes that “if the promotion of the self is understood in terms of absolute autonomy, people inevitably reach the point of reject­ ing one another. Everyone else is considered an enemy from whom one has to defend oneself.” The implications for society are dire, he continues, for “society becomes a mass of individuals placed side by side, but without any mutual bonds.” In his argument against abstract notions of absolute human

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66 —Jean Bethke Elshtain freedom and self-possession, John Paul criticizes all those who worship at the idol of the self. True human freedom is attained only in and through incar­ nated realities—relationships with others and between Creator and creature. One of the tragedies in late modernity is that, when we flatten the moral horizon and make our own projects absolute, we treat our bodies and those of others as means alone. In Veritatis Splendor (1993) John Paul insists that truth and freedom belong together. This encyclical focuses on “anthropological and ethical presupposi­ tions” that detach human freedom from truth. Each of these, in severing free­ dom from considerations of truth, affronts human dignity. In chapter 2, “Do Not Be Conformed to This World,” John Paul insists that, while the church’s magisterium “does not intend to impose upon the faithful any particular theological system, still less a philosophical one,” it is the Church’s responsi­ bility to expound the word of God and to “state some trends of theological thinking and certain philosophical affirmations” that are, in fact, “incompat­ ible with revealed truth.” Some of these trends include exalting freedom into “an absolute” with man as the only source of values and meaning. This in­ vites both “subjectivism and individualism” of a sort that undermines the moral evaluation of human acts and weakens our commitment to the dignity of ourselves and others. Certain physicalist and naturalistic epistemologies and philosophies reduce the human being to a physical or biological datum. It follows that human nature, “understood in this way, could be reduced to and treated as readily available biological or social material.” Such approaches cannot begin to appreciate the nature of freedom. Cultural determinists—and this would include the political views of social contractarians for whom society creates the person is some basic way—come in for criticism too. It goes without saying, John Paul insists, that human beings always exist in particular cultures and exhibit in many ways the signs of that culture—through language, gestures, aesthetic sensibilities, historic understanding, and so on. The problem is that the cultural determinist is one who, by definition, believes that man is “exhaustively defined” by culture. How can this be, asks the pontiff? If this were indeed the case, there would never be anything in human beings “which transcends those cultures.” That something lies in our natures and the yearnings deep in the human soul for freedom and for truth, yearnings that direct our aspirations in ways consis­ tent with our God-given dignity. In Evangelium Vitae, already cited, John Paul evaluates entire cultures according to whether or not they honor the value and inviolability of hu­

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Religion, Enlightenment, and a Common Good—67

man life. The heart of the matter is the “incomparable worth of the human person.” John Paul sees human dignity threatened in many ways—in “mur­ der, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or willful self-destruction” in “mutila­ tion, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity.” As if this weren’t bad enough, John Paul notes expanding threats to human dignity in the “new prospects opened up by scientific and technological progress”—the very process celebrated and sanctified by the version of Enlightenment and the secularization hypothesis articulated by Mr. Huxley. All these developments come to us in the guise of perfecting our biology or easing human suffering. All assume human be­ ings are raw material to manipulate. John Paul notes a terrible paradox at the heart of late modernity. On the one hand, we solemnly affirm human rights. And, on the other, we deny those rights in practice given a “notion of freedom which exalts the isolated individual in an absolute way and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to others and service to them. While it is true that the taking of life not yet born or in its final stages is sometimes marked by a mistaken sense of altruism and human compassion, it cannot be denied that such a culture of death, taken as a whole, betrays a completely individu­ alistic concept of freedom, which ends up by becoming the freedom of “the strong” against the weak who have no choice but to submit.” Such a view of freedom can only lead to a “serious distortion of life in society.” When we pose “serious distortion” over against a vision of the triumph of individuality, what we see is not, I submit, modernity versus antimodernity or religion versus enlightenment or faith versus reason, but one vision, and version, of modernity by contrast to another, quite different, one. Which one plays itself out in contemporary political projects that claim, and aim, for an international common good? Are anthropologies in play at all? Does this angle of vision give us any critical leverage? It is to this topic, one that may seem but thinly connected to what has thus far been said, but, upon closer examination, can be seen to be intrinsically connected to it, that I now turn.

Freedom, Democracy, and an International Common Good There are forces unleashed in our world that seem difficult to harness or to tame. One is globalization. A second is democratization. And yet we are all deeply implicated, and our lives will be touched one way or another, by which

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68 —Jean Bethke Elshtain version of these powerful currents prevails. One cannot separate any consid­ eration of the great forces of freedom and democracy apart from thinking of justice. Since the ancient Greeks, justice—concerns to whom it is owed as well as in what it consists—has preoccupied political thinkers and moral philoso­ phers. Over the centuries there were challenges to the sharp “us” (citizens) versus “them” (foreigners, barbarians) of the Greek polis. One of these chal­ lenges was embodied in Christian teaching. Christianity put pressure on the notion that good or ill treatment should be meted out differently depending on whether or not a human being was or was not a member of one’s own particular tribe or polity. Instead, hospitality extended to all without excep­ tion. One of the most famous of the parables of Jesus of Nazareth illustrating this claim is the story of the Good Samaritan. If a Samaritan, with whom the Jews of Jesus’s day had only hostile relations, could treat a beaten and robbed Jew with tenderness and mercy, was it not possible for a Samaritan to be good and for the normative presuppositions to be reversed? Hospitality—caritas— obliged believers, whether the one to whom aid was proffered or from whom aid was received was a family or tribal member or a stranger. The ancient distinction between justice (between citizens) and force (against strangers) of the Greek world never disappeared, of course. It made a powerful comeback in the writings of Machiavelli, Rousseau, and other so-called civic republicans. It was reencoded by the Peace of Augsburg (1555) and the Treaty of Westphalia (1648). With Westphalia the norm of justice as pertaining to members of a particular territorial entity was given official sanction in its recognizably modern form, marking the beginning of the in­ ternational state system. At the same time, Christian universalism remained alive not only in theological and moral argument but present as well in sev­ eral traditions of theologically grounded political practice. Where the mat­ ter of international justice is concerned, the most important of these was the just or justified war tradition—a theory of comparative justice applied to considerations of war and intervention. Among other things, this means that the post–World War II universalization of human rights, itself flowing from powerful developments in the West (Christianity, natural law, natural rights, etc.) enhanced the importance and reach of the just war perspective rather than running counter to it. Just war argument and universal human rights are not only not incompatible, they can and should be placed within the same frame. This is not the time or the place to take up just war in detail. Suffice to say that, within this mode of argument, no unbridgeable conceptual and politi­

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Religion, Enlightenment, and a Common Good—6 9

cal divide is opened up between domestic and international politics. Just war politics insists that a war of all against all does not, in fact, kick in once one leaves the hearth, the neighborhood, or the borders of one’s country. There is, instead, a presumption of neighbor-regard that may yield certain obliga­ tions. This principle of equal regard flows directly from anthropological pre­ suppositions of human dignity. Let’s take a brief look at universal human rights and contemporary forces of democratization with the anthropological presupposition I have just articulated, bearing in mind as we do so that the other powerful “self,” the “sovereign” one, generated by forces that ushered in modernity, may be lurking somewhere nearby. I think it fair to say that the first table (so to speak) of the Universal Dec­ laration of Human Rights, those rights that speak most directly to intrin­ sic human dignity, is tethered explicitly to the anthropology I have noted and fleshed out in the work of John Paul II. Governments are not permitted to “disappear,” arbitrarily arrest, systematically torture, and murder people. Governments cannot violate freedom of worship—and so on. The second “table” of human rights speaks to what is sometimes called “positive free­ dom” or rights, namely, what governments are obliged to do for me. Health care, education: the list is rather robust. I suspect that a combination of the embodied social self and the sovereign self lie at the root of this articulation of positive rights or entitlements. Certainly a vision of human flourishing is here announced. If one accepts the universal declaration as foundational to any international justice or common good, it surely follows that societies that egregiously, systematically, and ongoingly violate these rights—especial­ ly those that touch most deeply on human dignity in its rock-bottom aspects of bodily integrity—must and should be stopped. It follows further, I be­ lieve, that if various modes of diplomacy and sanction do not suffice, armed intervention remains an ever-present possibility. For armed intervention can serve a common good—and not just a common good of particular polities but an international common good. I have heard many objections against the universality of human rights and the vision of human dignity and human freedom attached to it as I go around speaking on many of America’s college campuses. What I find most extraordi­ nary is when young women, no doubt under heavy tutelage by unthinking cel­ ebrants of “diversity,” opine that it violates “diversity” to protect and promote human rights—and this in the context of the many horrors visited upon wom­ en within the world of Islamist fundamentalism and extremism. Purdah—a difference? Being shot in the back of the head for alleged adultery a form of

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70 —Jean Bethke Elshtain “diversity”? Being murdered by one’s own father or brother for “dishonoring” the family just “their” way of doing things? When confronted with this sort of moral defeatism, I tell the questioners that an Iranian woman friend of mine once said, in response to a similar question: “No woman wants to be beaten seventy times for accidentally displaying a bit of ankle.” Surely not! And, in making this statement, my friend tapped, at least tacitly, an anthropology of human dignity. If one’s vision of human freedom is tied to this understand­ ing of human rights, it makes direct contact not only with an anthropology of intrinsic human dignity but, at the same time, with the world of “two,” of plural forms of life deeded to us from the Latin West. To trash this “Western imperialism” demeans persons and deflects the central issues. We hear a great deal about the dangers of universalizing a particular politi­ cal form—democracy. We are told that particular cultures are not suited to it. (I remember this sort of argument as a colonialist hangover in the days of decolonization when I was an undergraduate. No one called the view that Africans were unsuited to political freedom a “progressive” or “radical” view then. It was clearly reactionary. How the political worm turns!) We are told that open advocacy of it is itself a form of Western imperialism. Yet somehow the people of Iraq, when they voted, the people in Ukraine and Lebanon, when they took peacefully to the streets, seem to believe that freedom and democracy applies to them too. Are we going to tell them they are mistaken about their own understanding of their dignity and the politics consistent with it? Who, save those for whom multiculturalism has turned into a rigid ideological dogma, will dare say any such thing? At the same time, we—Western scholars and intellectuals—do right to express concerns that democracy not become an ideology but remain at the level of an ideal, one way we “name” human dignity in modernity. Democra­ cy is not a total catechism, and it must not be sacralized. But even John Paul II, in his encyclical Centesimus Annus, defended the position that democracy, rightly understood, is the political form the dignity of human persons takes in our time. At this point, the challenges really begin. Remember my com­ ments about the possibility of armed intervention in behalf of human dignity and conducted under the presuppositions of the just war tradition. Suppose we are confronted with a justice claim that takes a direct political form: peo­ ple should not be treated in certain ways, and, when they are, something should be done about it. We are not permitted to stand by as people are be­ ing rounded up and slaughtered. Everything in a commitment to universal human rights tells us this. This makes the insistence that there are grievances

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Religion, Enlightenment, and a Common Good—7 1

and horrors to which “we” must respond, provided “we” can do so in a way that avoids, to the extent that this is humanly possible, either deepening the injustice already present or creating new instances of injustice, doubly dif­ ficult to sort out. Nevertheless, one needs to draw out an implication for an internation­ al common good that flows from the presumption of equal moral regard, namely, the right to have force deployed in your behalf if you are the victim of egregious, systematic, and continuing violence and no other means have proved adequate to stop this violence. Genocide is the most obvious case in point, of course, but there are many others. Here it is worth noting, once again, that the obligations of caritas in Chris­ tian theology are themselves constituent features of the just war tradition. The secularization of just war thinking and its insertion within a Westphalian model diminished the neighbor-regard features of the just war tradition but did not entirely obliterate those features. Too, if one scratches the post–World War II universalization of human rights that serves as a background to the neighbor-regard issue, albeit in nontheological terms, one finds, lurking un­ derneath, the anthropological commitments of which I speak. Approaching the many horrors of our international world in this way is better than strate­ gies of evasion and denial of the sort visible in the 1994 slaughter by Rwan­ dan Hutus of Rwandan Tutsis. Exculpatory strategies at the time included claiming that the full extent of the slaughter was unknown. Or that, bad as the slaughter was, it wasn’t as bad as other cases of genocide, and so on. In this case, and others well known, one was confronted with the spectacle of officials speaking boldly about universal human rights but going on to revert to a narrow doctrine of national self-interest, and self-sovereignty, in order to evade the implications of embracing these rights. This tension is lodged in the heart of the United Nations itself—a universal body whose members are sovereign states, hence the final judges of their own interest. The state’s primary task is maintaining civic peace. Constitutive of that civic peace is justice. None of the other goods human beings cherish can flourish if one lives in a world in which, in St. Augustine’s mordant phrase, people are “devoured like fishes.” The equal regard doctrine, as I have here articulated it, is an elementary requirement of international justice, one consistent with the anthropology of sovereign, and that of intrinsically dig­ nified, selves. That is, one cannot say at the outset what version of anthro­ pology an analyst embraces when he or she speaks of international justice and democracy. More unpacking, as I indicated, is required. Minimally,

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72 —Jean Bethke Elshtain however, an implication shared in either case is that persons are not to be slaughtered with impunity. What follows further is that we—the more powerful—respond to attacks against persons who cannot defend them­ selves because they, like us, are human beings, hence equal in regard to us, and because they, like us, are members of nations, states, or would-be states whose primary obligation is to protect, not to ravish, the lives of those who inhabit their polities. Thus all states or would-be states have a stake in building up an international civic culture in which fewer horrors such as Rwanda or Kosovo or Saddam Hussein’s “republic of fear” take place and in which those that do take place trigger a level of concern that warrants the use of armed intervention, unless grave and compelling reasons preclude such intervention. People should not be slaughtered because powerful nations are dithering, hoping the whole thing will be over soon or using domestic political con­ siderations as a trump card in refusing to do the right thing. Doing the right thing is frequently, if not uniformly, consistent with the interest all states have in preventing the emergence of deadly cycles of violence. As Samantha Power notes: “People victimized by genocide or abandoned by the interna­ tional community do not make good neighbors, as their thirst for vengeance, their irredentism, and their acceptance of violence as a means of generating change can turn them into future threats.” An equal regard standard is central to a well functioning international system composed of decent, if not per­ fect, states. These states may or may not be democratic in our—America’s— constitutional and representational sense. But some form of what is usually called democracy is essential in the sense that avenues for public involvement, and engagement in the life of a polity as a dignified human subject, must be available. This is no “imposition” of some alien “Western” ideal. As I already indicated, the discourse of human rights and democracy is now worldwide. At the same time, it is extraordinarily difficult and dangerous to articulate a strong universal justice claim and to assign to particular states a dispropor­ tionate burden of enforcement. That, however, is our current situation. To the extent that an international common good—under the equal regard/jus­ tice model I have noted—is realizable, it may well demand disproportionate sacrifices from some in the interest of the many. We seem to have strayed some distance from the discussions in the first two sections concerning monism, pluralism, and theological anthropology. But I think not. The democracy movements now active in our international life will either take a culturally specific monistic or plural form, with the mo­

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Religion, Enlightenment, and a Common Good—7 3

nistic form one that may well, either immediately or over the long run, put negative pressure on the ideals of democratic decency and human dignity that animated freedom protestors in the first instance. And it must inevitably be the case that these new democracies, as they emerge out of the incubus of the old, will work to honor, or contrive to dishonor, human dignity. I have in­ sisted that the surest guarantee of that dignity is the theological anthropology of intrinsic dignity and respect for persons. Other versions of anthropology, I fear—such as those that underpin calls for the thorough secularization of the Islamic or Hindu or Jewish or indeed Christian worlds—either celebrate us as too sovereign or—in a stance I have not here discussed—as so thoroughly submerged within a social totality we have no identifiable “self ” at all, where self-loss is the order of the day. But this latter is another discussion, and what I have thus far put on the table is surely sufficient for the time being.

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chapter four

How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence in Its Foundational Political Principles Thomas L. Pangle

T

he introductory essay to this volume has stressed the momentous historical fact that the freedom of religion we in the West seek to defend and to spread across the globe—in response to a profound challenge from various forms of illiberal political theology and political re­ ligion—has its original, principled grounds in the philosophic rationalism that inspired and guided the vast cultural revolution known as the Enlight­ enment. Prior to the Enlightenment we find nowhere in recorded history arguments aiming to establish what we today mean by religious freedom: the idea that the best society is a “liberal republic” dedicated to the proposition that “everyone can think whatever one wishes, and say whatever one thinks,” above all concerning God.1 The philosophic argumentation that laid the ground for our liberal repub­ lican freedoms2 is centered on a deduction of universal and transhistorical norms: the famous “rights and laws of nature and of nature’s God.” What these norms are deduced from is something more fundamental: the articula­ tion of a prepolitical, profoundly individualistic, sinless “State of Nature,” a state “full” (in Locke’s famous words) “of fears and continual dangers” caused by humanity’s strong natural tendency to frightful competition. Humanity’s naturally self-destructive proclivity is inferred from what is asserted to be the

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How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence—7 5

self-evident character of the underlying human passions as we find them, through honest introspection, operating in ourselves, and as we see them and their consequences displayed in history and in everyday life, including religious history and life.3 The horror of this “state of nature” into which we are impelled by our spontaneous proclivities goads reason to devise an artifi­ cial escape: the social compact, which, with manifold attendant conventions, becomes the chief basis for reasonable discipline and hence for civilized life. This grounding framework manifestly contradicts and supplants the ground­ ing conception of the human essence that is found in the suprarational revela­ tion given in the Bible. For the Bible depicts mankind’s miraculous creation by a loving providential Deity who placed His creature in a paradise that has been lost by a sinful Fall whose terrible consequences (mortality, above all) can be overcome only through a redemptive atonement requiring the intervention and guidance of divine grace, ultimately in a shattering messianic moment. At the same time, this “state of nature” grounding manifestly contradicts and supplants the classic, Aristotelian notion of natural right, as well as the subsequent Christian syntheses of classical and biblical notions of natural right or law.4 For these are rooted in the fundamental contention that “the human is by nature a political animal” and in Aristotle’s explicit and unam­ biguous rejection of the social compact conception (advanced by Lycophron) as wholly misleading and erroneous.5 It is important to add that the limits on religious freedom and toleration in mainstream Christian-Aristotelian po­ litical theory are manifest in Thomas Aquinas’s teaching that it is a Christian duty of government to coerce, with a view to both punishment and conver­ sion, all heretics whenever and wherever possible.6 St. Thomas adduces the weighty authority of St. Augustine and specifically the latter’s endorsement of mortal coercion of heretics.7 These teachings are presented in the por­ tion of the Summa devoted to the theological virtues, whose understanding of course depends in part on revelation beyond reason. In the portion of the Summa treating the cardinal virtues, knowable by unassisted reason, St. Thomas shows that it is a universal duty of natural law that government in all times and places establish religion and support the priesthood by coerced taxation.8 The important but significantly ambiguous status of an established religion and priesthood within the political order for Aristotle is evident in passages such as Politics 1322b17–31, 1329a27–33, and especially in the enumer­ ation of the essential civic functions at 1331b4–5: “fifth and also first is the care for the divine, which they call the priesthood” (see also Ethics 1160a8–30).

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76 —Thomas L. Pangle

Our Contemporary Spiritual Dilemma Today very few people retain awareness of the profound arguments, advanced by authoritative exponents of Christian and classical political thought, that stood as enormous principled obstacles to the victory of our modern ideas of radical religious freedom and toleration. But it is even more difficult to find anyone today who still seriously accepts the truth of the state of nature foundation—or any strictly rational, transcultural foundation—for the vic­ tory of our notions of religious freedom and toleration. As has been repeat­ edly stressed by John Rawls, by far the most influential relic of the state of nature or “original position” way of thinking, we no longer even hope to find such foundations.9 One important consequence has been a growing tendency, most pro­ nounced in America, to try to conceive of our liberties, our culture of indi­ vidual rights, as grounded ultimately not in unassisted reason but in reason decisively dependent upon, illuminated and guided by, suprarational biblical revelation. Practical reason thus subordinated is said to be the only true or truly complete moral reason. But how can normative reason, so conceived, be recognized as authoritative by unbelievers, or by believers in rival, even nonbiblical, claims to revelation (Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists, etc.)? The answer given is that the Christian tradition (and also, according to some, the Jewish)10 has discovered, or recovered, clarified, and made more reasonable, a moral code of “natural law,” which is recognizably authoritative for and by all humans as reasonable, even apart from belief in the specific Christian revelation. Today appeal is made, in other words, to some kind of continuation of the perennial tradition of natural law and natural right (lex naturale, ius naturale), a tradition originating with the Stoics, referred to in Paul’s epistles, elaborated most fully by Thomas Aquinas, and embraced in various forms by practically all the Reformation sects. Yet, in the first place, there is in the classical and medieval tradition of political philosophy and political theology—even in the tradition of Chris­ tian political theology—grave dispute as to whether unassisted reason can truly discern in, or deduce from, human nature universally binding moral laws—as opposed to generally observed basic social conventions that reason does not and cannot recognize as intrinsically or unqualifiedly binding.11 In the second place, as I have stressed, it is a matter of very grave doubt whether our modern liberal principles can in truth be consistently support­ ed by the authentic natural law tradition. That tradition in its genuine form

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How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence—7 7

stresses the primacy of duties, over rights, of individuals. It views individual freedoms or “rights” as morally subordinate to or derivative from (even by “permission” of) the higher ruling authority of the political community, viewed as a part of the larger moral community that is the cosmos or Cre­ ation as a whole. It imputes to the political community and authority not so much the duty to protect individual rights as the duty to cultivate, and to enforce the cultivation, through law, of the striving for virtue and of educa­ tion to virtue. What often passes nowadays among scholars for Christian or “Judaeo-Christian” natural law theorizing is in fact a transmogrification—re­ sulting from a process, carried out in the last three centuries, of increasingly desperate accommodation to the cultural victory of profoundly individualis­ tic Enlightenment rationalist principles.12 Last but not least, the Christian tradition of natural law has its ground in a conception of nature as rational in the sense of purposeful. For this reason, above all, the tenability of this notion of natural law is today deeply dubious. All these doubts are given emphatic expression by Pope Benedict, speak­ ing still as Cardinal Ratzinger, in his remarkable 2004 conference at the Catholic Academy of Bavaria in Munich with the strict secular rationalist Jürgen Habermas:13 Natural right has—especially in the Catholic Church—remained the form of argumentation with which, in discussion with secular society and with other communities of faith, it has sought to appeal to common reason and the foundations for an understanding about the moral principles of right in a secular pluralistic society. But this instrument has unfortunately bro­ ken down (ist leider stumpf geworden), and I may not therefore base myself upon it in this discussion. The idea of natural right presupposes a concept of nature according to which nature and reason are mutually interwoven, and nature is itself reasonable. This view of nature was destroyed by the victory of the theory of evolution. Nature as such is not reasonable, even when it possesses in it reasonable behaviors: that is the diagnosis that for us is henceforth established and that today appears broadly indisputable. Of the various dimensions of the concept of nature that lay at the founda­ tion of the erstwhile natural right, the only one that generally remains is that which Ulpian (early third century after Christ) articulates in the wellknown sentence: “Ius naturae est, quod natura omnia animalia docet.” But precisely this does not suffice for our question, which does not con­ cern what is shared by all “animals,” but concerns what is specific to hu­

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78 —Thomas L. Pangle manity, what has created human reason and what cannot be responded to without reason. As a last element of natural right, an element that means in the deepest sense to be a right of reason, at least in modernity, there remains standing human rights. . . . Maybe today the teaching on human rights must be en­ larged, by a teaching on human duties and on the limitations of humans; and that could help to renew once again the question, whether there could not be a reason of nature and thus a rational right for humanity and its standing in the world. Such a discussion must today be expressed and ac­ cepted interculturally. For Christians it has to do with the Creation and the Creator. In the Indian world there corresponds the concept of “Karma,” of the inner lawfulness of being; in the Chinese tradition, the idea of the Order of Heaven.”

These last words bring us back to a crux of the attempt, in our age, to return to faith-based reasoning for our foundational political principles. Even or especially insofar as universal validity is claimed for the suprarational grounds said to have been revealed through Christianity, this claim is con­ fronted with competing and contradicting claims. In the words with which the then Cardinal Ratzinger continued: “both the Christian and the western tradition of reason see themselves, according to their own self-understand­ ings, as universal: and may even be so, de jure. De facto, however, they must recognize that they are accepted only by a part of humanity and are indeed comprehensible only by a part.” But the situation is still more difficult, given that “above all it is important that within the cultures there is no longer a unity, but that all the cultures are marked by deeply penetrating inner ten­ sions from within their own cultural traditions.” “In the West,” the Cardinal declares, “this is completely obvious.” Even “when the secular culture of a strict rationality is broadly dominant and understands itself as authorita­ tive, the Christian understanding of reality remains now as before an actual power. Both poles stand in differing proximity or tension—in mutual readi­ ness to learn, or in more or less decisive rejection of one another.” “In other words,” he concludes, “the rational or the ethical or the religious world-for­ mula (Weltformel), on the basis of which all can unite, and which can sustain the whole, does not exist. In any case it is at present unattainable. Accord­ ingly the so-called World ethic remains also an abstraction.” The resulting situation—which has persisted now for several generations—was captured in a nutshell by Jacques Maritain’s famous response to a query about the agree­

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How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence—7 9

ment achieved by him and other drafters of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Yes, we agree about the rights but on condition that no one asks why.” Maritain went on to confess that the only feasible goal was to reach agreement “not on the basis of common speculative ideas, but on com­ mon practical ideas, not on the affirmation of one and the same conception of world, of man, and of knowledge, but upon the affirmation of a single body of beliefs for guidance in action.”14 The upshot is, that we in the liberal-democratic West find ourselves in a dubious and deeply perplexing moral situation. We advocate (and we con­ demn the opponents of) a cause, which we declare to be universal and ratio­ nal, for which we can articulate no universally acceptable or strictly rational foundation. At bottom, we are compelled to fall back on fervent expressions of “our values,” or at best “our beliefs”—whose demonstrable truth, in the strict sense, we are less and less able to maintain.This situation raises in the more thoughtful and honest among us a very troubling question as to the nature or true source and aim of our will to spread our belief. Since this is explicitly not a will to the demonstrable truth, to The Truth (whose demon­ strable existence we at best doubt), what is this will? Could it be that this is at bottom nothing more than our culture’s will to power? A strong answer in the affirmative is given by one of America’s most re­ spected and influential academic moral “philosophers,” Richard Rorty. In the view of this spokesman for the most sophisticated remnant of liberal ratio­ nalism in America, all expressions of moral principle are what may properly be called by the Wittgensteinian term language games; “the only available an­ swer” to the question why we adopt and play any specific language game is “the one Nietzsche gave: It increases our power.”15 Certainly, Rorty insists, the famous rallying cries that express the principles of Enlightenment hu­ manism must now be seen as no more than “handy bits of rhetoric”: “The right way to take the slogan ‘We have obligations to human beings simply as such’ is as a means of reminding ourselves to keep trying to expand our sense of ‘us’ as far as we can.” But how far is that? And what kind of “expansion” are we speaking of? “Expansion” here means something closer to absorption or even domination than to genuine openness, or mutually instructive dialogue with those who do not accept our liberal premises: “if one reads that slo­ gan in the right way, one will give ‘we’ as concrete and historically specific a sense as possible: It will mean something like ‘we twentieth-century liberals.’” We must recognize that strictly speaking, “we are under no obligations other than the ‘we-intentions’ of the communities with which we identify.” Rorty is

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80 —Thomas L. Pangle certain that we can no longer take seriously the idea that there is a universal truth that can be reached by philosophic reasoning and argument: “if one reads” the slogan “the wrong way, one will think of our ‘common humanity’ or ‘natural human rights’ as a ‘philosophical foundation’ for democratic poli­ tics. . . . —as if philosophers had, or at least should do their best to attain, knowledge of something less dubious than the value of the democratic free­ doms and relative social equality which some rich and lucky societies have, quite recently, come to enjoy.”16 We thus stand, at the levels of both public and sophisticated opinion, very far indeed from both the popular conceptions and the philosophic argumen­ tation upon which were originally founded the United States—and, more broadly, the modern Western culture of liberal humanism. At the popular or subphilosophic level, we have originally the Declaration of Independence, which, according to its chief author, “was intended to be an expression of the American mind,” with “all its authority” resting “on the harmonizing senti­ ments of the day, whether expressed in conversation, in letters, printed es­ says, or in the elementary books of public right.” As such, the Declaration conceived “the rights of man” as “a palpable truth” that had “been laid open to every view” by “the light of science.” The “inalienable” rights discovered and verified by philosophic science were understood to be rights that are not established but explicitly “restored” by such positive enactments as the Virginia Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom. These “natural rights,” and the “natural right” or “natural law” that flows from them, were seen as de­ monstrably sanctioned by “nature’s God”—a divinity discoverable by an un­ assisted scientific reason whose normative theological insight did not require the aid of revelation.17 In the words of John Adams, The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; . . . . It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven . . . . Neither the people nor their conventions, committees, or subcommittees consid­ ered legislation in any other light than as ordinary arts and sciences, only more important.18 (my emphasis)

Adams, like Jefferson and other contemporaries, was convinced that the Christian religion had become, or was unalterably on the way to becoming, a religion purely of reason. As Adams puts it, a few lines further on: “The experiment is made and has completely succeeded; it can no longer be called

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How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence—8 1

in question whether authority in magistrates and obedience of citizens can be grounded on reason, morality, and the Christian religion, without the monk­ ery of priests or the knavery of politicians.” As he put it in a much later letter to Thomas Jefferson (of June 28, 1813), “Deists and Atheists and Protestants qui ne croyent rien [who believe nothing] are . . . never the less all Educated in the general principles of Christianity”; the latter “principles,” as Adams conceives them, do not require belief in any divinity whatsoever.19 Today these founding conceptions have passed into the realm of revered ancestral . . . myth. For well over a half century now, we have learned to speak seriously only of “human rights,” rather than of natural rights. The re­ placement of the adjective “natural” by “human” connotes our understand­ ing that the most basic rights are essentially historical: culturally acquired or constructed, and hence contingent, mutable, and ultimately temporary.20 Early-modern liberal political philosophy’s original normative appeal to hu­ man nature as norm is today regarded as not “science” but rather as “ideal” or “ideology”—meaning to say: at best, a historically conditioned, nonverifi­ able, “creative” interpretation unconsciously imposed upon or shaping of the historically mutating human experience. The principles of the Declaration are understood to be, not self-evident truths, or even truths deducible from self-evident facts, but instead our “ideals.” By the 1930s the climate of opin­ ion was already set, as is testified by John Dewey: referring to “Jefferson’s faith” in “the inherent and inalienable rights of man,” Dewey declares that “the words in which he stated the moral basis of free institutions have gone out of vogue”: we “forget all special associations with the word Nature and speak instead of ideals and aims.” Dewey does declare that these ideals must be “backed by something deep and indestructible in the needs and demands of humankind.” But Dewey does not try to articulate, or even to investigate, what that “something” could be, or how and why it happens to express itself as it temporarily does in our time and place.21 The conceptual bog into which intelligent contemporary theorists floun­ der when they do try to respond to the deeply felt need to articulate a ground­ ing justification for the liberal idea of toleration is on display in Isaiah Berlin’s famous and influential essay, Two Concepts of Liberty (to which Rorty appeals for guidance and inspiration—Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, 45ff.). At the heart of the Anglo-American liberal ideal Berlin spotlights what he calls the “negative” concept of liberty. This “negative” concept of liberty calls for “a maximum degree of noninterference compatible with the minimum de­ mands of social life.” The alternative (and the threat) to this liberty Berlin

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82 —Thomas L. Pangle descries in what he calls the “positive” concept of liberty, intimately linked to the notion of the liberation of a “true self,” which is not the same as “our poor, desire-ridden, passionate, empirical selves.” “Positive liberty” is all-toocompatible with societal or governmental coercion of the “empirical selves” to become something that their “true” selves purportedly require.22 Yet this does not mean that Berlin supposes that our “negative” liberty can exist with­ out governmental coercion. Berlin stresses that “negative” liberty is distin­ guished from license by the fact that it strictly enforces a protected sphere of individual privacy and thus imposes absolute, coercive limits on what anyone can do that impacts others. Negative liberty requires that some minimal but strict coercive limits be placed on individual “freedom to live as one prefers”: “there must be some frontiers of freedom which nobody should ever be per­ mitted to cross”; those frontiers must be “absolute.” Different names or natures may be given to the rules that determine these frontiers: they may be called natural rights or the word of God, or Natural law, or the demands of utility or of the “deepest interests of man”; I may believe them to be valid a priori, or assert them to be my own subjective ends, or the ends of my society or culture. . . . Genuine belief in the invio­ lability of a minimum extent of individual liberty entails some such abso­ lute stand. (Two Concepts 50)

Yes, but which stand? And what is the ground on which the liberal takes this stand—and how does he defend that ground rationally, with argumen­ tative evidence of its validity? What Berlin says here adds up to this: that the demand for the sacredness of a private sphere needs an “absolute” basis, but any “such absolute stand” as my own subjective assertion, or the asser­ tiveness of my society suffices. Aware that he has to supply something more than this, Berlin desperately forges on, to declare that what these abso­ lute “rules or commandments” defining the sacredness of the liberal private sphere “will have in common” is “that they are accepted so widely, and are grounded so deeply in the actual human nature of men as they have devel­ oped through history, as to be, by now, an essential part of what we mean by being a normal human being.” But then, on the very next page (Two Concepts 51–52), Berlin grossly contradicts himself, declaring that “freedom from” and “freedom to” are “two profoundly divergent and irreconcilable attitudes to the ends of life,” each of which “makes absolute claims,” which “cannot both be fully satisfied,” but each of whose “satisfaction” is “an ulti­

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How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence—8 3

mate value” that “has an equal right to be classed among the deepest interests of mankind” (my emphasis). Berlin earnestly wants to defend liberal tolerance as a natural right—as “grounded so deeply in actual human nature,” as to be an expression of what is “essential” to a “normal human”; but something strangely powerful over­ awes and inhibits him to such a degree that he feels compelled to contradict this, and himself, by acknowledging the “equal right,” as an expression of “the deepest interests of mankind,” of the rejection of liberal tolerance—of liberal freedom’s “irreconcilable” antagonist, “positive liberty.” Berlin’s is only a vivid instance of a syndrome that affects liberal self-con­ sciousness universally. What is the cause of this syndrome? What is it that renders proponents of liberal “values” incapable of embracing, with a good intellectual conscience, our forefathers’ guiding ideas of normative “nature and nature’s God,” of “natural rights?” What thoughts and experiences make it so difficult or impossible for us to follow what Habermas, in his encounter with Ratzinger, characterizes as “the political liberalism” that “understands itself as a non-religious and post-metaphysical justification of the normative foundations of democratic constitutions”—“this theory,” which “stems finally from the profane sources of the philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries” and thus “stands in the tradition of a rational right that renounces the strong cosmological or sacred-historical assumptions of classical and reli­ gious natural right?”23 What facts do we believe we have seen or experienced that were unavailable to our forebears? What decisive deficiencies or flaws do we see or sense in our liberal way of life so grave as to make it impossible for us to honestly affirm that liberal freedoms are truly and simply good, that liberal democracy is truly the best—for humankind as such? With these questions in mind, let us consider again, as paradigmatic, the strangely complex position of Richard Rorty. It is obvious from his writings that, in his heart, Rorty, like his heroes Dewey and Whitman, longs to affirm unqualifiedly the moral superiority of liberal democracy; it is clear that Rorty, like Dewey, conceives of himself as a kind of Jeffersonian, as the true heir to and continuer of the great modern liberal-democratic revolutions. Rorty sides with those who “persist in believing that a merely material and secular goal suffices: mortal life as it might be lived on the sunlit uplands of global democracy and abundance.”24 But Rorty follows what he claims is the view of Whitman and Dewey, that “a classless and casteless society—the sort of society which American leftists have spent the twentieth century trying to construct—is neither more natural nor more rational than the cruel societies

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84 —Thomas L. Pangle of feudal Europe or of eighteenth century Virginia.”25 Why in the world not? What is so defective about these “sunlit uplands” that they cannot be judged as more rational and less mutilating of human nature than “the cruel societ­ ies” of the past? What was it that “the cruel societies” of the past possessed that was of such great importance as to make it impossible for reason honest­ ly to judge them essentially inferior to our own liberal and tolerant society? The answer is revealed in Rorty’s recognition of an insuperable dilemma of the human condition, which he criticizes Marxists in particular for ignor­ ing. For Rorty must confess that “the price we pay for intellectual and private spiritual liberation” of the sort that is “characteristically American”—the price we must pay for our “sunlit uplands”—is not only “communal and public dis­ enchantment” but also “forgetting”: “forgetting about eternity.” This “is not easy,” since it means “replacing knowledge” with “hope for the contingent future”—indeed, with admittedly “unjustifiable hope,” of a quasi-religious though not religious, character.26 Put more concretely, the price we pay is living in “the contemporary counterpart to the culture that put Socrates to death.”27 It is not merely that “the price to pay” is that “the typical character types of liberal democracies are bland, calculating, petty, and unheroic”; ours is a culture that leaves us in “sadness at the thought that we, the people who value self consciousness, may be irrelevant to the fate of humanity”—“para­ sitical eccentrics living off the surplus value of a society to which we have nothing in particular to contribute.” People like Rorty have to decide against “creating a world fit for Socrates, and thus for ourselves.” This is “what is behind the regret we feel when we are forced to conclude that the bourgeois democratic welfare states are the best we can hope for.”28 Rorty cannot suppress the expression of what he himself experiences as the deformation of the human spirit that haunts our culture, in contrast to sterner and more demanding or more disciplined societies of the past. Rorty is hardly alone among thoughtful liberals in this unwelcome recognition. As Isaiah Berlin expresses it: “integrity, love of truth, and fiery individualism grow at least as often in severely disciplined communities or under military discipline, as in more tolerant or indifferent societies” (Two Concepts 48 as well as 13–15). Rorty and Berlin reluctantly testify to the fact that the superior­ ity of liberal democracy cannot be affirmed by reason because that affirma­ tion is plainly contradicted by the manifest superiority, in crucial respects, of certain well-known illiberal societies. Those societies—it suffices to mention ancient Athens and Jerusalem—more successfully fostered the richest forms of human self-consciousness, both in terms of civic or social virtue and with

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How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence—8 5

regard to the intransigent love of truth or the commitment to severe intel­ lectual integrity.

Key Moments in the Evolution of Our Loss of Confidence We will better understand how and why we have arrived at such an impasse if we look back at some key moments in the unfolding of the historical destiny of liberal democratic theory. If one begins at the beginning, it could at first appear strange that the liberal democratic self-consciousness has lost faith in its grounding principles on account of their failure to sustain or to make suf­ ficient room for the intellectual and spiritual virtues. For Spinoza, the philo­ sophic originator of the idea of liberal democracy, insisted that the new, lib­ eral conception of the “best republic” flowed from, and was grounded on, a “clear and distinct” conception of the “highest good” (summum bonum) and “ultimate end” (finis ultimis) of human existence—defined as self-conscious­ ness, animated by the drive to complete itself. In Spinoza’s vision, the pro­ posed liberal democratic order will exist ultimately for the sake of the “happi­ ness” constituted by a life of theoretical study and loving contemplation—of nature in its wholeness and thus above all of nature’s God (TPT chap. 4). The practical difficulty begins to appear when we see that Spinoza teach­ es, with only an amazingly thin veil of popularizing religious rhetoric, that to ascribe to God, as the intelligible first cause or ground that is visibly ex­ pressed in every part of the whole, the attribute of a “mind” is to slide into the “superstitions” of the “vulgar.”29 The same is true, a fortiori, of any attri­ bution to “God” of any personality or any emotions or any concerns whatso­ ever—including justice, mercy, compassion, love, indignation or anger, etc.30 Despite or because of this, what “can be called” the true “natural divine law,” or “God’s decrees,” or even “God’s biddings,” for humanity, is a specific “plan of a life.” This “plan of life” is centered on achieving a radical inner inde­ pendence and even “solitude,” which requires austerely eschewing all but the minimally necessary concerns with the body, with material possessions, with pleasures, and with superiority over and esteem from others. Such ascetism is necessary in order to maximize the time and energy the individual dedicates to comprehensive, restless inquiry that reaps the greatest good for oneself as a thinking being. “Yet a carnal human being is unable to understand these things”; and such (Spinoza makes no bones about it) is the vast majority of humans,

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86 —Thomas L. Pangle driven as they are by “the emotions of a mutilated spirit (animi affectibus abrepti).”31Civil society is needed chiefly in order to render less irrational and self-destructive the vast majority’s inevitable “addictions”: to competi­ tion over prestigious superiority and to pursuit of the material “goods of fortune.” Still, in a liberal democracy, the “vulgar” may be said to participate in the highest good, if only in very diluted form or at a great distance. They do so in two ways. On the one hand, the raw natural human impulse to live as an independent individual, beholden to no higher power—an impulse destructively expressed in the natural condition, but capable of being arti­ ficially channeled in a constructive way through the good organization of a contractual democracy—can be understood as a dim but powerful reflection or refraction of the true individual autonomy that is possible only through the theoretical life. On the other hand, life in Spinoza’s envisaged liberal democracy, with its commercial prosperity, solicitude for the poor, civic par­ ticipation, and protection of individual rights (especially freedom of speech) will render the populace progressively less in need of the consolation af­ forded by “superstitious” belief in a God who promises an otherworldly salvation requiring humans to make some substantial sacrifice of what their reason or judgment tells them is their purely worldly utility. Spinoza dares to speak of a time when the Bible becomes a “book completely neglected,” “since the human beings do not need it”; “then both the words and the book will be of no use and no holiness.” His empirical evidence is his own “city of Amsterdam, which, to its considerable enhancement and with the admiration of all nations, experiences the fruits of this freedom” (of liberal republicanism): “in this most flourishing Republic,” “for them to trust their goods to someone, they care to know only whether he is rich or poor and whether he acts in good faith or by a ruse.” Otherwise, “Religion or sect does not move them at all, since it does not help in their cause being justified or condemned (ad justificandam, vel damnandam) before the judge.” In other words, one can expect to prove historically the psychologically plausible thesis that the “kingdom of God” for which Christians long is at bottom nothing else except a just or equitable society on earth, among mortals. This outcome, and even the manifest approach to it, will contribute in no small degree to the goal for the sake of which Spinoza declares his major treatise in political philosophy to be “useful through and through”: that goal is to help a very tiny minority, “who would philosophize more freely if this one thing did not stand in the way: that they deem that reason has to serve as handmaid to theology.”32

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How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence—8 7

Accordingly, “the true aim of the laws is usually obvious only to a few,” even or especially in the liberal democracy Spinoza hopes to make a beacon for the world. Mediating between Spinoza’s own age and the future, as well as between the superstition-prone plebs and the scattered few genuine phi­ losophers, is an intermediate elite, whom Spinoza seeks to mobilize and to inform, and who he hints should infiltrate the Protestant clergy; this intel­ ligentsia will promulgate a new, popular, rationalist reading and civil religion of the Bible, guided by Spinozan modern science and Spinoza’s founding (in partnership with Hobbes) of a root and branch “higher” criticism and critical reading of the Scriptures.33 Spinoza’s openness shocked even Hobbes. When Hobbes read the Theologico-political Treatise, he felt it “cut through him a bar’s length, for he durst not write so boldly.”34 Locke seems to have agreed. Locke—and Montes­ quieu after him—implicitly followed the more cautious Hobbes, the plebe­ ian Hobbes, against the bold and elitist (and hence, paradoxically, politically much more democratic) Spinoza: Locke, like Hobbes, grounded natural rights and liberal politics on a denial of the existence of a highest good or ultimate end for earthly human life. Locke not only embraced Hobbes’s vul­ gar hedonism, and went further than Hobbes in explicitly centering Christ’s teaching upon such a mercenary hedonism;35 Locke rendered still more vul­ gar Hobbes’s relativism regarding the good (or the greatest pleasure): “the Philosophers of old did in vain enquire, whether Summum bonum consisted in Riches, or bodily Delights, or Virtue, or Contemplation: And they might have as reasonably disputed, whether the best Relish were to be found in Apples, Plumbs, or Nuts; and have divided themselves into sects upon it” (ECHU 2.22.55). At the same time, Locke provided the philosophic foundation for what Max Weber was to term “the spirit of capitalism,” by intensifying the pe­ culiarly ascetic character that vulgar hedonism takes on, in the light of the relativism concerning the good. In Locke “Happiness” becomes a will o’ the wisp, replaced by the “pursuit of happiness” as the “highest perfection” of humanity; and the pursuit of happiness is necessarily equated by reason with the pursuit of power (ECHU, “Of Power,” 2.21.51). For, given the mutable, temporary, and hence uncertain character of all that pleases humans, the pri­ ority shifts from seeking such pleasure to avoiding the more certain and un­ changing pains of life, and especially the greatest pain, that of mortal anxiety. THE goal of existence becomes the limitless legal acquisition of the means (above all economic) that may be deployed to control our environment and

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88 —Thomas L. Pangle thus maximize our security. “Joy” Locke defines (ECHU 2.20.7) not as enjoy­ ment but as “a delight of the Mind, from the consideration of the present or assured approaching possession of a Good; and we are then possessed of any Good, when we have it so in our power, that we can use it when we please.”36 The radical relativism and trivialization of the greatest good or the ultimate end of human existence is the essential foundation for Lockean liberal absolutism as regards justice, conceived as the individual rights and derivative laws of nature. It is only because humanity has no natural concerns that trump the concern for power or property that the rights of property, including life, lib­ erty, and the pursuit of happiness, can trump all other concerns. The Lockean commonwealth eschews all legitimate concern whatsoever with the souls or spiritual goods of its members: in contrast to Spinoza, Locke grounds his argument for religious freedom and toleration, and separation of church and state, on a definition of the commonwealth as “a society of men constituted only for the preservation and advancing” of the “goods I call life, liberty, the integrity and freedom from pain of the body, and the possession of external things, such as estate, money, furniture, and so forth.”37 Locke thus laid down the twin tracks, of egalitarian relativism and of pe­ culiarly ascetic or capitalist hedonism, upon which has sped the engine of Anglo-American liberalism—which has proved by far the most successful form of liberalism. In Lockean and Montesquieuean liberalism, there is no longer any imprudent and potentially outrageous Spinozistic talk of a need to recognize the gulf that separates the freedom available to the “mutilated spirits” of “the vulgar” from the genuine freedom that can be enjoyed only by the very rare men of pure theory who are humanity’s best specimens. For Lockean and Montesquieuean liberalism, political liberty no longer takes its bearings from what is higher, but rather from what is lower—by what conduces to “security” or “comfortable preservation,” for which liberty is “the best fence.”38 If Locke flattered ordinary mankind, he at the same time relaxed the demands and aspirations that Spinoza, from his Olympian height, had imposed on his envisaged liberal democratic citizenry. Locke (anticipating Montesquieu) retreated from the quasi-Roman, quasi-Machia­ vellian, militant and participatory democratic liberalism of Spinoza. Locke substituted a far more indirect or passive, and thus more easygoing, popular sovereignty expressed through an elected legislature balanced by an execu­ tive armed with the awesome paternalism of monarchic prerogative. The Spinozistic liberal democrat is typically “in camp a soldier,” and therefore “in the marketplace [forum] a citizen.”39 In contrast, while the Lockean or

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How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence—8 9

Montesquieuean liberal may oppose a standing army (SL 5.19), he typically worries, not so much about enacting his right to bear arms in the militia, and about making his own voice heard in politics, as about what his rep­ resentatives should do with the defense budget to keep his taxes as low as possible. The Lockean liberal citizen is what Rousseau taught the world to call a bourgeois, in contrast to a citoyen. It is not so surprising, then, that the predominant, Lockean and Montes­ quieuean, tradition of liberalism and liberal democracy came to be haunted, and was finally overwhelmed, by a profound unease: the ever intensifying awareness that the price paid for its ever greater achievements—of prosperity and public health and toleration and peace and good administrative govern­ ment—is a spiritual and civic debasement. The most explosively momentous philosophic articulation of such an indictment was of course Rousseau’s. Yet the latter’s diagnosis of the self-alienation and inner servility of the new “bour­ geois” form of existence was infinitely clearer than was the political practical­ ity of any of the manifold partial cures or solutions to which he pointed. Spinoza had looked to the Dutch republic as the adumbration of a kind of model synthesis of modern commercialism and ancient citizenship, of indi­ vidualism and civic solidarity, of freedom of religious opinion together with collective adherence to a mild civil religion. In Montesquieu’s more capa­ cious political science, there remains a glimmer of such a vision, as a marginal possibility.40 Rousseau exposed this synthesis as riven with practically unsus­ tainable contradictions.41 Rousseau in effect made predictable the failure of the attempts by his greatest successors—first Kant, with his doctrine of the Rechtsstaat grounded on the categorical imperative, and then Hegel, with his elevated conception of bureaucracy and professional soldiery—to infuse into liberalism a high public sense of purpose. Rousseau’s great treatise of political theory, The Social Contract (3.15) deliv­ ered a shattering critique of representative government as epitomized in the emerging English constitutional system. As soon as public service ceases to be the principal business of the Citizens, and they prefer to serve with their pocketbook rather than in person, the State is already near its ruin. Is it necessary to march to battle? They pay troops and stay home. Is it necessary to go to the Council? They name representatives and stay home. . . . It is involvement in commerce and the arts, it is the avid interest in profit, it is the softness and the love of com­ forts, that replace personal service with money. . . . The better the State is

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90 —Thomas L. Pangle constituted, the more do public affairs dominate over private in the spirit of the Citizens. . . . The weakening of the love of the fatherland, the activ­ ity of private interest, the immensity of States, the conquests, the abuse of Government, have led to the dreaming up of the device of Deputies or Representatives of the people in the assemblies of the Nation. . . . The idea of Representatives is modern; it comes to us from feudal Government, from that wicked and absurd Government in which the human species is degraded and the name of man is dishonored. In the ancient Republics and even in the monarchies, the People never had representatives; this word wasn’t even known.

Rousseau speaks in the name of a revived ideal of the polis—with its prin­ cipled foundation totally reconceived, on the basis of the theory of the state of nature. Yet that same theory, in Rousseau’s most intransigently philosoph­ ic work, The Second Discourse, was pushed to a rigorously logical extreme that called into question the natural goodness and suitability to human nature of all political and even all social life. Despite or because of this outcome, Rous­ seau never ceased to insist on nature as our ultimate standard and source of norms. This, in addition to the manifest impracticability of the society envisioned in The Social Contract, provokes one to wonder how seriously Rousseau expected—or even wished for attempts at—the implementation of such a society. What seems undeniable is that Rousseau seriously sought and expected (and was correct to expect) to arouse a profound and passion­ ate longing for such a society. And this longing, fueled even by its practical hopelessness, feeds the broader and deeper romanticism that Rousseau selfconsciously promoted on so many fronts. One may venture to suggest that Rousseau’s most acute concern was a fear of the impending failure of the ef­ fort of modern humanism to supplant and remove, through a cultural revo­ lution, what he regarded as mankind’s hitherto self-tormenting and horribly strife-ridden addiction to competing otherworldly and supernatural religious consolations. These apparent “consolations” Rousseau conceived as damna­ tions, because they all in one way or another make the impossible demand for an overcoming, a redemption, and only thus a justification, of humanity as it in fact irretrievably exists and must always exist. In this light Rousseau can be perceived to be seeking to provide mankind with a replacement con­ solation: such a replacement had become necessary because of the previous, liberal, Enlightenment’s failure to find adequate satisfaction, through ratio­ nalist political and economic reform, of humanity’s spiritual needs.

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Certainly Rousseau—in Karl Barth’s authoritative estimation the most important theologian of the eighteenth century42—is the greatest founder of the religion of sincerity or the religion of nature. In and through the stag­ gering power of Rousseau’s cultural influence, Western religion or religiosity was transformed into something “furthering the positive goal that underlay” the Enlightenment: “the restoration of this-worldly wholeness.”43 Or, in the words that close the most profound philosophic study of Rousseau’s political thought, “the notion of a return to the state of nature on the level of human­ ity was the ideal basis” for “an appeal from society” to “an ultimate sanctity of the individual as individual, unredeemed and unjustified.”44 Yet the nature for whose wholeness Rousseau taught mankind to long is a subhuman nature. Rousseau tried to show how that nature, or at any rate its wholeness, could be reenacted or reconstructed on a historical and thus hu­ man plane. But he thereby exposed the full difficulty of finding an adequate norm in nature alone. Rousseau was therefore thought to have brought to full light what Montesquieu had begun to unveil: the essentially historic character of all that is human in the animal man. Inadvertently or advertently, Rousseau laid the most important part of the foundation of what came to be known as the philosophy of history. The philosophy of history, which began as a more elevated form of lib­ eral republicanism, sprang from the acceptance of Rousseau’s devastating critique of previous liberal rationalism combined with the conviction that it was not possible to rest or to live with Rousseau’s agonizingly paradoxi­ cal antitheses—between nature or the state of nature and culture or civiliza­ tion, between morality and goodness, between romantic love and godlike self-sufficiency, between the citizen and the artist, between the patriot and the cosmopolitan, between what we essentially are and the way we are forced to exist in society—especially in liberal bourgeois society. The key to “rec­ onciling the celebrated J. J. Rousseau’s so often misunderstood theses, that have the appearance of conflicting with one another and with reason” was to be found in “solving this problem: how culture must progress in order to bring about such a development of the dispositions of mankind, considered as a moral species, as to end the conflict with the natural species.” For “all evil springs from this conflict, i. e. the fact that culture, in accordance with the true principles of the education of human being and citizen, has perhaps not even begun properly, let alone been completed”—and will not be, “until Art in its perfection becomes again Nature, which is indeed the ultimate moral end of the human species.”45

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92 —Thomas L. Pangle But German idealism’s attempts or claims to show how the actual un­ folding of historical existence was accomplishing this “ultimate moral end” came to appear increasingly incredible. According to Hegel, the nineteenth century was to prove that “so long as the state is equated with bourgeois society and finds its definition in security and the protection of property and personal freedom, the interest of the individual as such becomes the ultimate end for which they are united.” But the true state “has an altogether differ­ ent relationship to the individual”; “the state is the actuality of the ethical ideal—the ethical spirit, as substantial will, manifest and clear to itself.” “The individual himself has objectivity, truth, and ethical life only as a member of it.” The state is the “destiny” of the individual; membership in the state or citizenship is the truly “divine” dimension of individual existence (Philosophy of Right, secs. 257–58). Criticizing this claim, specifically by way of comment­ ing on Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, sec. 291, which links citizenship to civil service by stressing that meritocracy administered through objective exami­ nations “guarantees to very citizen the possibility of joining the universal class [of civil servants],” Marx incisively retorted: “that each has the possibility of gaining the right of another sphere proves only that his own sphere is not the actuality of this right.” The Rousseauean Marx continues: “In a true state it is not a question of the possibility for every citizen,” it is rather the question “of the capability of the universal class to be really universal, i. e., to be the class of every citizen.”46 Most simply and brutally, German idealism culminated in the Marxist revolutionary revulsion at what appeared to be the exploitative, cold, and hypocritically selfish greed that was seen as the essential spring of demonically destructive capitalist bourgeois life. At a deeper level, Marxism insisted that liberalism, not least in its ever more pervasive relativism, manifested blatantly intolerable existential contradic­ tions, obscured only by a desperate blindness amounting to nothing less than “the destruction of reason”: “the demise of the Hegelian system in bourgeois thought prompted the outbreak of a bottomless relativism and agnosticism, as though the now obligatory renunciation of idealist systematizing were at the same time to mean renouncing the objectivity of knowledge, a real coherence of the actual world, and the possibility of knowing this.”47 How can there be wholeness for the individual, whose humanity is constituted by rational open­ ness to and need to possess as known the whole, when that “whole” comes to sight, and is justifiably experienced, as alien, oppressive, and absurd?48 Yet history is far from over. Historical existence appears a terrible riddle, but the solution, it was suddenly asserted, has become surprisingly obvi­

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ous. Marxism claimed to demonstrate that the entire historical process, and certainly its Western culmination in the past five or six centuries, can and must be seen as taking the place of the delusions of divine providence, by finally solving the enigma of human life and death—as a purely earthly life and death. Capitalism appears as the destruction of nature and the crippling of human nature. But in fact, and precisely for that reason, capitalism cre­ ates an unprecedented class, the proletariat, whose inescapable revolution­ ary destiny it is to abolish itself and with itself capitalism—and all private property and all class conflict, thereby unexpectedly completing the disso­ lution of nature into a humanized, humanly fulfilling historical process. Be­ cause or when, through the action and class-consciousness of the proletar­ iat, nature is entirely subsumed under history, so that nothing in “nature” remains uncontrolled and untransformed by deliberate collective human effort (“praxis”), the essence of things can become or be revealed as human­ ized and thus naturalized to an extent that allows us to experience ourselves as members of a species that, in its species being, is no longer homeless in the whole. Then and only then can the theoretical life become, finally and truly, the life of the species. Then and only then can individuals, by realiz­ ing their full species-being, recognize themselves, as well as past and future individuals, as authors of, and hence continuers in, the finally completed whole. “Communism as the positive dialectical transcendence [Aufhebung] of private property” is “the complete, self-conscious return [Rückkehr], within the entire wealth of the previous development, of humanity for itself as a social, i.e., human, humanity.” This communism, as fulfilled naturalism, equals humanism, as fulfilled hu­ manism, equals naturalism; it is the true resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man—the true resolution of the strife between existence and essence, between objectification and self-confirma­ tion, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the spe­ cies. It is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution. The entire movement of history is, therefore, as communism’s actual act of genesis—the birth act of its empirical existence—and also for its thinking consciousness the comprehended and known movement of its becoming. . . . The positive transcendence of private property, as the appropriation of human life, is therefore the positive transcendence of all estrangement— that is, the return of man from religion, family, state, etc. to his human, i.e., social existence. . . .

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94 —Thomas L. Pangle Death seems to be a harsh victory of the species over the definite indi­ vidual and thus to contradict their unity; but the definite individual is only a definite species being—and as such mortal . . . The eye has become a human eye, just as its object has become a social, human object—an object made by humanity for humanity. The senses have therefore become directly in their praxis theoreticians. They relate them­ selves to the thing (Sache) for the sake of the thing, but the thing itself is an objective human relation to itself and to humanity, and vice versa. I can in practice be related to the thing humanly only when the thing relates itself humanly to humanity. Need or enjoyment have thereby lost their egoistic nature, and nature has lost its mere utility, by use becoming human use. In the same way, the senses and spirit of other men have become my own appropriation. . . . Humanity does not lose itself in its object only when the object be­ comes for him a human object or objective humanity. (Economic-Philosophic Manuscript of 1844, MEGA 2.263–69)

Nietzsche spotlighted the deep difficulty or contradiction in this kind of program, understood strictly on its own terms. One is tempted to say that Nietzsche’s thought embodies a protest, in the name of everything revolu­ tionary, against what appears to be the excessive value placed on the “theoret­ ical” (or against what is still too Hegelian) in Marx’s understanding of what human fulfillment as historical fulfillment could mean. The human senses and mind, as human, are not adequately understood as “theoreticians.” More pointedly, communism seeks “the complete, self-conscious return, within the entire wealth of the previous development, of humanity for itself ”; but every manifestation in history of human spiritual wealth or greatness has involved a wrenching self-transcendence that has arisen out of profound suffering and terrible struggle due to tragic contradictions. Moreover, every historical cre­ ation of new values has been at the same time a creation of a new rank order­ ing of human beings, according to the degree to which they can or cannot live up to the challenges of the new values. Last but not least, Marxist socialism reveals its shallowness most nakedly in its atheism. For there has never been a spiritually profound creation of values without a simultaneous creation of a new conception of divinity, over and above the creator. Every historical god can be seen to have been an idealization that embodies the most perfect image of a human or superhuman instantiation of the aspiration of some or all of the virtues of a historical epoch or of a people or, in rare cases, of a

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single creative individual (e. g., Buddha). These created gods and rankings and values, and the contradictions, sufferings, sacrifices, and struggles, out of which they are born and to which they lead, cannot be eliminated without eliminating human greatness or indeed humanity altogether. The communist or socialist end of history would be the advent of what Zarathustra evokes as the hideous “last man”: the humanoid who, in his complacent group confi­ dence that “we have invented happiness,” has lost the capacity for profound self-contempt and hence for vaulting self-overcoming and hence self-distinc­ tion or the creation of new values that demand the sublime sacrifice of “hap­ piness”; “Do I recommend love of the neighbor to you? Sooner should I even recommend flight from the neighbor and love of the farthest-away . . . and the future.”49 Communism in its fight against liberalism thus comes to view not as his­ torical but as antihistorical, as seeking not the fulfillment but simply the termination of genuinely human history—as relapsing into the age-old delu­ sion of thinking that the goal must lie in some realm beyond this historical existence that is the only reality given to us. History, with its contradictions among created values and gods, and its consequent struggles and suffer­ ing, must continue. But now in full self-consciousness, as willed by man, as created by man. This means that the humanity of the future will be fun­ damentally different from all past humanity, which did not and could not recognize that all its competing values and gods are no more and no less than historic human creations. There may be even fewer genuine creators in the future than there were in the past: for the future creators have to be more than human, as the human has been defined and confined by the past: they must be “superman.” Yet those who prepare the way for the creative must “remain true to the earth, my brothers!” “I love those who do not first seek behind the stars for a reason to go under and be a sacrifice, but who sacrifice themselves for the earth, that the earth may someday be the superman’s.” “The doctrine still sounds strange: ‘Die at the right time!’ . . . thus teaches Zarathustra.” So the Nietzschean creators and proto-creators also look back ultimately to nature and to natural limits for their standard; they look back to the nature underlying and expressing itself through history. They must “translate man back into nature”; they must “master the many vain and fanciful interpretations and secondary meanings which have been hitherto scribbled and daubed over that eternal basic text homo natura.” Yet this is not to deny that the full coming into being of human nature lies in a future that is not guaranteed or even precisely defined by that nature—a

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96 —Thomas L. Pangle future, a “complementary man” and human nature, that depends on human will: on you and me. No one has ever assigned to humans such a responsi­ bility as Nietzsche assigned.50 Human nature comes into being out of and into history; in creating new values, or in fostering and following the future creators of such values, we must through our sacrifices justify and redeem, in a new synthesis, all or as much as possible of the best that has been inherited, that has made us what we are: “I love him who justifies future and redeems past generations: for he wants to perish of the present.” To create values requires that one attempt to incorporate, while transfiguring, the deepest and the most comprehen­ sive values of the past—and do so knowing that the creative achievement to which one has given one’s heart will inevitably be confronted by opposing interpretative achievements of “enemy” creators and lovers. This is the heart of the highest and richest justice. To me justice speaks thus: “Men are not equal.” Nor shall they become equal. What would my love of the super-man be if I spoke otherwise? On a thousand bridges and paths they shall throng to the future, and ever more war and inequality shall divide them: thus does my great love make me speak. In their hostilities they shall become inventors of images and ghosts, and with their images and ghosts they shall yet fight the highest fight against one another. Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all the names of values—arms shall they be and clattering signs that life must overcome itself again and again. . . . And behold, my friends: . . . here the ruins of an ancient temple rise; behold it with enlightened eyes! Verily, the man who once piled his thoughts to the sky in these stones—he, like the wisest, knew the secret of all life. That struggle and inequality are pres­ ent even in beauty, and also war for power and more power: that is what he teaches us here in the plainest parable. . . . With such assurance and beauty let us be enemies too, my friends! (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, part 2, “on the tarantulas”)

“God is dead.” But that does not mean what the shallow atheists of the left suppose. “For only that which lives can die.” God once lived, in the only way that anything of value and therefore any god can live: as a vital, life-serving, human historical creation. The death of god leaves in its wake “a tremen­ dous, gruesome shadow.” Our historical humanity is inseparable from “the religious instinct” which is “the god-forming instinct.” The death of God, of the god who forbade the forming of any other gods, of the god who thus

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How and Why the West Has Lost Confidence—9 7

repressed—and infinitely deepened and elevated—human creativity; “our murder” of the God who “strung the bow” that now allows us to aim at an infinitely high future: what is this event? It is the titanic and titanically fright­ ening achievement of modern rationalism. It is “what, at bottom, the whole of modern philosophy is doing.” “Modern philosophy” is “covertly or open­ ly, anti-Christian: although, to speak to more refined ears, by no means antireligious.” To be sure, the religious instinct will take time to recover from its traumatic liberation. “The religious instinct is indeed in vigorous growth”; but “it rejects the theistic answer with profound mistrust.”51 Yet the day has dawned in which, for the first time, humans can recognize the truth about the religious instinct in themselves. Humans imbued with such a recognition must somehow become capable of finding the god within, or see­ ing the god within another, and thereby preparing the way for “super-men.” And how many new gods are yet possible! In my own case, in whom the religious, that is to say the god-forming, instinct time and again comes alive: how differently, how variously, has the divine revealed itself to me each time! . . . Is it necessary to elaborate that a god on every occa­ sion prefers to remain beyond everything rational and bourgeois? Also, between ourselves, beyond good and evil? . . . To say it yet again; how many new gods are yet possible!—Zarathustra himself, of course, is sim­ ply an old atheist.52

The religion(s) of the future will compete in creating divine avatars of new syntheses of Greco-Roman forcefulness and insight, combined with JudaeoChristian depth of compassion and of soul-searching probity. A formula for Nietzsche’s god and superman is “the Roman Caesar with the soul of Christ” (Will to Power no. 983). Yet in Nietzsche’s last work completed for publica­ tion, he sided with Islam and Rome against the modern western (and Ger­ man) world in its indebtedness to Christianity: When Islam holds Christianity in contempt, it is a thousandfold in the right: Islam has as its presupposition men. . . . Christianity has cheated us out of the harvest of ancient culture; later it has cheated us out of the harvest of Islamic culture. The wonderful Moorish culture-world of Spain, related to us fundamentally, more congenial in sense and taste than Rome and Greece, was trampled down (—I don’t say by what kind of feet—). Why? Because it owed its origin to noble, to manly instincts. . . . The crusaders later fought something, before which they might better have

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98 —Thomas L. Pangle prostrated themselves in the dust— [. . .] The German noble class, always the “Swiss” of the Church, always in service to all the base instincts of the Church—but well paid. (The Antichrist, secs. 59–60)

The philosophy of Nietzsche represents the most profoundly radical wres­ tling with the consequences of the historical relativism that seems to be the outcome of the unfolding fate of our problematic philosophic foundations. The power and the significance of Nietzsche’s thought have not gone unno­ ticed by the learned and thoughtful among our present enemies. Nietzsche drew the name Zarathustra not from the Greco-Roman world, nor from the Judaeo-Christian tradition, but from the ancient Persians, who, in Nietzsche’s creative salute, were characterized by two sorts of virtue sadly missing from the modern West: severe spiritual honesty, especially about religion and mo­ rality, combined with warrior gracefulness. In our time Nietzsche’s influence has been felt not least in modern Persia, among a new people with a different tradition, some of whom nevertheless seem to have been led to discover an affinity with Zarathustra or his creator. At any rate, one of the most influen­ tial theorists inspiring the Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution, and a thinker still respected even by some of those most disenchanted now with that revo­ lution or its outcome, is Ali Shari’ati. In one of his programmatic writings that has been translated into English, Shari’ati self-consciously echoes that “great man Nietzsche” and proclaims that the “ideal man,” “the vicegerent of God,” is one who “holds the sword of Caesar in his hand and has the heart of Jesus in his breast.” He is one who “thinks with the brain of Socrates and loves God with the heart of Hallaj.” He “is a man of jihad and ijtihad, of poetry and the sword, of solitude and commitment, of emotion and genius, of strength and love, of faith and knowledge.” It follows, above all, that he is one who “through the negation of self becomes everlasting.”53 This echoing of Nietzsche is indeed no longer Nietzsche or even Nietzs­ chean. Here Nietzsche has become the springboard for a dramatic, “post­ modern” rejuvenation of a centuries-old revealed monotheism. This rejuve­ nation, in its self-conscious postmodernism, claims to understand, and hence to be able to fulfill, Nietzsche’s aspirations better than could Nietzsche him­ self—better than could any new superhumanity Nietzsche may have meant to inspire. Even more fundamentally, this rejuvenation claims to understand, and to possess the only true and adequate answer to, the desperately unsatis­ fied longings that have been at work from the beginning of the Enlighten­

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ment, preventing modernity in all its forms from ever reaching its goal of reconciling humanity to its earthly, mortal, historical existence. The German poet Theodor Däubler has a famous and fruitfully enigmatic line that seems apt as my conclusion: The enemy is our ownmost question having taken shape.54

notes 1. See the title of the chapter presenting the conclusion of Spinoza’s unprecedented argument in The Theologico-Political Treatise (1670: henceforth cited as TPT): “Ostendi­ tur, in Libera Republica unicuique & sentire, quae velit, & quae sentiat, dicere licere.” (Unless otherwise noted, all translations from writings not in English are my own, from recognized critical editions, cited by universally recognized pagination or sec­ tion numbers where those exist.) As Spinoza indicates by incorporating in this chapter title part of a famous line from the beginning of Tacitus’s account of the Roman em­ pire (Histories 1.1), the general assumption in political thought prior to Spinoza’s pathbreaking treatise was that religious freedom and diversity were possible only in some flourishing monarchic and despotic orders, where there could be minimal concern for the communal virtue and hence spiritual unity of the populace; republics, in contrast, since they were understood to depend on such popular civic virtue and solidarity, were understood to require a religious unity—and hence established religion with some de­ gree of religious censorship. This consensus was shared even by the most radical and free thinking republican theorists: see Machiavelli’s Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy 1.10–11. The classic argument of political theory for the “establishment of religion” in the English-speaking world is Richard Hooker, Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1594), especially the preface and book 1, as well as book 5, chaps. 1–2, 62, 65, 76; book 7, and book 8, chaps. 1–4, 6, 8: Hooker transplants into the Anglican communion the Catholic argument of Thomas Aquinas, anchored in the classical republican tradition; the argument is restated, in a considerably liberalized form, by Edmund Burke in his Reflections on the Revolution in France, in Works, 8 vols. (London: Bohn, 1855), 2.363ff. For an analysis, see Lorraine Smith Pangle and Thomas L. Pangle, The Learning of Liberty: The Educational Ideas of the American Founders (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993), pp. 17–21; and Robert K. Faulkner, Richard Hooker and the Politics of a Christian England (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), pp. 4 and 141–67. 2. Spinoza’s conception of freedom of speech and especially religious speech dif­ fers from that of subsequent liberals in the significant secondary respect that he under­ stands the right to be a natural but not an inalienable natural right (in contrast to the inalienable natural right of freedom of thought): governments, even when established by the social contract or on the basis of the imputed consent of the governed, may legitimately deny the right to freedom of speech and religion, though Spinoza strenu­ ously argues that such denial is highly imprudent.

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100 —Thomas L. Pangle 3. See especially John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (henceforth cited as TT), book 1, secs. 57–59 (or 1.57–59) and 2.13, 2.123; Essay Concerning Human Understanding (henceforth cited as ECHU), book 1, chap. 3 (or 1.3). 4. To quote the vigorous words of an accurate as well as penetrating twentiethcentury student (and authentic continuer) of the tradition of classic natural law, “there is in St. Thomas no trace whatever of the extravagances of the rationalistic natural law current in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. . . . The doctrine of a state of na­ ture together with the various contract theories concerning the transition to the status civilis afforded a new basis, though an insecure and perilous one. . . . The essential dis­ tinguishing mark was the importance of the doctrine of the state of nature, which at­ tained, as in Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719), such unexpected and widespread popular­ ity. Thence stemmed the pregnant ideas of liberty and equality. And fully in keeping with this was also the comprehensive moral philosophy of deism, which concealed itself under the title of ius naturale and, after first disregarding the eternal law, finally culmi­ nated in the complete moral autonomy of reason (Kant)” (my emphasis). Heinrich A. Rommen, The Natural Law: A Study in Legal and Social History and Philosophy, trans. Thomas R. Hanley (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1998), pp. 47 and 70–71; see also p. 83. For a succinct refutation of the recent effort, associated especially with Brian Tier­ ney (an erudite historian who is, unfortunately, completely innocent of knowledge of the nature of philosophy and of philosophers and hence of their history) to trace the origins of the modern ideas of natural rights and universal human rights back to medieval Christian thought, see Ernest L. Fortin, “On the Presumed Medieval Origin of Individual Rights” (as well as “The New Natural Rights Theory and the Natural Law”) in J Brian Benestad, ed., Classical Christianity and the Political Order (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1996). See Tierney’s very weak response, “Natural Law and Natural Rights: Old Problems and Recent Approaches,” together with the rejoin­ ders by Douglas Kries, “In Defense of Fortin,” and Michael Zuckert, “Response to Brian Tierney,” along with Tierney’s counterrejoinder, “Author’s Rejoinder,” in Review of Politics 64 (2002): 389–406, 411–13, 414–15, 416–20. 5. Aristotle, Politics 1253a1ff., 1279a17–30, 1280a25–1281a10; St. Thomas Aquinas and Peter of Auvergne, Commentary on Aristotle’s Politics ad loci. 6. Summa Theologiae IIa–IIae, Ques. 10, arts. 8, 10, 11 and Ques. 11, art. 3. 7. St. Augustine, Letter 93 to Vincentium (in Patrologia Latina 33.329) and Against the Parmenian Letter 3.2 (in Patrologia Latina 43.92). 8. Summa Theologiae IIa–IIae, Ques. 87, art. 1. The American Puritans’ original severe restrictions on personal liberty, their reservations against democracy, and their lack of anything like our modern notion of separation of church and state, are vividly illustrated in the seventeenth-century sources cited and summarized in John Witte’s chapter in this volume. 9. John Rawls, “Justice as Fairness: Political Not Metaphysical,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 14 (1985): 223–51—which only makes more explicit what is already quite evident in A Theory of Justice (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971): see pp. 21, 46–50, 579–80, and, above all, 548, the culmination of the argument that provides the sole “Grounds for the Priority of Liberty” provided by the Rawlsian theory of justice:

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“We have to concede that as established beliefs change, it is possible that the principles of justice which it seems rational to choose may likewise change”; see also pp. 4, 19, 35; but contrast pp. 515–16. American Constitutional law is haunted by the question formulated most lucidly by Thomas Grey, “Do We Have An Unwritten Constitu­ tion?” Stanford Law Review 27 (1975): 718: “does not the erosion and abandonment of the 18th century ethics and epistemology on which the natural-rights theory was founded require the abandonment of the mode of judicial review flowing from that theory? Is a ‘fundamental law’ judicially enforced in a climate of historical and cultural relativism the legitimate offspring of a fundamental law which its exponents felt ex­ pressed rationally demonstrable, universal and immutable human rights?” 10. See Grotius, On the Law of War and Peace, part 1, chap. 1, sec. 9.2–10.1; and the critical discussion in Leo Strauss’s “Law of Reason in the Kuzari,” Persecution and the Art of Writing (Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1952), pp. 96–97, n. 4. 11. See above all Marsilius of Padua, Defender of the Peace, book 1, chap. 19 , sec. 13 and book 2, chap. 12, secs. 7–8. Summarizing Maimonides’ position (as indicated in Guide of the Perplexed book 2, chap. 33 and book 3, chaps. 17 and 26; Eight Chapters, chap. 6; and Mishneh Torah, H. Melakhim, chap. 9, sec. 1), Strauss writes, Persecution and the Art of Writing, p. 97: “his discussion and its result are implied in his statement that those who speak of rational laws, are suffering from the disease of the mutakal­ limun (the students of the kalam).” 12. Consider in this light the evidence presented by John Witte, this volume, of the dramatic transformation of Puritan covenantal thinking in the generations immedi­ ately following the publication of Locke’s major and extremely influential works. 13. “Stellungnahme Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger,” Zur Debatte (2004—Katholische Akademie in Bayern, München), no. 1, pp. 5–7. 14. “Introduction” to Human Rights, Comments, and Interpretations: A Symposium Edited by UNESCO (London: Wingate, 1950), pp. 9 and 13. 15. Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni­ versity Press, 1989), p. 115; Rorty continues: “this identification of truth with power” is “the sort of humanism and pragmatism advocated in this book” (p. 116). 16. Ibid., 195–97. 17. Thomas Jefferson, Letters to Henry Lee, May 8, 1825, and to Roger C. Weight­ man, June 24, 1826; A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom; Presidential Response to the Danbury Baptist Association, January 1, 1802; Response to the Citizens of Albe­ marle, February 12, 1790; Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 13, sec. 6—all in Thomas Jefferson: Writings (New York: Library of America, 1984), pp. 251, 346–48, 491, 510, 1500–01 and 1516–17; see also Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist Papers (New York: Mentor, 1961), nos. 2 and 43, and also 28, 44, and 54 (pp. 37, 180, 279–80, 282, 338). 18. John Adams, “Preface,” Defense of the Constitutions of the United States, in The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, 10 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854 [1787]), 4.292–93. See similarly the anonymous Federalist “Elihu” (1788): “the most shining part, the most brilliant circumstance in honour of the framers of the constitution,” is that the framers “propose to our understanding a system of government, as the

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102 —Thomas L. Pangle invention of mere human wisdom; no deity comes down to dictate it, not even a god appears in a dream to propose any part of it. A knowledge of human nature, the aid of philosophy, and the experience of ages are seen in the very face of it; whilst it stands forth like a magnificent STATUE of gold.” Noah Webster declares, in his “Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution” (1787), that the “peculiar circumstances” by which “the origin of the AMERICAN REPUBLIC is distinguished,” and rendered “important beyond conception,” such that “posterity will number” it with the “promulgation of the Jewish laws at Mt. Sinai,” is the fact that “it is an empire of reason.” Collen Sheehan and Gary McDowell, eds., Friends of the Constitution: Writings of the “Other” Federalists, 1787–1788 (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1998), pp. 373, 477–79. 19. Lester J. Cappon, ed., The Adams-Jefferson Letters, 2 vols. (Chapel Hill: Univer­ sity of North Carolina Press, 1959), 2:339–40. For Adams’s early break with Puritanism and revealed religion, see C. Bradley Thompson, “Young John Adams and the New Philosophic Rationalism,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d series, 55 (1998): 259–80— especially p. 280. For Jefferson’s views, see especially Jefferson to Timothy Pickering, February 27, 1821: “No one sees with greater pleasure than myself the progress of rea­ son in its advances toward rational Christianity.” See also Jefferson’s letters to Benjamin Rush of September 23, 1800, and of April 21, 1803 (enclosing the “Syllabus” of the “comparative merits of Christianity”), to Miles King of September 26, 1814 (on reason as the canon for every revelation), to William Short of April 13, and of August 4, 1820, to John Adams of August 15, 1820, and to James Smith of December 8, 1822. These together with other related letters, and Jefferson’s important unpublished works, “The Philosophy of Jesus” (reconstruction by the editor) and “The Life and Morals of Je­ sus,” are conveniently assembled in Jefferson’s Extracts from the Gospels, ed. Dickinson W. Adams et al., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 2d series (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983). For the radical transformation of American Puritan faith implied in the embrace of “Nature’s God,” see the sources and discussion in Perry Miller and Thomas H. Johnson, eds., The Puritans: A Sourcebook of Their Writings, 2 vols., rev. ed. (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), 1:19, 186, 193–94, 257–69; see also Carey McWilliams, “Civil Religion in the Age of Reason: Thomas Paine on Liberalism, Redemption, and Revolution,” Social Research 54 (1987): 448–59 and 488–90. On James Madison’s reli­ gious views, see Thomas Lindsay, “James Madison on Religion and Politics: Rhetoric and Reality,” American Political Science Review 85 (1991): 1321–37; and also Gary Rosen, “James Madison’s Princes and Peoples,” in Paul A. Rahe, ed., Machiavelli’s Liberal Republican Legacy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), especially pp. 252–53. On Franklin’s religious views, see A. Owen Aldridge, “The Alleged Puritanism of Ben­ jamin Franklin,” in J. A. Leo Lemay, ed., Reappraising Benjamin Franklin: A Bicentennial Perspective (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1993). 20. For an account of the fascinating discussion that led to the deliberate dropping of all references to “nature” or “rights by nature” (which had been in the April 1948 draft of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) from the final draft of the preamble to, and the crucial Article 1 of, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, see Johannes Morsink, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

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Origins, Drafting, and Intent (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), pp. 284–302. René Cassin, the French vice-chair of the four-person drafting committee for the preamble, recalls that the phraseology that was adopted “allowed the Commit­ tee to take no position on the nature of man and of society and to avoid metaphysical controversies, notably the conflicting doctrines of spiritualists, rationalists, and mate­ rialists regarding the origin of the rights of man”—“Historique de la Déclaration Uni­ verselle de 1948,” in La Pensée et l’action (Paris: Lalou, 1972), p. 108. Tore Lindholm’s study of the drafting debate records leads him to find it “plausible to conclude that” the Committee “wanted Article 1” to “neither assert nor to imply that the system of human rights is based on any conception of Human Nature”; the Declaration was not intended to support the view that “human rights are entitlements that people have simply by virtue of being humans”; in A. Eide et al., eds., The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Commentary (Oslo: Scandinavian University Press, 1992), pp. 53–54; and in A. A. An-Na’im, ed., Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspective: A Quest for Consensus (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991), p. 392. 21. John Dewey, Freedom and Culture (New York: Putnam’s, 1939), pp. 155–57. 22. Isaiah Berlin, Two Concepts of Liberty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1958), pp. 8–9, 11, 15–16, 32, 38n., 46. I draw here on the critique by Leo Strauss in Thomas L. Pangle, ed., The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), pp. 13–18. 23. “Stellungnahme Professor Dr. Jürgen Habermas,” Zur Debatte no. 1 (2004): 2–4. 24. Richard Rorty, “Two Cheers for Elitism,” New Yorker 70 (January 30, 1995): 89. In finding my way through Rorty’s writings, I have been assisted by Peter Augustine Lawler’s Postmodernism Rightly Understood (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999), chap. 2. 25. Richard Rorty, Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth Century America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998), p. 30; see also pp. 27–28, and Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 190 and 195, where Rorty admits that he has “not tried to argue the question of whether Dewey was right” in the fundamental judgment (with which Rorty agrees and urges his reader to agree). 26. Rorty, Achieving Our Country, pp. 18–19, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth, p. 194; Richard Rorty and Gianni Vattimo, The Future of Religion, ed. Santiago Zabala (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), p. 40. 27. Richard Rorty, Truth and Progress (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 230. 28. Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth, p. 190; Truth and Progress, p. 231; see also 184. 29. TPT chap. 1, para. 20, Bruder nos. 35 and 37; and chap. 13, para. 1, Bruder no. 26. The TPT has only recently been translated accurately into English for the first time: Spinoza, Theologico-Political Treatise, trans. Martin Yaffe (Newburyport, MA: Focus, 2004). 30. Ibid., as well as chap. 4, para. 4; chap. 14, Bruder nos. 30–32; chap. 19, Bruder no. 19.

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104 —Thomas L. Pangle 31. TPT chap. 4, esp. Bruder nos. 13, 16, 18; chap. 5, Bruder no. 21 see also Political Treatise, chap. 5. 32. TPT Pref., para. 6; chap. 5, para. 2; chap. 7, para. 5, Bruder nos. 29–33; chap. 12, para. 2, Bruder no. 11; chap. 16, para. 6, Bruder nos. 32–37 (compare chap. 4); chap. 17, para. 5, Bruder no. 54 as well as para. 8; chap. 19, Bruder no. 4 and context. 33. TPT chap. 4, para. 2, Bruder no. 6; chap. 5, para. 4, Bruder no. 44. 34. John Aubrey, Brief Lives, ed. Andrew Clark, 3 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1898), 1.357. 35. ECHU 2.20.2: “Things then are Good or Evil, only in reference to Pleasure or Pain.” According to Locke’s Reasonableness of Christianity, As delivered in the Scriptures, ed. J. C. Higgins-Biddle (Oxford: Clarendon, 1999), chap. 15, pp. 162–63, the core achievement of Christ was to go beyond the “airy commendations” that the classical philosophers had bestowed on “the beauty of Virtue,” when they claimed her to be “the perfection and excellency of our Nature,” and “her self a reward”; in contrast, Christ’s teaching (in Locke’s reading) is the first to make it so that “Interest is come about to her; And Virtue now is visibly the most enriching purchase, and by much the best bargain.” “Upon this foundation, and upon this only, Morality stands firm, and may defy all competition. This makes it more than a name . . . and thus the Gospel of Jesus Christ has delivered it to us.” 36. ECHU 2.20.7; Spinoza, in contrast, defines joy (laetitia) in general as “that passion by which the mind passes to a greater perfection.” Ethics, part 3, proposition 11, Scholium. He subsequently refines this by proving that “a Desire that arises from reason can arise solely from an affect of Joy which is not a passion,” as a corollary to the proposition that “he who is guided by Fear, and does good to avoid evil, is not guided by reason”; ibid., part 4, proposition 63. 37. John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration: The Latin and English Texts, ed. M. Montuori (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1963), p. 14 (my translation). 38. Locke, TT 1.87; 2.17 and 23; Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws (henceforth cited as SL) 12.2. 39. TPT chap. 17, para. 12, Bruder no. 74: “Qui igitur in castris miles, is in foro civis erat”; see also Political Treatise, chaps. 6–7. 40. Contrast SL 5.6, 7.2 and 15n., 8.4, 20.4–5 and 17, 21.11, with 5.3, 7.1 and 6, 11.18, 20.1–3, 21.6, 7, and 14. 41. The key practical difficulty in Spinoza’s republican theory is especially evident in Political Treatise, chap. 10, secs. 4–10. 42. Karl Barth, Die protestantische Theologie im 19. Jahrhundert: Ihre Vorgeschichte und ihre Geschichte (Zurich: Evangelischen Verlag, 1947), p. 153ff. 43. Arthur Melzer, “The Origin of the Counter-Enlightenment: Rousseau and the New Religion of Sincerity,” American Political Science Review 90, no. 2 (June 1996): 344–60. 44. Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953), p. 294 (my emphasis). 45. Immanuel Kant, “Conjectural Beginning of Human History,” Werke (Berlin: Königliche Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1902–1938), 7.116–17.

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46. Marx, Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right,” in K. Marx and F. Engels, Gesamtausgabe (hereafter cited as MEGA), vol. 2 (Berlin: Dietz, 1982), p. 54. We may per­ tinently observe here that our contemporary spokesman for sophisticated opinion, Richard Rorty, enthusiastically, if somewhat desperately, takes the side of Hegel’s apotheosis of the nation-state against Marx’s critique: “Marx, unfortunately, has been the most influential of the left-wing Hegelians. . . . Marxists have produced the form of historicism which Karl Popper rightly criticized as impoverished. But there is an­ other form of Hegelian historicism . . . Hegel’s philosophy of history legitimized and underwrote Whitman’s hope to substitute his own nation-state for the Kingdom of God.” Rorty, Achieving Our Country, pp. 19–21. 47. Georg Lukács, The Destruction of Reason, trans. Peter Palmer (Atlantic High­ lands: Humanities, 1981 [1961]), p. 322: the meaning of this relativism is revealed for Lukács in the American philosophy of Pragmatism, whose explicitly avowed task is “to provide men with a philosophical comfort, the semblance of total freedom, the illusion of personal autonomy” so as to reconcile “the American man in the street” with his “everyday business life” even or precisely in its inhumanity and irrationality. Lukács quotes William James as follows: “The practical world of business is, for its own part, highly rational”—to “the man ruled by the commercial spirit”; “but it is irrational for the moral and artistic temperament.” Hence, Lukács observes, while James “rejects idealism,” “he does not neglect to pay lip-service to it insofar as it is of use in everyday life.” “James wrote of the Absolute in idealism: ‘It guarantees us time off from morality. That is also what every religious outlook provides’”; ibid., pp. 22–23 (my emphasis). The leading contemporary American pragmatist, Richard Rorty, explicitly follows James (and Dewey) in insisting that their “thoroughgoing secularism” must not be confused with “atheism”: “James wanted pragmatism to be compatible with religious belief—but only with a privatized religious belief, not with the sort of religious belief that produces churches, especially churches which take political positions.” Rorty betrays a slightly more serious and honest or heart­ felt faith when he enthuses that Americans “are the greatest poem because we put ourselves in the place of God”; “we redefine God as our future selves.” Yet Rorty cautiously demurs from Dewey’s use of the term metaphysic in the statement “de­ mocracy is a metaphysic of the relation of man and his experience in nature,” quoting Dewey’s “Maeterlinck’s Philosophy of Life,” in The Middle Works of John Dewey, vol. 6 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1978), p. 135. Rorty, Achieving Our Country, pp. 15, 18, 22, 142; see also “Religious Faith, Intellectual Responsibility, and Romance,” in Ruth Anna Putnam, ed., The Cambridge Companion to William James (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), and “Pragmatism as Roman­ tic Polytheism,” in Morris Dickstein, ed., The New Pragmatism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998). As Rorty makes clear in Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, he understands that “in its ideal form, the culture of liberalism would be one . . . in which no trace of divinity remained, either in the form of a divinized world or a divinized self ” (p. 45). 48. See Georg Lukács, History and Class Consciousness, trans. Rodney Livingstone (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1971), “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat.”

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106 —Thomas L. Pangle 49. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, first part, “Zarathustra’s Prologue,” sec. 4: “On Love of the Neighbor.” 50. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “Zarathustra’s Prologue,” sec. 5, and part 1, “On Free Death”; Beyond Good and Evil no. 230. 51. The Gay Science, nos. 108, 125; Beyond Good and Evil nos. 53–54; The Antichrist no. 19; Will to Power no. 1038. 52. From Nietzsche’s unpublished notes of 1888, in Werke: Historisch-kritische Ausgabe, ed. Giorgio Colli and M. Montinari, 8 vols. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1994), 8–3.324. 53. Shari’ati, “The Ideal Man—the Viceregent of God,” in On the Sociology of Islam: Lectures by Ali Shari’ati, trans. Hamid Algar (Oneonta, NY: Mizan, 1979), pp. 121–22; see also “The Ideal Society—the Umma,” ibid., pp. 119–20. 54. “Der Feind ist unsre eigne Frage als Gestalt,” from “Sang an Palermo,” in Hymne an Italien.

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II The Enlightenment, Secularity, and the Religions

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chapter five

The Enlightenment Project, Spinoza, and the Jews David Novak

Enlightenment and Emancipation Since the eighteenth century, many Western Jewish intellectuals have been among the most enthusiastic supporters of what could be termed the “En­ lightenment project.” This support has been due to the identification of many Western Jewish intellectuals with the universal ideals of the Enlight­ enment. Yet this Jewish support has also been due to the more specifically Jewish agenda of gaining full political emancipation for Jews in the new secular nation-states in modern western Europe. Ostensibly, this process began there in the middle of the eighteenth century, yet we shall see how its philosophical justification had already begun in the seventeenth century. The origin of this process can be seen when Jews first had to radically re­ think their own “theological-political” situation at the very time when the relation of church and state that had characterized medieval Christendom was undergoing profound changes, especially in northwestern Europe in the wake of the Reformation.

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110 —David Novak Many Jewish intellectuals not only identified with the Enlightenment project, but some of the most perspicacious of them have made significant contributions to its philosophical justification, a general justification that could be simultaneously employed in more specific arguments for the admis­ sion of Jews as full citizens in the new secular nation-states. Even today at the beginning of the twenty-first century, after Western Jews have long been the political equals of their non-Jewish neighbors, some Jewish intellectuals are still arguing for the Enlightenment project, especially for the Enlighten­ ment’s project of totally separating secular society from any religious con­ trol or even from any moral influence of religion. In the United States some prominent Jewish intellectuals see the strict separation of church and state— which to them means the total separation of religion and politics—to be in jeopardy due to the rising power of traditionalist Christians. If that power is unchecked, many of these same Jewish intellectuals believe its political vic­ tory will quickly lead Jews back to the ghetto of medieval Christendom. They imagine this to be an historical regression in which the Jews will surely be­ come disenfranchised outsiders once again due to Christian reconquest of the United States, the most powerful nation-state in the world today. There is the fear that Jews will sooner or later lose the hard-won political equal­ ity they have achieved in their emancipation from Christendom, indeed in the progressive trajectory away from Christendom that has been the lot of modern secular nation-states in general. By “Christendom” I mean a polity that sees its founding mandate to come from the Church and thus makes the Church the ultimate moral arbiter for that Christian polity and its public policies. Only Christians could be full citizens in Christendom. In that kind of political arrangement, the most that Jews could expect was some form of precarious toleration of themselves as an essentially foreign community, a community living at the margins of the Christian polity hosting them. This emancipation from the imagined restoration of Christendom is con­ ceived by these secularized Jewish intellectuals to be justifiable only by argu­ ments based on the Enlightenment project, a project whose chief aim has been the thorough secularization of human society itself. (In fact, Jewish his­ torians usually refer to this same period of time in Jewish history as the peri­ od of the Emancipation.)1 And, whereas Jews fear a return to their becoming dominated political outsiders again, many of their liberal non-Jewish coun­ terparts (often lapsed Christians themselves) fear a return to their becoming dominating political insiders again. Hence both Jewish and non-Jewish secu­ larist intellectuals see the demise of Christendom as their own emancipation

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The Enlightenment Project, Spinoza, and the Jews—1 1 1

respectively, an emancipation whose essential meaning can only be supplied by the Enlightenment project’s rationale. Parenthetically, it might be noted that those contemporary intellectu­ als, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who appreciate the demise of Christen­ dom—what some have called “Constantianism”—but without acceptance of the secularist Enlightenment project, need to provide an alternative phil­ osophical justification for the value of modern secularity rather than merely carping at it.2 Only sectarians, who have retreated from modern secularity and its political benefits, can engage in “prophetic” rejection of modern secularity with any credibility. The rest of us have to make our peace with it. Yet that peace needs to be a just peace, hence it needs to be rationally proposed and accepted. As a political program, the Enlightenment project has been very much the attempt to construct society de novo (if not almost ex nihilo). Since the Jews had been outsiders in the ancien régime of Christendom, their politi­ cal emancipation would only be possible in a society that had radically re­ thought its own theological-political stance. In this chapter I want to look at how the Jewish philosopher, Baruch Spinoza, was specifically concerned with the political emancipation of the Jews and simultaneously made a sig­ nificant contribution to the Enlightenment’s radical rethinking of the gen­ eral relation of religion and politics in a secular society. That philosophical contribution was most ostensibly concerned with the political question of Jewish emancipation and enfranchisement. Yet that political concern was very much connected to theological concern with the question of the elec­ tion of Israel (i.e., the idea of the Jews being God’s chosen people).3 At the ontological level we also encounter the question of the relation of the tran­ scendent and the immanent. Despite his estrangement from the Jewish community, specifically the traditional Jewish community of seventeenth-century Amsterdam in which he was born and raised, I call Spinoza a “Jewish philosopher” for five rea­ sons.4 One, as far as we know he never exchanged his Jewish identity for the identity of a member of some other traditional/religious community. Two, he took his primary intellectual cues from the Hebrew Bible as he first learned it in the traditional Jewish community of his youth. (And, in fact, he was at work on a grammar of biblical Hebrew at the time of his premature death in 1677.) Three, his ongoing intellectual struggle was with Moses Maimonides (d. 1204), who most Jews, and certainly most of the Jews of Amsterdam, re­ garded as the Jewish theologian par excellence. Four, I not only call Spinoza

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112 —David Novak a Jewish philosopher, I call him the first Jewish philosopher, i.e., the first Jew who philosophized out of the Jewish tradition and about the Jewish tradi­ tion, but without the existential commitment to that tradition that charac­ terized all his philosophically inclined Jewish predecessors. Spinoza’s Jewish predecessors were, as Leo Strauss liked to point out, theologians and not philosophers.5 That is, if one assumes that to be a “philosopher” one must not be beholden to any divine revelation or tradition rooted in any such rev­ elation. Five, Spinoza set the agenda for modern Jewish thought in the West, whether for Jewish theologians or for Jewish philosophers. And, finally, one can see that Spinoza set the agenda for more general discussion of the theological-political question in the West. Thus to engage Spinoza is a de­ sideratum whether one is in favor of continuing the Enlightenment project or whether one regards its overall treatment of the theological-political ques­ tion to be flawed, originally and subsequently. Either way, to avoid Spinoza is to miss just how radically the Enlightenment really began.6 To be able to conduct a more focused enquiry into the issues just men­ tioned above about the Enlightenment project and Spinoza’s connection to it, I would like to suggest the question to be addressed: Does religion justify morality or does morality justify religion? That is how the question is best formulated at the political level since morality and religion or religion and morality are identifiable phenomena in any modern society. (Indeed, the very ordering of the terms themselves indicates one’s position on the question per se.). So, if we agree with Aristotle that “politics” is the full ordering of our lives together, then both “religion” and “morality” are “political” in the sense that religion orders our lives together with God, and morality orders our lives together with our fellow humans.7 Both phenomena are political inasmuch as they both function publicly. In fact, one can see the question of this inter­ relation of religion and morality or morality and religion appearing in almost every significant public policy debate in the world today. It is primarily the issue of culture, taking “culture” in the deepest sense possible which, for me, means dealing with the question of what is our place in the cosmic order and with whom do we share that place. The question of culture taken in its proper depth cannot avoid the question of God.8 At the theological level, at least for Jews, is the question: Did God choose the Jews or did the Jews choose God? Thus, connecting this theological question with the previous political question, one asks: Does religion as the God-human relationship ground morality as the interhuman relationship or does morality ground religion? In Jewish terms the question is: If God

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The Enlightenment Project, Spinoza, and the Jews—1 1 3

chose the Jewish people, then aren’t their own interhuman, moral relation­ ships subordinate to their religious relationship with God (called the covenant)? Conversely, though, if the Jewish people chose God, then isn’t their religious relationship with God subordinate to their moral interrelationship among themselves? This latter option became what some nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Jewish thinkers, largely following Kant, called “Ethi­ cal Monotheism.”9 Finally, at the ontological level: Do we humans intend what lies beyond us by constituting it onto a horizon of our own making, thus engaging our­ selves in a transcendental enterprise, or, are we humans confronted by the God who transcends us? This is very much Plato’s old question of whether man or God is the measure of all that is.10 In this chapter I shall try to show that, for Spinoza, the answers to the first two questions are interrelated in essence. That is, at the political level, he ar­ gues for a moral justification of religion rather than the religious justification of morality; and at the theological level, he argues for the Jews’ choice of God rather than God’s choice of the Jews. But at the ontological level he gives the transcendent priority over the immanent rather than vice versa. But first we need to look at the pre-Enlightenment/pre-Emancipation theological-politi­ cal situation of the Jews and Judaism. Only thereafter can we appreciate how radical a break with premodern Judaism is Spinoza’s philosophy—especially concerning the question of religion in its political, theological, and ontologi­ cal dimensions.

The Chosen People in Exile Since the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple in 70 ce, the Jewish people have regarded themselves as a community in exile (galut). Yet even though the Jews did not have full political sovereignty since the destruction of the First Jerusalem Temple in 586 bce, living in their own land under a se­ ries of foreign empires (Persian, Seleucid, Ptolemaic, Roman), the presence of the Temple and its attendant Sanhedrin had given the Jewish people enough of a sense of their own theological-political independence to function as if they had full political autonomy in relation to the outside world. When the Temple stood and functioned, the Jews could still regard themselves more or less politically subordinate to God. Moreover, when the Temple stood and functioned, there was a real political difference between Jews living in the

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114 —David Novak land of Israel and Jews living in the “Diaspora” (tefutsot ha-golah): the former were living under at least quasi-Jewish sovereignty, whereas the latter were clearly living under the sovereignty of gentiles. But, after the destruction of the Temple, this difference of kind became but a difference of degree. The most that could be said about Jews in Palestine (the very name given to the land of Israel by the Roman conquerors as a direct repudiation of Jewish sov­ ereignty there, by calling it after Israel’s ancient enemy, the Philistines) and Diaspora Jews is that the former still had certain unique religious privileges connected with the still operative sanctity of the land of Israel. But, political­ ly, Diaspora Jews, especially the powerful Jewish community in Babylonia, in many ways had more political independence than Palestinian Jewry.11 After the destruction of the Temple and, especially, after the defeat of the last major messianic movement to restore the Temple and full Jewish sov­ ereignty in the land of Israel (that of Bar Kokhba in 135 ce), the Jews be­ gan working out a political arrangement with the gentile rulers under whom they now had to live. This political arrangement, when coherently thought out and acted upon, enabled the Jews to operate in this outside world with still enough independence to continue their own communal life, even in­ cluding considerable independence in inner-communal civil (and sometimes even criminal) matters. So, in what we would term moral questions, let alone what we would term religious questions, the Jews continued to enjoy a good deal of communal autonomy, in many cases only lacking full economic inde­ pendence. (The one form of independence they always lacked, though, was military independence.) But, because the Jews did not look to their host so­ cieties for any moral warrant (much less, for any religious warrant), it could be said that they were only marginal participants in this non-Jewish world by their own volition, and, even more, they were in no way parts of it. As such, they could never enjoy true political equality; they could only approximate it occasionally. This general political arrangement operated for Jews in most medieval so­ cieties, whether Christian or Muslim. Its theological warrant emerged when Jews could discover enough of a common morality between themselves and their host societies for each side to be able to trust the other—at least in principle—in basic matters of interhuman relations. This was especially im­ portant in the area of commerce, where most transactions between Jews and gentiles had to take place. Thus a leading Provençal rabbi in the fourteenth century, Menahem ha-Meiri, asserted that earlier Talmudic suspicion of gen­ tiles in civil matters no longer applied to either Christians or Muslims be­

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cause the members of these two religious traditions are “bound by divine law.” Hence these Christians and Muslims are in an essentially different theo­ logical category than the Roman pagans about whose morality the rabbis of the Talmud were so rightly suspicious. For the same reason, already in the eleventh century, the leading rabbi in Northern France, Rashi, explained that when gentile courts operated with due process of law, which Jews saw as hav­ ing a biblical warrant, these gentiles courts could be used by Jews when they themselves could not effect justice in their own courts.12 The main point to be noted here is that the Jews recognized that the gen­ tiles were living under a law they regarded as being of divine origin. That this law coincided with Jewish law on key moral points was not taken to be an accident. Rather, it was assumed that the Christians and the Muslims had derived their law from the same biblical revelation from which the Jews had derived their own law, or that the Bible had codified certain basic morals accepted by all humans who had exercised their theological-political reason properly. But, even this latter view, which was usually concerned with “natu­ ral law” (or its equivalent known by some other name) was still presented as the rational apprehension of God’s universal law, a law that revelation con­ firmed but did not introduce into the world de novo. One might say that natural law in the Jewish tradition was that aspect of Jewish law that seemed to be most rationally evident and would be most readily accessible to those beyond the pale of the Jewish community.13 Thus the Talmud states about some of these precepts, like the prohibitions of murder and robbery: “if they hadn’t been written in the Torah, reason [din hu] would have required that they be written down.”14 This strongly resembles the Stoic notion that un­ written law (nomos agraphos), the law directly accessible to human reason, precedes written law, and, in fact, written law in many cases simply gives official political status to what had been known unofficially long before.15 In­ deed, the fact that the Stoics, seemingly independent of any Jewish influence, worked out this idea by themselves indicates that the Jewish claim of having discovered rather than having invented natural law is given further credence. That there are ready parallels to what Jews think is universal law and what gentiles like Christians think is universal law convinced some important Jew­ ish thinkers of a universal morality, rationally accessible, and not simply the figment of Jewish imagination. This is what enabled Jews to live in both Christendom and in Islamic societies in good faith, i.e., when both the Jews and their gentile hosts were playing fairly by the same general rules. Never­ theless, this recognition of some universal law, as both an ontological truth

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116 —David Novak and an epistemological possibility, has political necessity but not cultural suf­ ficiency for Jews. That is, it was a recognition of a political conditio sine qua non, but that the Jewish people still needs much more in order to function as a historical community, let alone a community whose history is an integral part of God’s governance of the cosmos. So, a culturally sufficient commu­ nity could not live by natural law alone; it required a more concrete and more ontologically elevated law for its existence, much less for its flourishing. In this way, Jews (as well as some Christian thinkers who were thinking along similar lines) would not have looked to any humanly founded state, even one that recognizes natural law, to be anything but a temporary, pragmatic ar­ rangement enabling Jews and Christians (and others) to live with each other in some sort of moral commonality. But when it comes to the primary cul­ tural life of Jews or Christians, whether pertaining to God or to fellow cov­ enant members, this life is to be constituted by Torah, the content of singu­ lar historical revelation. To be sure, common recognition of universal moral law enabled Jews and Christians (and Jews and Muslims) to live together in good faith. However, this common recognition was certainly not taken to be the basis for the construction of a new secular society that would envelope all religious traditions into itself by exercising its insuperable authority over all of them morally, let alone religiously. Though this acknowledgment of some universal law made Jewish life under both Christian and Muslim rule theologically cogent, there was an important difference between Jewish-Muslim relations and Jewish-Chris­ tian relations in the Middle Ages (which for European Jews extended into the eighteenth century and for Jews under Islam extended into the twen­ tieth century). The difference between Islam and Christendom was that there was a defi­ nite status for Jews in Islamic societies governed by Islamic law (shari’a). Like Christians, Jews were judged by Muslims to be living under a divine law, however flawed Muslims regarded its historical transmission to have been. Because of this, Jews (and Christians), unlike pagans, were not to be forced to convert to Islam on the pain of death, and Jews (and Christians) were granted a second-class status in any such Islamic society known as dhimmi status, i.e., when they accepted their political subordination to the Islamic host society.16 When Muslims adhered to their own law’s designation of the Jews as having protected status, Jews (and Christians) were able to function quite well, both individually and communally, in these Islamic societies. But any thought of political equality or cultural pluralism was out of the question

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under Islam. That would only come in Muslim societies in the twentieth cen­ tury (in places like Turkey and Tunisia) with the influence of Western secular­ ism on Muslim thinkers and politicians. And, it need be noted that, although those Muslim societies were societies having a Muslim majority, they were not officially constituted as Islamic polities per se. In Christendom, though, the civil status of the Jews was not settled by canon law. There the civil status of Jews was dependent on social contracts, each worked out differently depending on the conditions in any particular Christian polity in which a particular Jewish community happened to find itself living. These contracts, for the most part, were worked out with the secular (in the narrower medieval sense of nonclerical) authorities rather than with the ecclesiastical authorities. Being matters of interhuman contract rather than matters of divinely revealed legal status, the political situation of the Jews in Christendom was always precarious. This is evidenced by the frequent expulsions of the Jews from various Christian polities, such as their expulsion from England in 1290 and their expulsion from France in 1394. But the fact that Jews could contract their status in these Christian polities, and that they could do so with the secular powers who did not have to look to canon law as a warrant for their mundane political agreements, meant that there was a least the potential for the Jews to achieve a less marginalized eco­ nomic and political status for themselves there. Conversely, that was not the case when they were locked into second-class civil status by revealed religious statute, as was their seemingly unchangeable status under Islam. Jews could negotiate their status with Christian rulers in a way that would have been out of the question with Muslim rulers then. This political potential of living under Christendom rather than living under Islam was especially attractive to European Jews already in the thirteenth century, when Christian societies in Europe were becoming more advanced economically and intellectually than were contemporary Islamic societies. The medieval Christian society where Jews seemed to have contracted the most independent political status for themselves was Northern Spain, i.e., Christian Spain as distinct from Muslim Southern Spain (Andalus). There, in some key areas, Jews achieved almost equal civil status with Christians, and there Jews, for the first time since even before the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple in 70 ce, had considerable autonomy in criminal law, including the power to employ capital punishment for certain major of­ fenses.17 Nevertheless, the progressively successful Christian expansion and Muslim retreat in Spain (reconquista), especially between the years 1391 and

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118 —David Novak 1492, was also progressively bringing an end to the proud Jewish existence of the Sefardim (the Hebrew name for Spanish Jews). So, despite almost a century of preparation for their final expulsion from Spain (which occurred with the fall of Granada, the last stronghold in Muslim Spain), the expul­ sion of 1492 was profoundly traumatic for the Jews who fled Spain rather than be forcibly converted to Christianity. It was also a traumatic collective memory for their descendants, who were taught about the demise of what was considered to be the most successful independent Jewish community in Europe, successful religiously, intellectually, politically, and economically. And the lesson most Jews, even the Ashkenazim (the Hebrew name for Jews who originally settled in Northeastern France and the Rhineland, who then spread out into Germany and Poland), learned from the 1492 expulsion from Spain was that if Jewish communal life could not survive in Spain, where it seemed to have flourished for so long, then it could not be expected to do any better anywhere else in Christendom in the long run.

Baruch Spinoza and the Secular State Baruch Spinoza was the direct descendent of Jews who had fled the Iberian peninsula (first Spain and finally Portugal) because they were no longer able to live there openly as Jews. Jewish life there, both communal and indi­ vidual, had been proscribed. Even though his ancestors lived there secretly for over a century as what might be called “Jews-in-hiding” (Marranos), their total assimilation into Christian society and culture would have been inevitable had they stayed there much longer. To use a contemporary idiom, in order to retain their Jewish identity they had to “come out of the closet.” One’s Judaism does not survive privately, let alone clandestinely. So, a gen­ eration before Spinoza’s birth in 1632, his ancestors fled to the Netherlands. In this society, newly emerged from Spanish rule, Jews found a place that allowed them to live openly as Jews individually and, even more impor­ tant, to be a full Jewish community again. This new Christian tolerance of the Jews can be seen as immediately stemming from the fact that both the Jews and the Dutch regarded themselves as being refugees from Spanish political oppression and that the Protestant society of the Netherlands saw itself as having come out from under the religious oppression of the Catho­ lic Church analogous to the way these newly arrived Jews had escaped the reach of the Inquisition.

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Despite the difference of the political situation of the Jews in the Protes­ tant Netherlands as opposed to their situation in Catholic Spain and Portu­ gal, there was still one crucial point in common between the two situations. In effect, one can see the political situation of the Jews in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century to be quite similar to the political situation of the Jews in Spain prior to the period of 1391–1492, i.e., before the finalization of the reconquista with its progressive diminishment of the political indepen­ dence of the Spanish Jewish community to the point of extinction. In both cases the Jews were recognized to be a separate community living within an officially Christian state by virtue of some sort of social contract. Thus, in the Netherlands, the Jews were not citizens of the state; rather, they were members of the “Portuguese-Jewish Nation.”18 Even though their de facto existence in the Netherlands was much better than it had been in Spain and Portugal for centuries by now, still the Jews were living by the sufferance of a Christian society de jure. No doubt the fact that the Spanish-Jewish idyll had cruelly ended by 1492 (and by 1497 in Portugal) stuck in the collective con­ sciousness of the new Jewish community in the Netherlands. Deep down, Jews surely felt that the Spanish experience of intolerance leading to their expulsion could easily happen again elsewhere. For most Jews, though, with their strong belief in the coming of the Mes­ siah, who would permanently resolve their theological-political dilemma of exile, all interim political situations were in essence temporary. Some were better; some were worse; but no life in the exile could be taken as truly per­ manent. There was no real solution to the political dilemma of Jewish exile that could be expected from any political order of this world, even a political order run by Jews. This belief was clearly operative for the majority of Dutch Jews who eagerly accepted the messianic pretender, Shabbetai Zvi, who was a contemporary of Spinoza. But what about those few Jews who, because of their doubts about the veracity of the Jewish tradition’s political teach­ ing, were not waiting for the Messiah? What about a philosophical Jew like Baruch Spinoza?19 It can be argued that, for Spinoza, the political situation of the Jews could radically change not by virtue of supernatural intervention in history but, rather, by virtue of a radical change in the character of society itself or, at least, a radical change in the character of civil society and its attendant state in the Netherlands. What this required was a state that looked to a social contract among its citizens for its founding rather than to a warrant from the Church to be an essentially Christian society.20 (Even where social contracts

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120 —David Novak did obtain in Christendom, they were not seen as having been made from an “original position,” to use a term made popular in current political theory by the recently deceased American philosopher, John Rawls.)21 This did not mean that Spinoza required a total separation between church and state, nor did it mean he conceived of an officially atheistic state. Instead, Spinoza saw the need for a state religion, but this was to be a religion whose warrant came from the state, not vice versa. Nevertheless, this official, public religion could be neither Christianity nor Judaism. The official religion could not be Christianity (i.e., any traditional form of Christianity be it Catholic or even Protestant) since Christianity takes its war­ rant from Christ, not from any worldly ruler. Maximally, Christianity insists on being the theological warrant of the state’s political authority. But, even minimally, Christianity has to claim its essential independence of the state’s political warrant, which means that Christians must make their fidelity to the religious and moral authority of the Church (which is for them the “body of Christ”) take precedence over their obedience to the state. And, along these same lines, the official state religion could not be Judaism, not only because a gentile nation’s adoption of Judaism would be fantastic but, much more so, because a Judaism ultimately beholden to any human authority for its warrant, let alone any gentile authority, would quickly cease to be Judaism in any cogent way. Jews are ultimately answerable to God alone as God’s will has been revealed in the Torah and interpreted and applied by the ongoing Jewish tradition. Like Christians, Jews have to have their traditional religious and moral norms already in hand before entering into any social contract with a secular state in good faith. Thus, in the area of morality, Jews and Christians can only try to see enough commonality between their own mo­ rality and the state’s public policies and legislation for there to be a minimum of conflicts between them. The totalizing public role Spinoza envisioned for the new secular state could, however, only marginalize traditional Jews or Christians, if not eventually eliminate them altogether. Spinoza argued that in ancient Israel, as distinct from the postbiblical, Pharisaic Jewish tradition, religion was actually a branch of the state.22 As such, ancient biblical Israel (unlike Christianity at any time) was a theologi­ cal-political reality (as distinct from the hypothetical original society proposed by Hobbes). And, even though it was not literally retrievable, nonetheless, it could be a good model for the post-Christian society Spinoza envisioned for the Netherlands (TTP, chap.18/p. 211). As such, Spinoza was arguing against the clerical proponents of theocracy in the Netherlands by showing that the

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The Enlightenment Project, Spinoza, and the Jews—1 2 1

very Bible upon which they were inevitably basing their political proposal did not, in truth, support it. So, in fact, Spinoza was arguing against the or­ thodox Calvinists who wanted the Netherlands to be the type of Church-run polity that Calvin had controlled earlier in Geneva. As a Jew, Spinoza had to make an additional problem since the Bible clearly taught that God chose the Jewish people for an unconditional, interminable, covenantal relationship. That being the case, how could he, Baruch Spinoza, born and raised a Jew, how could he give his primary political loyalty (and theological loyalty, since theology as paxis, unlike philosophy as theoria, is of­ ficially determined by the state) to anyone but the God who chose his people and himself along with them? Shouldn’t his primary political loyalty be to his own Jewish community as the most immediate interpreter of God’s law for the Jews whom God chose? Here is where Spinoza had to radically reinterpret the Bible, but with­ out having to say that the Bible is false. Unlike many modern Jewish athe­ ists (Freud comes to mind first), Spinoza—who was not an atheist in the modern sense, but was surely the “God intoxicated man” Novalis saw him to be—never states that biblical teaching is an “illusion.” The Bible cannot be understood in a way better than the way its own authors understood it (TTP, chap. 7/pp. 83–87). Spinoza’s radical reinterpretation is to invert what seems to be its doctrine of election. In classical Jewish doctrine, God elected the Jews. But, for Spinoza it is the reverse: the Jews elected God (TTP, chap. 3/pp. 31–42; also, preface/p. xx). The ramifications of this inversion are enor­ mous. But, just as Spinoza’s radical reinterpretation (which we might even call “deconstruction”) is not a forerunner of modern atheistic dismissals of the Bible, it is also quite different from the equally radical Christian reinter­ pretation of the biblical doctrine of the election of Israel. Unlike the Christian supersessionists who argued that God had rejected— i.e., unelected—the Jews, Spinoza argued that the Jews had unelected God, namely, God as their sovereign, when they went into Babylonian exile and thereby elected the king of Babylon to be their sovereign instead (TTP, chap. 16/p. 179). So, if the Jews could unelect God as their sovereign in the past in favor of a more accessible sovereign (which did not mean, by the way, that they denied God’s existence as Being itself), why couldn’t they do so in the present for the very same reason?23 Whether the Jews would actually do so is beside the point; the fact is that since the Torah as the law of the God be­ spoken by the biblical prophets had no real political hold on individual Jews anymore, an individual Jew like Baruch Spinoza could partake of a new social

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122 —David Novak contract with a new state. And, just as he could partake of a new social con­ tract with a new state, so could he also adhere to the new religion of that new state, i.e., as long as that new state religion did not require the surrender of his freedom to philosophize (libertatum philosophandi; TTP, chap. 19/p. 221). All this, though, could only happen in a truly secular state. In fact, sev­ eral contemporary scholars have shown that Spinoza was not only imagining such a new secular state, he was actually politically active in trying to bring it about in the Netherlands.24 A truly secular state would give a Jew like Spi­ noza a new, unprecedented political option of nonsectarian citizenship. Be­ fore his time, though, the only other political option for a Jew like Spinoza would have been to convert to Christianity and thereby become a full subject of a Christian polity. But that entailed assenting to Christian dogmas that were, for Spinoza, antithetical to reason, and would thus curtail his freedom to philosophize. That would explain why official Christianity was not an op­ tion for Spinoza and why he probably thought it was not an option for any honest Jew as well, indeed for any rational person. (Spinoza thought much the same about the dogmas of postbiblical Judaism; TTP, chap. 7/pp. 100–1.) Even all his supposedly positive remarks about Christianity are actually re­ marks about Christianity as an inner spiritual state, something that could be taken to have been proto-philosophy. Thus Christianity, it would seem, is by now totally sublimated into philosophy. Unlike biblical Judaism, Spinoza did not think that Christianity even pro­ vides a political model that could be used to guide the construction of a new secular state (TTP, chap. 5/pp. 56–57; chap. 11/pp. 139–45). In Spinoza’s view, Christianity has no political value at all; hence it is not to be imitated by any polity. Even Christianity’s supposedly superior ethic is something only fit for rare, spiritually elevated individuals. And that higher ethic is one phi­ losophy can now provide more rationally. So Spinoza’s new state religion is neither Judaism nor Christianity. Nevertheless, it has more in common with Judaism, i.e., biblical Judaism, in that it does not claim universal validity like Christianity does, but it only offers itself to the service of a particular nation and its people. For Spinoza, the only truly universal religion is philosophy as the intellectual love of God (amor dei intellectualis), which is the love of the God who is beyond all time, beyond all human history (TTP, chap. 6/p. 80; chap. 13/p. 159).25 Therefore, this religion is love of the God who would not and could not elect any particular people in history. In that sense, Spinoza sees the election of the Jews described in the Bible as the Jews’ own judgment of their politically successful way of life, a way by which they governed them­

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The Enlightenment Project, Spinoza, and the Jews—1 2 3

selves for centuries and that can best be thought of as part of God’s intelli­ gent governance of the universe itself. It is not really a direct divine mandate in history, except when viewed retrospectively (TTP, chap. 3/pp. 33–34). What then is the function of the state, and what is the function of the official religion of that state? Taking ancient biblical Israel as his model for the proper relation of the state’s moral authority and public religion, Spinoza writes: Because of this, therefore, Moses, by virtue and divine bidding, introduced religion into the Republic, so that the populace would do their duty [suum officium] not so much on the basis of dread as on that of devotion. . . . This, therefore, was the goal of the ceremonies: for all human beings to do nothing at all on the basis of their own decree, but everything on the basis of another’s command [ex mandato alterius] and to confess by continual actions and meditations that they were nothing in their own right but were altogether part of another’s. (TTP, chap. 5/pp. 60–61)

Thus the prime purpose of the state is to legislate morality for its citizens based on the political needs of their time and place. Obedience to this leg­ islation is the cardinal political virtue. Giving this legislation religious sanc­ tion enables the citizens to better habituate it, which is best accomplished by ritualizing it as much as possible (TTP, chap. 5/p. 61).These religious rituals utilized by the secular polity, however, are no longer the medium for a direct relationship with God as was the case with the commandments (mitzvoth) prescribed by biblical revelation as transmitted and explicated by Jewish tra­ dition. Rather, the new (or newly constituted old) rituals are the means for better training citizens to be obedient to the moral/political authority of the state. An official religion is more effective for public morality than a coercive (and frequently abusive) police state (TTP, chap. 5/p. 59). The function of the state is to allow its members to live together in peace and prosperity, plus to best enable them to protect themselves from foreign enemies (TTP, chap. 5/pp. 58–59). Whatever contributes to these mundane po­ litical goals can be considered just. Justice, then, requires the state to enact laws designed to enforce these political goals of the particular society whose institution par excellence is the state, which is constructed by its own mem­ bers for the sake of their political, military, and economic survival. The chief political virtue of such a society is obedience to its state, most concretely, to its government. Spinoza believed that the best type of government of this secular state is republican.26 Nevertheless, that obedience is not blind obedience to

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124 —David Novak unlimited human government. Clearly, the state derives its authority from a rationally enunciated social contract with its citizens. And, unlike Hobbes, Spinoza does not think citizens are to transfer all of their rights over to the government of the state. They definitely retain their right to think for them­ selves and openly discuss their thoughts.27 Thought, for Spinoza, is ratiocina­ tion. So, since more often than not when a state makes excessive demands on its citizens, these demands are justified by irrational dogmas to which intel­ lectual obedience qua public affirmation is required. (One need only recall the irrational ideological demands made upon the citizens of modern totalitarian states, irrational ideological demands that have been invoked to justify and activate even more irrational practical demands.) That is why a secondary function of the state is to create a nondogmatic environment wherein philosophers are free to engage in their speculation, i.e., as long as they are discreet enough not to offend their fellow citizens with their skeptical probing of all popular beliefs. Following Aristotle’s view that justice is the chief political virtue, regulating the public relations of humans, Spinoza sees the business of the state as lawmaker to be the institutionaliza­ tion of the just moral norms that emerge out of the social contract.28 There is no prepolitical morality and, therefore, there is no prepolitical religion, at least no pre-political public religion. The function of the state’s official reli­ gion is to give some sort of divine sanction to the state’s laws, thus making obedience to these laws a religious virtue. (This religion seems to be quite akin to what some sociologists have termed America’s “civil religion.”) Religion performs this service to the state through rituals that have an obvious moral meaning: they help individuals to better identify with what the state teaches about right and wrong. Accordingly, religion requires moral justification, but morality does not require religious justification. Religion like public morality is not a direct apprehension of God. (It is not sub specie aeternitatis.)29 Religion as a public institution is only what human rulers surmise God would command under the particular historical circumstances these rulers and their followers find themselves. (Thus it is sub specie durationis.) Yet it is “religion” in the sense that it is what human prophets discover about divine law; it is not what they have invented willy-nilly.30 But, for Spi­ noza, whatever truly transcends human projection, and whatever makes hu­ man reason answerable to itself, can only be God or Nature (deus sive natura) per se.31 That truly transcendent God, though, can only be apprehended by philosophers in their private contemplation.32 But their apprehension of God has no direct political meaning or message.

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The Enlightenment Project, Spinoza, and the Jews—1 2 5

What Spinoza considers to be “true universal religion” is, as he puts it, “the business of the private man” (viri privati officium).33 In public all that can be affirmed and put into practice is the state-instituted religion we have been ex­ amining. And that public religion is not universal (not “catholic” in Spinoza’s words) because it only pertains to the particular state that authorizes it initially and subsequently. But the private yet universal religion could not be authorized by the state inasmuch as it is ontologically prior to the state, so the most this philosophical religion can expect from the state is tolerance. But that is all it needs and wants. For the state to actually endorse this private universal religion would be this religion’s moral destruction because it would then be taking its cue from man, not from God. The most this higher religion could do for the state is to curb the ideological excesses of the state that pass themselves off as philosophy. When the state attempts to be ontological, it would seem philoso­ phers should deflate any such political ontology. Surely that is what Spinoza himself was doing in Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (TTP, preface/p. xviii). However, would traditional religions like Judaism and Christianity qualify for such tolerance in the state Spinoza envisions? Unlike more radical Enlight­ enment thinkers (such as the Jacobins at the time of the French Revolution a century later), Spinoza does not even suggest that traditional religions are antithetical to the moral interests of the state so as to require their official sup­ pression. But the question is whether traditional religions can survive having been so privatized by the state. Obviously, though, Spinoza believes that the private religion of the philosophers can survive in private. Moving up to the ontological level, one can see why Spinoza can make a much more cogent private claim for the religion of the philosophers than he could make for tradi­ tional religions like Judaism and Christianity. The political question of private versus public religion becomes the ontological question of whether thought is prior to language or whether language is prior to thought. Private, philo­ sophical religion is constituted within the realm of thought; conversely, pub­ lic, traditional religion is constituted within the realm of language (TTP, chap. 12/pp. 147–50). How are these two religious realms related to secular society? What makes their respective relations to secular society profoundly different? Chronologically, it is clear language is prior to thought. In our experience, we speak words before we are able to think about the concepts these words enunciate. But, following Spinoza’s ontology and its attendant epistemology, once we have been able to think about the concepts these words denote and connote, are these words still the same? Aren’t these words transformed by our thought to such an extent that they are no longer simply copied by thought

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126 —David Novak but, rather, they only express thought—and inadequately at that, if even at all.34 Isn’t true thought, as Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus (mutatis mutandis) insisted, beyond expression in words? Isn’t true thought what is seen by the “eye of the mind” in Plato’s striking phrase rather than what is spoken and heard by the human ear, even if heard from the mouth of God?35 Accordingly, language is a necessary but not the sufficient condition of thought. We couldn’t think if we didn’t first speak; nonetheless, once we can think, language does not account for what we truly think. The ideas thought with one’s mind tran­ scend the concepts heard by one’s ear and spoken with one’s mouth. In this view, thought is much more than merely internalized language, and language is only externalized—hence distorted—thought at best. At worst, language be­ comes dangerous propaganda for irrational dogmas, i.e., official opinions. In the respect, Spinoza is very much part of the metaphysical tradition of the West. If philosophy is a private language, then Wittgenstein was right to insist philosophy is something of which “one cannot speak” and therefore about which “one must be silent” (muss man schweigen).36 At best, philosoph­ ical speech about Being can only be indirect refutation of irrational meta­ physical assertions about God/Being per se, hence this refutation is done by means of what medieval philosophers called via negativa.37 But thought as private contemplation is not a privation (privatio) of public language (as a res publica), something to which it must somehow or other justify itself; rather, thought is the way one transcends language and language’s inherent social­ ity. As Aristotle pointed out, the human capacity for language (man as zo’on logikon) and the human capacity for society (man as zo’on politikon) are two sides of the same coin.38 Interhuman society requires language in order to constitute itself as much as a language requires a human society to make itself manifest through that society’s speakers. But Aristotle would not make the same claim for the human capacity for metaphysics (man as zo’on noetikon). Instead, metaphysics is constituted within a society that includes but God and the individual thinker alone—a unio mystica, as it were.39 On this key point Spinoza would no doubt agree with Aristotle, even though his idea of God is considerably different from that of Aristotle.

Spinoza’s Theological-Political Inadequacy In Spinoza’s theological-political scheme, morality is determined by the state, and religion is for the sake of morality.40 Both the state and its morality and

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thus its religion are purely immanent. Neither religion nor morality enables a person to be related to that which transcends the human historical situa­ tion. Only philosophy as ontology enables a person to make that connection to what is infinite, eternal, and thus divine.41 But that philosopher is and remains a private person. Thus it is only more probable, yet never necessary, that a rare philosopher who happens to be living in that society might be encouraged to become a philosopher by the nondogmatic character of the society Spinoza envisions, which is distinct from the dogmatic society where Spinoza was born and raised. Nevertheless, even this society’s encouragement of philosophy is only by implication. It can be inferred only from what this society does not do, namely, it is inferred from the refusal of this society to proclaim an official theology that makes theoretical claims rather than purely practical claims on its citizens. But does the presence of philosophers in the society Spinoza envisions have any influence on the correlation of politics, morality, and religion he has proposed? Could a Spinozistic philosopher help us articulate, much less effect any significant moral critique of public poli­ cies? Here I need to begin a critique of Spinoza’s theology on behalf of the religion he rejected both in theory and in practice. Today, more than ever, we need be suspicious of a society that makes up its own morality, i.e., where law grounds morality rather than the other way around. Surely, after the experience of twentieth-century totalitarianism, we are even more suspicious of any suggestion that morality be reduced to poli­ tics.42 Moreover, our suspicion both now and then goes back to our memory of the Bible’s theological indictment of kings (who are the embodiment of the state) who trample morality to suit their royal policies and who expect the religious establishment (the Temple) to bless these policies in the name of God.43 (Spinoza’s noticeable silence about the prophetic critique of the state and its religious establishment, despite his immersion in the text of the Bible, indicates that his reading of the Bible was every bit as selective as that of the theologians he so criticized.) And, indeed, our suspicion goes back to our memory of Socrates’ philosophical indictment of Thrasymachus’s assertion that might makes right in Plato’s Republic.44 For the Bible, kings are judged by the moral law of God; kings do not make that moral law. And, in fact, during Spinoza’s early childhood, across the North Sea in England, a king was deposed and executed because he and his royal father assumed “the king makes the law” (rex facit legem), with the support of the state church, whereas their opponents—with much more bib­ lical support—assumed “the law makes the king” (lex facit regem).45

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128 —David Novak For Plato, the transcendent idea of justice (dikaiosyne) should determine how political power is exercised, not vice versa.46 And, as Plato told us, Socrates’ invocation of a higher standard of justice for Athens brought down upon him the wrath of the Athenian theological-political establish­ ment. Thus Socrates was convicted on moral charges of corrupting Athe­ nian youth by questioning official morality and on religious charges of “atheism,” meaning that he seemed answerable to a god who was beyond the Athenian pantheon.47 Spinoza’s implied answer to this overall justifiable suspicion, one raised by the Bible and by Plato, is that states only become tyrannical and unjust when they put forth ontological claims for themselves. In other words, when states see themselves as somehow or other divine (usually by the apotheosis of their leaders), they then make demands upon their citizens that were never part of the original social contract upon which the state was founded. In his prefer­ ence for democracy, Spinoza probably had in mind the dogma of the divine right of kings as its contrary, something without adequate justification be it philosophical or theological, i.e., an idea not adequately justified by either theoretical or practical reason (TTP, chap. 17/pp. 194–95). Here Spinoza is re­ markably prescient from our subsequent perspective. Couldn’t the moral ex­ cesses of the Nazi regime be traced directly back to its ideology of a “master race” (Herrenvolk) and its arbitrary assignment and disassignment of human status to those over whom it had political power? And couldn’t the excesses of the Soviet Communist regime be traced directly back to its ideology of the “new Soviet man” and the “inevitable course of history”? In both these cases, politics was made the means to ideological ends—ends that were passed off as philosophy. (So it is not surprising that Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Mao Tse-tung—and some lesser known totalitarians—have passed themselves off as philosophers.) It would seem that the proper role of philosophers in the polity is “So­ cratic” in the sense of philosophers needing to take time off from their theo­ retical pursuits in order to be a critical voice, questioning the ontological pretensions of their polity and those who govern it. Is that not what Spinoza is doing both in his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus and even in his shorter (and incomplete) Tractatus Politicus? But, then, we need to ask, be it from our per­ spective of hindsight or be it from a skeptical reading of Spinoza himself: are philosophers capable of curbing tyranny by their philosophical critique of of­ ficial pretension? My own answer to this question is “no.” I take my cue from the career of Socrates, whom we might see as the first political philosopher.

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Socrates did more than simply engage in skeptical, critical questioning of the dogmas that were invoked to justify Athenian public policy. Socrates also claimed to be doing his critical work because of the command of a god.48 And, however euphemistically one interprets Socrates’ theology, one can­ not get away from the fact that Socrates is answerable to a god greater than Athena (the chief goddess of Athens) and her local divine cohorts. (Surely Spinoza too was answerable to God as he knew God.) But are the people of Athens answerable to Socrates’ god? Have they experienced the revelation of this god and the claims this god makes when revealing herself? The answer is, of course, that Socrates is speaking in the name of a “strange god.”49 For this reason, then, even though the biblical prophets were no more successful in their political critique than was Socrates, nonetheless, they were able to make a better political case than Socrates could. Why? Because they were able to invoke both the law and the judgment of the God to whom all the people of Israel were answerable as a result of their having been forever covenanted at Sinai with Him. And, even though the prophets were no more successful than Socrates in their own lifetime, the prophets’ theological critique of their society had a posthumous effect on the reconstruction of Jewish society after the destruction of the First Temple. Something similar cannot be said for Socrates’ philosophical critique of Athenian morality. It could be said that the prophetic theological critique of Israelite morality led to the establishment of a postexilic Jewish society that only needed a divinely revealed law and its on­ going interpretation to be politically coherent. Indeed, it was a society where there was no longer a king or even the political need for one. Here kingship became only a messianic desideratum. However, this biblical model of political critique can only be retrieved when one disagrees with Spinoza’s trajectory of politics-then-morality and morality-then-religion. Instead, one needs to invert this trajectory (just as Spinoza himself inverted the doctrine of God’s election of Israel into the idea of Israel’s election of God) in order to access a better source of political critique. One needs to retrieve the trajectory of religion-then-morality and morality-then-politics. Nevertheless, in a society such as ours, which values religious pluralism, we need not assume the ontological ground of that plu­ ralism is polytheism. We can still assume that at least Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship the same One God despite all their other theological and ritual differences.50 It can be assumed that, despite these theological and ritual differences, Jews, Christians, and Muslims can achieve a remarkable ethical consensus

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130 —David Novak on most basic moral issues. The reason for this consensus is that the Jewish and Christian (and, I think, Islamic) traditions advocate certain basic norms for all humankind. These norms are distinct from the norms these respective traditions advocate (and sometimes enforce when possible) for their own adherents. The subjects of these two distinct types of norms are different, but the source of these two types of norms is the same God. Moreover, the universality of these basic norms is not accidental. Rather, it is because of the essential rationality of the universal norms, which is why they are sometimes called “natural law” (or by one of its synonyms).51 No doubt there is more to the revelations of these respective traditions than natural law, but these revelations and their specific law are not less than natural law. And that is because these traditions recognize the logical priority of natural law by taking it to be the presupposition of revealed law. (Doesn’t a people have to be generally lawful in order to be in a position to intelligently accept special revealed law?) And that is also because these traditions recognize the chronological priority of normative human nature. (Doesn’t the creation of humankind historically precede the revelation at Sinai?) Accordingly, ad­ herents of these traditions can argue for these universal norms in a secular public realm, a realm not essentially beholden to any special revelation in history. (And all historical revelations are special since all of them occurred at particular times in particular places. There is no world history any more than there is universal space-time.) The usual argument against advocates of natural law is that natural law is merely the result of individual speculation. However, the presence of natural law norms in the Jewish and Christian (and, I think, Islamic) traditions indi­ cates the public and historically sustained character of these universal norms. Thus they are both universal in principle and general in fact. And the fact that these norms have been written into the sacred scriptures of these traditions indicates that these norms have operated within real, positive systems of law. They are not merely “castles in the air.” Thus natural law norms are what the adherents of these traditions have brought to secular society through their public discourse, discourse first conducted among themselves for themselves. These natural law norms are not what individual thinkers have devised for sec­ ular society de novo. Natural law is by no means “ideal” or “imperial.” Thus natural law theorists are not idealists or imperialists. They are only minimal­ ist logicians who advocate what is formally necessary for any society to be able to make its moral claims on rational human beings. Natural law theorists are not prophets promising universal salvation.

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The Enlightenment Project, Spinoza, and the Jews—1 3 1

Beyond Spinoza: Secularity Without Secularism What has been suggested in the previous section as an alternative to the type of secularism initiated by Spinoza is not, unfortunately, what has been advo­ cated by the vast majority of Jewish thinkers in the West who have thought about secularity and how modern Jews can coherently function therein. To me this has been due to a confusion between the fact and the value of modern secularity, on the one hand, and the veracity of secularism as a theory of secu­ lar praxis, on the other hand. So we need to more carefully define secularity because it is the lot of all peoples of the West, the Jews included. There are no Western societies that are not secular, and almost all Jews today either live in Western type societies or want to live in them. Nonetheless, secularity can be taken in one of two ways. One, secularity is the modus operandi of a pluralistic society that does not look to any particular religious tradition for the validation of its political au­ thority in matters pertaining to the bodies and the property of its members, i.e., in matters dealt with by criminal and civil law. Rather, the secular polity looks to a moral consensus among its members, the majority of whom come out of singular religious traditions, for the validation of its political author­ ity. This consensus is not based on merely accidental overlappings among the traditions. Rather, this consensus is rational, as we have seen. It emerges out of cross-cultural natural law discourse. One might call this “moderate secularity.” It is what has largely obtained until quite recently in Britain, the United States, and Canada, i.e., in the English speaking West.52 Two, there is what one might call “radical secularity,” which is justified by an ideology called “secularism.” This secularism became most manifest during the French Revolution. It is presently being promoted by certain “secularists,” especially in the United States, Canada, and by some leading proponents of the European Union. In this view of secularity, not only does society not look to any particular religious tradition for its political valida­ tion, but it also does not even look to any consensus among the religious traditions from which the majority of its members come. Instead, this kind of secularity regards the members of the society as having no religio-moral background whatsoever, or it requires them to totally suppress the one they do have before gaining entrance to the process of public policy making, even including public policy in matters pertaining to marriage, family, and sexuality. Secularism presents itself as more than a mere modus operandi of a secular society; instead it presents itself as the modus vivendi of all the

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132 —David Novak members of that society. The only area of human interaction that is exempt from the range of secular public policy is the area of religious ritual. Usually, this exclusion is subsumed under what has come to be known as the “right to privacy.” Yet it is hard to see how even religious ritual, being, as it is, the public praxis of specific communities, can be perceived as a form of “privacy.” And, to be sure, the moral action of these traditional communities is even more evidently public than what is done in sacred places. This latter view of secularity justifies itself in terms of individual autonomy, which means that individual human persons are free to create themselves, as it were, i.e., by being granted the right to project whatever ends/goods they choose for themselves as their raison d’être as long, of course, as they do not infringe upon the rights of others to do likewise. However, even advocates of this type of secularity cannot equate human self-creation qua autonomy with the uniquely divine attribute of creatio ex nihilo. Such self-creative humans still have to create themselves out of something already there, which means that their self-creation is really self-development. As such, though, the very goods individual members of society are “allowed” to choose turn out to be the goods that those elites already having political and economic power in that society provide for the individual members of society over which they have varying degrees of social control. Therefore, in this view of secularity, the secular polity can accept no prior source of right; it cannot recognize any authority outside itself to make valid public claims upon any of its citizens. At most, claims like those made by traditional religions upon their own members—even moral claims these traditions recognize as being valid for all human beings—such claims are only valid when they are consistent with the claims made upon citi­ zens by the society to whom they have surrendered all prior rights or by the society that does not even recognize any prior human rights at all to be surren­ dered to it.53 All real rights are thus entitlements from the state. These political claims are inevitably the claims made by those interest groups having economic and political power in that society. These interest groups now see themselves as having a mandate to create culture, under­ stood to be the way of life their society is dedicated to promoting, hence it incorporates the social energies usually involved in traditional religions and traditional moralities. Moreover, these interest groups often explicitly reject the notion that secular society derive its culture from earlier social engage­ ments. Instead, they require all culture to either derive its authority from secular society or totally subsume itself under the new secular culture these interest groups are continually creating and promoting.

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The emergence of this type of radical secularity coincides with the political emancipation of the Jews of the West. For Jews, 1789 (generally speaking) marks the abrupt end of the Middle Ages and the equally abrupt hurl into modernity. This meant that Jews gained the rights of all other individual citi­ zens and thereby lost the collective rights they had when Jewish communities (qehilloth) enjoyed a large degree of independence, when Jewish communi­ ties had considerable collective power in ordering the religious, familial, and, many times, the economic lives of their members. All this obtained within a larger Christian polity (imperium in imperio), but one where Jews were re­ lated to the larger Christian polity as members of a community having a con­ tracted status therein rather than individual Jews having a direct relation to the sovereign (be it monarchial or republican) as did the Christian citizens of the polity itself.54 There were, to be sure, segments of the Jewish community who resented this elimination of what they took to be more ancient Jewish privilege than ancient discrimination against the Jews by gentile political power. Many rab­ bis, especially, knew that the end of their ancien régime meant the loss of their political power to enforce Jewish religious tradition among people who had no civil recourse elsewhere.55 Nevertheless, despite their opposition, there was little traditionalist rabbis and their diminishing circle of political follow­ ers could do to stem a historical-political reality that promised Europeans (and later North Americans) a freer, more intellectually open, and more pros­ perous life, and which seemed to be succeeding in delivering on that prom­ ise. And, in fact, the vast majority of western Jews (including those who have retained a traditional Jewish religious way of life) have seen the new secular political order to be a marked improvement over a time when rabbis could coerce Jews, through their political power, to be publically answerable to the norms of Judaism as interpreted and administered by these same rabbis. The response of Jews in the West to this nouveau regime has been threefold. First, there have been Jews who have followed Spinoza (consciously or unconsciously) in taking the new secular political order to be their new theo­ logical-political reality, a reality sufficient enough to make their separate Jew­ ish existence not only redundant but a positive detriment to their becoming fully part of the newly created culture of secular modernity. For them, the chief attraction of this new culture has been its minimal dogmatic require­ ments, which, unlike those of Christianity, ask very little of them in terms of belief and do not remind them of the dogmatic-legal requirements of the Ju­ daism most of them had much earlier abandoned gleefully. Whatever Jewish

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134 —David Novak practices these Jews have retained have been kept for nostalgic reasons rather than being expressions of any real Jewish faith. Second, there have been Jews who have not wanted such radical accom­ modation to secularity, but who have believed that they could survive cul­ turally and even religiously by becoming a special interest group voluntarily functioning within a secular society with a warrant from the polity created by this secular society. But, by looking to the secular society for their politi­ cal warrant, they have thereby ceded any real moral authority of the Jewish community. Accordingly, what these liberal Jews (as distinct from the more radical Jews just mentioned) have frequently done is to endorse just about any moral position being promoted by the powerful political-cultural-in­ tellectual elites in their society in the name of “progress.” This approach is often conducted as a payback in return for the “tolerance” of their particu­ lar religious practices by these powerful elites. This approach makes itself manifest when liberal Jews pretend that the “spirit” of the Jewish tradition endorses such practices as elective abortion and same-sex marriage, practic­ es that are explicitly proscribed by the “letter” of the Jewish tradition. And, for example, the willingness of more and more liberal rabbis to religiously celebrate something as radical as same-sex unions indicates that even the religious exclusivity formerly claimed by liberal Jews has been elided by their concessions to secularist morality in the form of some sort of “politi­ cal correctness.”56 Third, there have been traditionalist Jews, mostly known as “Orthodox” (which is a decidedly Christian term that, for Jews, is a neologism) who have attempted to keep as much distance as possible from the secularist culture and morality around them. That is because, very much like the liberals whom they usually suspect if not detest, they too look to the secular polity for politi­ cal entitlements. Just as the Jewish liberals look to secularists for entitlements to be like them, so do many of these Orthodox Jews look to the secularists for permission to be different from them. In other words, instead of chal­ lenging secularist morality in principle, these Jews (and Christian sectarians who are very much like them) are content to simply claim that their “pecu­ liar” religio-moral practices not be interfered with by the polity in the interest of affirming something as elusive as “cultural diversity.”57 So, for example, instead of arguing that something like same-sex marriage is contrary to the rational-moral consensus of the various traditions that most of the citizens of the society come from, these sectarians simply ask to be exempted from

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The Enlightenment Project, Spinoza, and the Jews—1 3 5

what is being promoted as public morality by the secularist elites (in this case the right of anyone who wants to marry to be married). As such, even these traditionalist have ceded moral authority to secular society by seeking exemp­ tions from public policy rather than challenging public policy in the name of truly prior rights. But, of course, how long the secularists who seem to be gaining more and more power in the United States and Canada will “toler­ ate” such moral “diversity,” especially when it is practiced by people who are otherwise quite involved in the life of the society and its intellectual culture, is already being doubted by some of the more politically perceptive members of these Orthodox communities. “Peculiarity” only works as a political ratio­ nale for exemptions from secular social norms for groups like the Amish or the Hasidim, who are already so culturally isolated as to make their inclusion in secular sociality not worth bothering with. But even most Orthodox Jews do not appear in public as bizarre as Hasidim do, hence their exceptionalism appears to be inconsistent with their otherwise unexceptional public involve­ ments. Therefore, the task of traditionalist Jews who see themselves as being real participants in secular society is to work out a public philosophy that can fully affirm political, legal, and even intellectual secularity without succumb­ ing to either the fervent affirmation of the program of secularism or the ob­ sequious begging for dispensational tolerance from secularist elites (usually in the courts). This requires the explicit assertion of a morality that is prior to the founding social contract of any secular society and the assertion of the universal aspects of that morality that are shared with other religious tradi­ tions. I for one am convinced that such a quest can find within the sources of the Jewish tradition authentic building blocks for the construction of a Jewish public philosophy adequate to the challenge of secular modernity, but without a retreat into antiquarian romanticism or a plunge into postmodern irrationality. At the philosophical level, that means working through Spinoza in order to get beyond his public philosophy so as to develop a political the­ ology in which the political order does not take its warrant from revealed the­ ology, and theology does not subordinate itself to the political order. Such a political theology could provide a proper correlation between theology and politics where neither need conquer the other. It is a viable alternative waiting to be activated. But, as with so many other issues raised by modernity, there is no “end-run” around Spinoza, certainly not for Jews. His agenda needs to be continually overcome inasmuch as it cannot be permanently repressed.

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136 —David Novak notes 1. See Jacob Katz, Jewish Emancipation and Self-Emancipation (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1986). 2. “Constantinianism” (after the Roman Emperor Constantine, who, around 324 ce,

made the Roman Empire officially Christian) refers to the notion that the state be an officially Christian polity, especially by its establishment of one Christian church as the official state religion. See Hermann Dörries, Constantine and Religious Liberty (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960).

3. See David Novak, The Election of Israel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 22–49. 4. See Steven M. Nadler, Spinoza (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 270–81. 5. “The Mutual Influence of Theology and Philosophy,” Independent Journal of Philosophy 3 (1979): 111–18. 6. See Jonathan I. Israel, Radical Enlightenment (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 159–74. 7. See Nicomachean Ethics, 1.2/1094b1–10. 8. See David Novak, Natural Law in Judaism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 12–16.

9. See Hermann Cohen, Religion of Reason Out of the Sources of Judaism, trans. S. Kaplan (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1972), pp. 108–10. 10. See Theatetus, 152A; Cratalys, 386A; Laws, 716C. 11. See David Novak, The Jewish Social Contract (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005), chap. 4.

12. See David Novak, The Image of the Non-Jew in Judaism (New York: Edwin Mel­ len, 1983), 351–56. 13. See Novak, Natural Law in Judaism, chap. 2. 14. Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 67b. 15. See Richard A. Horsley, “The Law of Nature in Philo and Cicero,” Harvard Theological Review 71 (1978): 35–60.

16. See Islam 2, ed. and trans. Bernard Lewis (New York: Harper and Row, 1974), pp. 217–35. 17. See Yitzhak Baer, A History of the Jews in Christian Spain 1, trans. L. Schoffman (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1978), pp. 232–36. 18. See Arend H. Huussen, “The Legal Position of the Jews in the Dutch Repub­ lic, 1590–1796” in Jonathan Israel and Reinier Salverda, eds., Dutch Jewry (Leiden: Brill, 2002), pp. 25–41. 19. See Gershom Scholem, Sabbatai Sevi (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973), pp. 518–44.

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20. Baruch Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (hereafter TTP), chap. 16, trans. M. Yaffe (Newburyport, MA: Focus, 2004), pp. 187–89. See Tractatus Politicus (here­ after “TP”), chap. 8, trans. Samuel Shirley (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2000), p. 118. 21. A Theory of Justice (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971), pp. 17–22. 22. TTP, preface, p. xxii; chap. 19/p. 227; chap. 17/pp. 195–96. Cf. chap. 17/p. 210, where Spinoza opines that the ancient Hebrew commonwealth declined because “the Priests had an immense lust to rule and acquire the pontificate at the same time.” In other words, the Jewish state described in the Bible went into rapid decline when the religious establishment sought to found the state’s authority in a sacerdotal institution under their control.

23. See TP, chap. 2/pp. 46–47. 24. See Lewis S. Feuer, Spinoza and the Rise of Liberalism (Boston: Beacon, 1958), 130; Steven B. Smith, Spinoza, Liberalism, and the Question of Jewish Identity (New Ha­ ven: Yale University Press, 1997), pp. 162–65.

25. TP, chap. 3/p. 53; Ethics, 5/P32, corollary. 26. TP, chap. 8/pp. 97–98. 27. TTP, chap. 20/pp. 298–99. 28. See Nicomachean Ethics, 5.1/1129b15–1130a10. 29. Ethics, 2/P44. 30. Spinoza does not deny divine revelation. (Indeed, how can anyone deny somebody else’s experience is true?) Thus he sees no need to refute the claims of the biblical authors to bespeak God’s word. He only objected to the attempts of Jewish and Christian philosophically oriented theologians to read Platonic-Aristotelian meta­ physics into the Bible rather than simply explicating valid moral-political teaching out of the Bible (TTP, chap. 13/pp. 155–56). The question for him is not whether the experi­ ence of revelation is true or not but, rather, what the meaning of its content for public justice. Indeed, the purpose of biblical teaching is to instruct humans what to do to and for each other rather than what to think about God. Along these lines, see Nancy K. Levene, Spinoza’s Revelation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 87–93, 127–29.

31. Ethics, 2/P45. 32. Ibid., 5/P3, P41, P42. Spinoza’s subordination of religion to morality means that religion functions in order to inculcate public morality. However, the relation between the private religion and the private morality of the philosopher is the reverse. In implicit agreement with Aristotle (see Nicomachean Ethics, 6.13/1145a5–10), Spinoza sees a life of moral action being a necessary precondition for the contemplative life, the life whose whole purpose is to apprehend God. See Ethics, 2/P39, schol. (IV.D); 4/P37. It is most unlikely, either for Spinoza or for Aristotle, that a person ruled by his or her bodily passions, which inevitably entails a dissolute immoral way of life, would be in any position to emotionally engage, much less sustain, the sober contemplative life.

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138 —David Novak 33. TP, chap. 3. Latin text ed. Sylvain Zac (Paris: Vrin, 1968), p. 66 (my transla­ tion). Spinoza calls the this “true religion” (vera Religione) as distinct from “religious rule” (cura Religionis), which is the domain governed by the state (Riepublicae habere curam). (ibid.) 34. Ethics, 2/P49. 35. Republic, 519B. See Seventh Letter, 341C-341C, and Maimonides, Guide of the Perplexed, 1.65.

36. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 7, trans. D. F. Pears and B. F. McGuiness (Lon­ don: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1961), 150–51. 37. See Maimonides, Guide of the Perplexed, 1.58. 38. Politics, 1.1/1253a1–20. 39. Nicomachean Ethics, 10.7/1177b25–1178a10. 40. Hence wouldn’t it have been more correct syntactically if Spinoza had named his book Tractatus Politico-Theologicus instead of Tractatus Theologico-Politicus? That is, unless of course, theology is an adjective modifying the noun politics.

41. Because Spinoza does not absolutely privilege thought over extension, it is best to call his “divine science” (cf. Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1.2/983a10) “ontology” rather than “metaphysics” (meta meaning “beyond,” as in later Greek philosophy, i.e., beyond what is physical). Cf. ibid., 12.9/1074b35. 42. Like Spinoza, Kant sees public religion functioning for the sake of public morality (see Critique of Pure Reason, B847, where “God” [Gott] becomes “godly” [göttlich], thus accompanying morality rather than grounding it). This relation of reli­ gion and morality is developed in his Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone, trans. T. M. Greene and H. H. Hudson (New York: Harper, 1960), esp. 158–63. However, unlike Spinoza, Kant does not see a private morality of philosophers functioning for the sake of their private religion. For Kant, all morality is public, hence explicitly uni­ versalizable; see Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, trans. H. J. Paton (New York: Harper and Row, 1964), pp. 88–89, as is all religion. That is why Kant’s subordination of religion to morality is more categorical than is Spinoza’s. And, since Kant sees pub­ lic morality to be separate from the law of the state, his subordination of religion to morality does not entail a state religion as Spinoza’s subordination does. That might explain why Kant’s view of the relation of religion and morality has been more ap­ pealing to contemporary liberals, who are so adamant on the absolute separation of church and state. And, along the lines of this distinction between Spinoza and Kant on this issue, I accept Nancy Levene’s criticism (in Spinoza’s Revelation, 219, n. 29) of my earlier lumping their two different views together in Natural Law in Judaism, 27, n. 1. 43. See, e.g., Amos 7:7–8:8. 44. Republic, 338C ff. 45. See Oliver O’Donovan, The Desire of the Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni­ versity Press, 1996), 233–42.

46. Republic, 338E–339C; also, Theatetus, 177D; Gorgias, 483C.

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47. Apology, 24Cff. 48. Ibid., 22A, 29A–30A. 49. Ibid, 24C. 50. See David Novak, “Les juifs et les chrétiens réverent-ils le même Dieu?” in Le christianïsme au mirror du judaïsme (Paris: In Press, 2003), pp. 75–132.

51. See Novak, Natural Law in Judaism, pp. 174–93. 52. See Novak, The Jewish Social Contract, chap. 1. 53. See Rawls, A Theory of Justice, p. 11. 54. See Jacob Katz, Tradition and Crisis (New York: Schocken, 1971). 55. See Arthur Hertzberg, The French Enlightenment and the Jews (New York: Co­ lumbia University Press, 1968), pp. 338–49.

56. E.g., see Elliot Dorff, Matters of Life and Death (Philadelphia: Jewish Publica­ tion Society, 1998), pp. 139–51. 57. See Jonathan D. Sarna and David G. Dalin, Religion and State in the American Jewish Experience (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997), pp. 271–81.

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chapter six

Puritan Sources of Enlightenment Liberty John Witte Jr.

I

n his 1765 Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law, John Adams (1735–1826) defended the “sensible” New England Puritans against those “many modern Gentlemen” of his day who dismissed them as bigoted, narrow, “enthusiastical, superstitious and republican.” Such “ridicule” and “ribaldry” of the Puritans, proffered mainly by the fashionable “new lights” of philosophy and politics, are “grosly injurious and false,” Adams retorted. Far from being narrow bigots, the Puritans were “illustrious patriots,” for they were the first “to establish a government of the church more consistent with the scriptures, and a government of the state more agreeable to the dig­ nity of humane nature than any other seen in Europe: and to transmit such a government down to their posterity.”1 What impressed Adams most was that the New England Puritans had cre­ ated a comprehensive system of ordered liberty and orderly pluralism within church, state, and society. The centerpiece of their system was the idea of covenant, which they used in both theological and sociological terms. For the Puritans, the idea of covenant described not only the relationships be­ tween persons and God but also the multiple relationships among persons in church, state, and civil society. These divine and temporal covenants, in turn, defined each person’s religious and civil rights and duties within the vari­

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ous relationships. In his later writings, Adams came to see this Puritan cov­ enantal theory of ordered liberty and orderly pluralism as a critical anteced­ ent, analogue, and alternative to the Enlightenment contractarian theories of individual liberty and religious pluralism that were gaining prominence in eighteenth-century America. Adams eventually worked this early Puritan covenantal theory into the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution, which he draft­ ed and defended at great length. This chapter recounts briefly the Puritan covenantal story of religious and civil liberty in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It illustrates that modern Enlightenment teachings on law, liberty, and human rights were not all invented out of whole cloth, but were often derived and abstracted from prevailing religious theories—not only Puritan and other Protestant theories, but also various Catholic and Jewish theories. The last section argues further that Enlightenment libertarian postulates on religious and civil liberty and rights were not only historically dependent but are in fact perennially depen­ dent on theological theories to give them content and coherence.

Liberty of Covenant The idea of a divine covenant between God and humanity was part of West­ ern Christian theology from the very beginning. The Bible referred to this covenant 310 times—286 times in the Hebrew Bible (as b’rit), 24 more times in the New Testament (as foedus). Classically, Western Christian theologians distinguished two biblical covenants: 1. the covenant of works whereby the chosen people of Israel, through obedience to God’s law, are promised eter­ nal salvation and blessing; and 2. the covenant of grace whereby the elect, through faith in Christ’s incarnation and atonement, are promised eternal salvation and beatitude. The covenant of works was created in Abraham, confirmed in Moses, and consummated with the promulgation and accep­ tance of the Torah. The covenant of grace was promised to Abraham, created in Christ, confirmed in the Gospel, and consummated with the confession and conversion of the Christian. A few earlier Christian writers had also de­ scribed the Church as a “covenant community” and the Christian sacraments as “signs” and “symbols” of the covenant of grace. On the whole, however, discussions of covenant in the Christian theological tradition were only inci­ dental and isolated, comprising little more than a footnote to the great doc­ trines of God and humanity, sin and salvation, law and Gospel.2

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142 —John Witte, Jr. Puritan writers, first in Europe and then in America, transformed the cov­ enant into one of the cardinal doctrines of their theology. “The whole of God’s word,” wrote one Puritan theologian already in 1597, “has to do with some covenant. . . . “3 “All that we teach you from day to day,” another Puri­ tan informed his students, “are but conclusions drawn from the covenant.”4 The doctrine of covenant, wrote another leading divine, “embraces the whole of the catechism. . . . No context of Holy Scripture can be explained solidly, no doctrine of theology can treated properly, no controversy can be decided accurately” without reference to this doctrine.5 The Puritans made two innovations to traditional understandings of God’s covenant relationships with persons. First, the Puritans developed a more participatory theory of the covenant of works. Traditionally, the cove­ nant of works was treated as God’s special relation with the chosen people of Israel and their representatives, Abraham, Moses, and David. It designated the Israelites as God’s elect nation and called them to serve as special agents in God’s kingdom. It divulged to them in detail the requirements of God’s law—their obligations toward God, neighbor, and self. It demanded of them perfect obedience of God’s law and perfect fulfillment of their divine callings. It promised them, in return, eternal prosperity, blessing, and salvation. For many Puritan writers, the covenant of works was not so limited in par­ ticipation or purpose. The covenant of works was not created in Abraham, the representative of the Jews, but in Adam, the representative of all human­ ity. It was not a privileged relation in which only elect persons participated, but a natural relation in which all persons participated. For the covenant of works was established at the creation of the world, before the fall into sin, the Puritans argued. Through Adam, the “federal head of the human race,” all persons were parties to this covenant. Through Adam, all persons received its promises and blessings as well as its threats and curses. This pre-fall covenant of works, the Puritans believed, was “God’s special constitution for mankind,” God’s “providential plan for creation.”6 The cov­ enant of works defined each person’s telos or purpose in life, each person’s role in the unfolding of God’s providential plan. It instituted basic human relationships of friendship and kinship, authority and submission. It estab­ lished basic principles of social, political, familial, and moral life and thought. It created the conditions for perfect communion with God, and perfect com­ munity among persons. To abide by this divine covenant, in every particular, was to earn eternal life and salvation; to breach the covenant was to receive eternal death and damnation.7

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Adam and Eve’s fall into sin did not abrogate this covenant of works, the Puritans argued. It only altered humanity’s relation to it. The created norms set out in this covenant for the ordering and governing of human life re­ mained in effect. All persons still stood in covenant relationship with God. Because of their sin, however, all persons had lost their view of the norms of creation and lost their capacity to earn their salvation. Thus, after the fall, God sent his son, Jesus Christ, as humanity’s guarantor and representa­ tive. As guarantor, Christ satisfied each person’s debt under the covenant of works and absorbed the punishment that he or she deserved because of their sin. As representative, as the “second Adam,” Christ negotiated a sec­ ond covenant with God, the covenant of grace whereby the elect, despite their sin, could still inherit salvation.8 This new covenant of grace repeated the terms of the old covenant of works. But, unlike the old covenant, it conditioned a person’s salvation on faith in Christ, not on the works de­ manded by the covenant of works. And this new covenant of grace revealed the terms of the covenant not only in the hearts and consciences of persons but also in the pages of Scripture. Accordingly, the Puritans frequently re­ ferred to the Bible as the Book of the Covenant, the Covenant Register, the Book of Covenant Liberty. Second, the Puritans reconfigured not only the traditional covenant of works but also the traditional covenant of grace. Traditionally, the covenant of grace was treated primarily as God’s merciful gift to his elect. God set the terms and obligations of the covenant and determined its parties and their participation. Persons, in their sin, could not demand God’s gracious covenant gift or bind God by it once it was conferred. Persons could simply accept the covenant in gratitude. Many Puritan writers, by contrast, came to describe the covenant of grace as a bargained contract between God and each person. Acts of divine will and human will were required to form this covenant. Through “voluntary condescension” (as the Westminster Confes­ sion put it), God offered the terms of salvation and promised to abide by the offer. Through a voluntary act of faith, a person accepted God’s offer. Once God and the person had accepted the terms, both parties were contractually bound to the covenant. Each could insist upon the faithful compliance of the other. God could demand faithful devotion and service from the person; if the person refused it, God was released from the covenant and free to consign the person to hell. But the person could also demand God abide by his prom­ ise of salvation. “You may sue [God] of his bond written and sealed,” wrote one Puritan, “and he cannot deny it.” “Take no denyall, though the Lord may

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144 —John Witte, Jr. defer long, yet he will doe it, he cannot chuse; for it is part of his covenant.”9 What traditionally had been treated as God’s gift of faith and salvation to the elect became, in later Puritan covenant theology, a bargained contract. What traditionally had been understood as God’s covenant faithfulness to persons became God’s contractual obligation to them. What traditionally had been a person’s faithful acceptance of God’s irresistible call to elected salvation be­ came a person’s voluntary formation of a covenant relationship with God. Both the expansion of the parties and the contractualization of the terms of the covenant of salvation helped to expand Puritan understandings of re­ ligious liberty and religious pluralism. Initially, seventeenth-century New England Puritans were notorious for their religious rigidity and illiberality, and banished any and all who deviated even slightly from the orthodox way. Remember Anne Hutchinson (1591–1643) and Roger Williams (1604–1680). For, in this early period, the Puritans still treated the covenant of salvation as something of a “divine adhesion contract.”10 God set the covenantal terms for salvation in the Bible that the community had come to interpret in a distinct way; a person had only the freedom to accept or reject these covenantal terms of salvation. Such sentiments can be seen in a lengthy 1682 tract on “covenant liberty” by Samuel Willard (1640–1707), the great New England systematizer of Puritan doctrine. Willard argued that every person had the “equal right,” “title,” “claim,” “liberty” and “prerogative” “to enter and to enjoy every bless­ ing of the covenant.” But, by the time Willard finished spelling out all the stan­ dard terms and conditions of the covenant, there seemed to be few at liberty to enter the covenant and little liberty left for those few who could.11 By the eighteenth century, however, some Puritan writers began to view this covenantal relationship between God and persons in more open and vol­ untarist terms. Not only was the covenant made more accessible to parties of various Christian faiths. The terms of the divine covenant itself were made more open to personal deliberation and innovation. Elisha Williams (1694– 1755), the great grandson of early Puritan stalwart John Cotton (1584–1652), put the matter thus in 1744: “Every man has an equal right to follow the dictates of his own conscience in the affairs of religion. Every one is under an indispensable obligation to search the Scriptures for himself . . . and to make the best use of it he can for his own information in the will of God, the nature and duties of Christianity. And as every Christian is so bound; so he has the inalienable right to judge of the sense and meaning of it, and to follow his judgment wherever it leads him; even an equal right with any rulers be they civil or ecclesiastical.”12 Such formulations became increasingly

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common among Puritan writers in the later eighteenth century. These senti­ ments helped lead the New England leaders to greater toleration of Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, and other Christians who abided by the basic terms of the biblical covenants.13 It was only a short step from this formulation to the more generic and generous religious liberty guarantee of the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution that John Adams drafted.14 Freedom of religion was among the first rights that the Constitution protected. We must begin “by setting the conscience free,” Adams wrote in presenting his draft Constitution, for the rights of conscience and religion are “indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, [and] di­ vine.”15 Accordingly, Article 2 of the Massachusetts Constitution provided: “It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publickly, and at stated seasons to worship the SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and preserv­ er of the Universe. No subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, Liberty, or Estate, for worshipping GOD in the manner and season most agreeable to the Dictates of his own conscience, or for his religious pro­ fession or sentiments; provided he doth not Disturb the public peace, or ob­ struct others in their religious Worship.” Article 3, at least tacitly, recognized the right to form religious associations, to select one’s own minister and to pay tithes directly to him. Chapter 6 included within the ambit of religious freedom the right of Quakers to claim an exemption from the swearing of oaths to which they were “conscientiously opposed.” Adams regarded the protection of religious pluralism as essential for the protection of religious and other forms of liberty. As he put it in a letter to Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826): “Roman Catholics, English Episcopalians, Scotch and American Presbyterians, Methodists, Moravians, Anbabtists [sic], German Lutherans, German Calvinists, Universalitists, Arians, Priestlyians, Socinians, Independents, Congregationalists, Horse Protestants and House Protestants, Deists and Atheists and Protestants qui ne croyent rien [who believe nothing] are . . . [n]ever the less all Educated in the general Prin­ ciples of Christianity: and the general Principles of English and American liberty.”16 “Checks and balances, Jefferson,” in the political as well as the reli­ gious sphere, “are our only Security, for the progress of Mind, as well as the Security of Body. Every Species of these Christians would persecute Deists, as [much] as either Sect would persecute another, if it had unchecked and unballanced Power. Nay, the Deists would persecute Christians, and Atheists would persecute Deists, with as unrelenting Cruelty, as any Christians would persecute them or one another. Know thyself, Human nature!”17

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146 —John Witte, Jr. Covenant theology was certainly not the only argument available for the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty of various peaceable religions. But, for the New England Puritans, covenant theology provided a sturdy foundation for a theory of ordered religious liberty and orderly religious plu­ ralism. By expanding the ambit of the covenant of works, the Puritans ex­ panded the realm of religious liberty to all persons, not just the elect. By con­ tractualizing the terms of the covenant of grace, the Puritans expanded the range of religious exercises, no longer privileging established forms. But not all claims of religious liberty could be accepted. Legitimate claims to religious liberty protection had to be anchored in some semblance of a covenant with God, however each person chose to define this God and covenant. Legiti­ mate claimants had to abide by the natural duties of love of God, neighbor, and self taught by the covenant of works, however each community chose to delineate these duties.

Covenants of Liberty The Puritans regarded themselves not only as covenant persons in their re­ lationship to God but also as covenant people bound together by covenants with one another. Each of these covenants, they believed, though formed by voluntary human acts, was ultimately founded on the norms and principles set forth in the covenant of works. Each of these covenants had a place in God’s providential plan, a purpose for which it existed. Building on their innovations to traditional covenant theology, the New England Puritans distinguished three such covenants: 1. a social or com­ munal covenant, 2. an ecclesiastical or church covenant, and 3. a political or governmental covenant. The social covenant created the society or common­ wealth as a whole. The political and ecclesiastical covenants created the two chief seats of authority within that society, the church and the state, whose authority was both separated and pluralized. The social, ecclesiastical, and political covenants confirmed and coordinated the natural, religious, and po­ litical liberties of the members of these covenant communities.

Natural Liberty and the Social Covenant At the creation of the world, the Puritan believed, God had vested all per­ sons with “a natural liberty” and subjected them to “a natural law.” The natu­ ral person, Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop (1588–1649) declared,

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“stands in relation to [his fellow] man simply, [and] hath liberty to do what he lists; it is a liberty to [do] evil as well as to [do] good.”18 The vice or virtue of a person’s actions is determined by the natural law, which God has written into the covenant of works that is binding on all.19 The Puritans believed, however, that “the Voice of Nature plainly declares that Mankind” join together in social covenant and “dwell together in So­ cieties.”20 This calling from a natural state to a social state was born of both human necessity and divine destiny. On the one hand, God had called all persons to form societies in order to provide the order and stability needed to maintain the natural liberty and natural law that God had created. “The ex­ ercise and maintaining of [natural] liberty,” without social constraints, wrote Winthrop, “makes men grow more evil, and in time to be worse than brute beasts.”21 Persons “prey” upon each other, placing the natural liberty of all into jeopardy. Society helps guarantee such liberty. Moreover, in a natural state, persons suffer from “weakness, impotencie and insufficiency” both in the apprehension of and the obedience to the natural law.22 Society helps reconfirm and reinforce these natural law principles. On the other hand, and more important, God had called the Puritans in particular to form their society to help fulfill His providential plan in the New World. The Puritans believed that God had entered into a special cov­ enant relationship with them to be His “surrogate Israel,” His newly cho­ sen people.23 By this covenant, they were called to be a “city on the hill,” a “light to the nations,” “a model of Christ’s kingdom among the heathens.”24 They were commanded to preserve and propagate godly beliefs and values, to adopt and advocate godly morals and mores, to arouse themselves and all those around them to godly obedience. God had promised them peace and prosperity if they succeeded in their covenantal task, death and damnation if they failed.25 The Puritan colonists swore allegiance to such social covenants before God and each other when forming their new communities. “We whose names are underwritten,” reads the famous Mayflower Compact of 1620, “having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian Faith, . . . a Voy­ age to plant the first Colony . . . doe by these presents, solemnly & mutually in the presence of God and one of another, covenant, and combine our selues together into a civill body politike, for our better ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid.”26 The citizens of the new town of Sa­ lem convened in 1629 to swear: “We Covenant with the Lord and one with an other; and doe bynd our selves in the presence of God, to walke together in all

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148 —John Witte, Jr. his waies, according as he is pleased to reveale himself unto us in his Blessed word of truth.”27 The following year John Winthrop declared to the new citi­ zens of Massachusetts Bay: “Thus stands the cause betweene God and us, wee are entered into Covenant with him for this worke, wee have taken out a Com­ mission, [and He] will expect a strickt performance of the Articles contained in it.”28 Hundreds of such social covenants and compacts are sprinkled through­ out the early New England archives. Participation in these social covenants had to be wholly voluntary and consensual. “There can be no necessary tye of mutuall accord and fellow­ ship come, but by free engagement,” wrote Thomas Hooker (1586–1647), the founder of New Haven. “He that will enter must also willingly binde and ingage himself to each member of that society . . . or else a member actually he is not.”29 The voluntary participation of both the entering individual and the existing community were essential. No person could be forced to join the community whose covenant and culture he or she found objectionable. No community could be forced to accept or retain a person whose convictions or conduct it found objectionable.30 Those who voluntarily joined this covenant were subject to both the be­ nevolence and the discipline of the community. The Puritans attached great importance to public benevolence. Charity and public spiritedness were prized. Churlishness and private sumptuousness were scorned. “Wee must entertaine each other in brotherly Affeccion,” declared Winthrop. “Wee must delight in eache other, make others Condicions our owne rejoyce together, mourne together, labour, and suffer together, allwayes haveing before our eyes our Commission and Community in the worke, our Community as members of the same body.”31 These were not just homiletic platitutes. The New England Puritans prescribed and practiced good samaritanism. They punished citizens who failed to aid their neighbors in need or peril. They set up public trusts, community chests, and work programs for indigents and immigrants. They developed systems of relief for the poor, the elderly, and the handicapped. They established systems of academic and vocational education.32 This was a very modest social welfare program when viewed by contemporary standards, but rather magnanimous when judged by standards of the day. The Puritans attached even greater importance to public discipline. The social covenant, the Puritans believed, placed each community “under a sol­ emn divine Probation” and under threat of “eminent [divine] trial.”33 This belief translated the most mundane of human affairs into cosmic terms. The

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Puritans stressed ambition, austerity, frugality, and other supposed virtues in their lives precisely because the social covenant rendered them agents of God, instruments of God’s providential plan. For them to be lax in zeal, loose in discipline, or sumptuous in living would be a disservice to God, a breach of the social covenant. Such a breach would inevitably bring divine condemnation on the community in the form of war, pestilence, poverty, and other forms of force majeure. This belief that the community lived perenni­ ally under “solemn divine probation” is reflected not only in sundry sermons but also in many statutes of the day. A 1675 Massachusetts statute, for ex­ ample, prefaced its rigid disciplinary code with these words: “Whereas the most wise & holy God, for seuerall yeares past, hath not only warned us in his word, but chastized us with his rods, inflicting upon us many generall (though lesser) judgments, but we haue neither heard the word nor rod as wee ought, so as to be effectually humbled for our sinns, to repent of them, reforme and amend our wayes . . . ”34 The Puritans’ belief in a “solemn divine probation” rendered the reforma­ tion of society a constant priority. They had to ensure that all institutions and all aspects of society comported with the covenantal ideal. Thus Puritan ser­ monizers urged their listeners: “Reform all places, all persons and all callings. Reform the benches of judgment, the inferior magistrates. . . . Reform the universities, reform the cities, reform the counties, reform inferior schools of learning, reform the Sabbath, reform the ordinances, the worship of God. Every plant which my Father hath not planted shall be rooted up.”35 Adams wrote a good deal of this traditional theory of the social covenant into the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution. The preamble refers to the consti­ tution repeatedly as “a covenant” or “compact” between the people and God: “The whole people covenants with each Citizen, and each Citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain Laws for the Common good.” And again, “the people of the Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe, in af­ fording us, in the course of his Providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence, or surprize, o[f] entering into an Original, explicit, and Solemn Compact with each other; and of forming a New Con­ stitution of Civil Government for ourselves and Posterity; and devoutly im­ ploring His direction in so interesting a Design, DO agree upon, ordain and establish the following Declaration of Rights and Frame of Government.” A variant of this covenant ceremony was the oath-swearing ritual of state officials. Adams wrote into chapter 6 of the Frame of Government

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150 —John Witte, Jr. the requirement that all state officials must swear a full oath to the consti­ tution and the commonwealth—not just privately, but before the people and their representatives in full assembly. “I, A,B, do declare, that I believe the christian religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth. . . . ; and I do swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the said Common­ wealth . . . so help me God.” Adams’s insistence on such oaths reflected the conventional view that the oath was “a cement of society” and “one of the principal instruments of government,” for it invoked and induced “the fear and reverence of God, and the terrors of eternity.”36 This provision also reflected Adams’s view that the oath of office was a public confirmation of the covenant among God, the people, and their rulers. These preambulary and oath swearing provisions were not merely a bit of hortatory throatclearing that preceded the real business of constitutional government. They established traditional ceremonies of the social covenant. Adams also wrote the traditional morality of the social covenant into the 1780 Constitution. Article 2 of the Declaration of Rights stipulated that it was not only the right, but also “the Duty of all men in society, publickly, and at stated seasons to worship the SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and preserver of the Universe.” Article 3 follows with the reason for this duty: “the happiness of a people, and good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality; and . . . these cannot be generally diffused through a Community, but by the institution of pub­ lick Worship of God, and of public instructions in piety, religion, and moral­ ity. . . . “ Article 18 of the Declaration of Rights rendered adherence to these moral duties integral to the character of public offices and public officials: “A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, moderation, temperance, indus­ try, and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty, and to maintain a free government. The people ought, consequently, to have a particular attention to all those principles, in the choice of their Officers and Representatives, and they have a right to require of their lawgivers and magistrates, an exact and constant observance of them, in the formation and execution of the laws necessary for the good administration of the Common­ wealth.” For, as Article 7 of the declaration put it: “Government is instituted for the Common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people.” And, as chapter 5 of the Frame of Government provides: “Wis­ dom, and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, [is] necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties.”

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These twin goals of the social covenant—to maintain natural law and natural liberty and to attain the ideal community of benevolence and disci­ pline—could not be realized without institutions of law and authority. The church and the state were the two chief instruments of law and authority, the Puritans believed. God had laid the foundations for both these in the cov­ enant of works of creation, on which natural foundation the new covenants of church and state had to be built.

Religious Liberty and the Church Covenant Following Calvinist commonplaces, the Puritans believed that God had vest­ ed in the church the spiritual power of the Word. The church had the power to preach the Gospel, to administer the sacraments, to teach the young, to prophesy against injustice, and to care for the poor and the needy. By such activities, the church would lead all members of the community to a greater understanding of their covenantal responsibilities of benevolence and love. The church also had the power to devise its own polity, to define its own doc­ trine, and to discipline its own members who had sinned—using the spiritual means of instruction, the ban, and excommunication. By such activities, the church would confirm and reinforce the natural law and the divine authority that undergirded it.37 The New England Puritans had a congregationalist understanding of the church. Each congregational church was constituted by a voluntary covenant between God and like-minded believers. By this covenant, these believers swore to God and to each other to uphold God’s ordinances, to discharge the special calling of the church and to be subject to those who came into authority within the church. “Saints by Calling,” reads one Puritan docu­ ment, “must have a Visible-Political-Union amongst themselves.” They must form a “Co[m]pany of professed believers Ecclesiastically Confoederat.”38 “This Form is the Visible Covenant, Agreement, consent wherby they give up themselves unto the Lord, to the observing of the ordinances of Christ together in the same society, which is usually called the Church-Covenant; For wee see not otherwise how members can have Church-power one over another mutually.”39 Many of the Puritan congregational churches swore to such covenants both upon initially forming the church and upon subsequently admitting new members to it. The Watertown Covenant-Creed of 1647 contains typical language:

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152 —John Witte, Jr. “We believe that God’s people, besides their general covenant with God, . . . ought also to join themselves into a church covenant one with another, and to enter into a particular combination together with some of his people to erect a particular ecclesiastical body, and kingdom, and visible family and household of God, for the managing of discipline and public ordinances of Christ in one place in a dutiful way, there to worship God and Christ, as his visible kingdom and subjects, in that place waiting on him for that blessing of his ordinances and promises of his covenant, by holding communion with him and his people, in the doctrine and discipline of that visible king­ dom. . . . We . . . do here bind ourselves, in the presence of men and angels, by his grace assisting us, to choose the Lord, to serve him, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep all his commandments and ordinances.40

These church covenants formed the core of congregational church constitu­ tions, which defined in detail the form and function of the church offices and the rights and responsibilities of its parishioners.

Political Liberty and the Political Covenant While God vested in the church the spiritual power of the Word, God vested in the state the temporal power of the sword. “Civil Rulers,” the Puritans believed, were “Gods Vice[regents] here upon earth.”41 They were called to reflect and represent God’s majesty and authority. They were to exemplify godly justice, mercy, discipline and benevolence. Political rulers were vested in their offices by a three-party covenant among God, the people, and them­ selves. By this covenant, the rulers accepted the divine mandate for their po­ litical office. The people, in turn, vowed to God and to the rulers to oblige and submit to this rule, to accept and respect the laws.42 Political officials took on three specific responsibilities under this politi­ cal covenant. First, political officials were required to appropriate and apply natural law in the positive law of the state. The Puritans, following Calvinist commonplaces, often equated this natural law with the Decalogue and thus described the magistrate as a custodian of both tables of the Decalogue.43 The positive law of the state was thus to govern both the relationship between per­ sons and God, based on the First Table of the Decalogue, and the multiple re­ lationships among persons, based on the Second Table. On the authority of the First Table, political officials were to punish all forms of idolatry, witchcraft, blasphemy, false swearing, and Sabbath Day violations.44 On the authority of

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the Second Table, they were to punish all forms of disobedience to authority, all violations of the person or property of the other, all adultery, prostitution, and other sexual misconduct, all dishonesty, false testimony, and other fraud against another.45 Only those positive laws that were rooted in and reflected the natural law, the Puritans believed, had legitimacy and authority. This concern that political officials preserve the natural law is prominent in many of the early New England law codes of the seventeenth century. The preface to the famous Booke of the Generall Lawes and Liberties of New Plymouth (1658) has typical language: God being the God of order and not of confusion hath Comaunded in his word; and put man into a capasitie in some measure to obserue and bee guid­ ed by good and wholesome lawes which are soe fare good and wholsome; as by how much they are deriued from and agreeable to; the Ancient platforme of Gods lawe . . . [which are] soe exemplary being grounded on principalls of morall equitie as that all men; Christians especially ought alwaies to haue an eye thervnto; in the framing of theire Politique Constitutions.46

Second, political officials were required to protect and promote the liber­ ties and rights of their subjects. “A People are not made for Rulers, But Rul­ ers for a People,” wrote a leading Puritan.47 God has set the rulers in author­ ity, and the people have submitted to that authority, in order to gain a “Civil felicity” not available to them in the “natural state.”48 Such “felicity” can exist only “when men can injoy their Liberties and Rights without molestation or oppression,” “when they are secured against Violence, and may be Righted against them that offer them any injury, without fraud; and are encouraged to serve God in their own way.”49 This concern that political officials preserve the natural liberty of subjects by positive law was prominent even in the early New England law codes, which are often lampooned for their biblical legalism. The most famous statement of this principle appears in the opening words of the Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts (1648): Forasmuch as the free fruition of such Liberties, Immunities, priviledges as humanitie, civilitie & christianity call for as due to everie man in his place, & proportion, without impeachment & infringement hath ever been, & ever will be the tranquility & stability of Churches & Common-wealths; & the deniall or deprivall thereof the disturbance, if not ruine of both: It is therefore ordered . . . that no mans life shall be taken away; no mans

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154 —John Witte, Jr. honour or good name shall be stayned; no mans person shall be arrested, restrained, bannished, dismembred nor any wayes punished; no man shall be deprived of his wife or children; no mans goods or estate shall be taken away from him; nor any wayes indamaged under colour of Law or coun­ tenance of Authoritie unless it be by vertue or equity of some expresse law of this Country warranting the same established by a General Court & suf­ ficiently published; or in case of the defect of a law in any particular case by the word of God.50

Third, political officials were to be the catalysts and champions of the per­ petual reformation mandated by the social covenant. “[A] work of Reforma­ tion,” wrote Samuel Willard, “is set about in vain, and to no purpose, if Rul­ ers do not lead in it.”51 Officials were required to compel the community by their example, by their authority, and by their law to reach and retain the cov­ enantal ideals to which the community had subscribed in the social covenant. This mandate often required that the law itself be perpetually emended and amended. “The reformation of the law, and more law for the reformation of the world, is what is mightily called for.”52

Separation and Cooperation of Church and State The theological doctrine of separation of church and state went hand in hand with the doctrine of ecclesiastical and political covenants. The Puritans con­ ceived the church and the state as two separate covenantal associations, two co­ ordinate seats of godly authority and power in society. Each institution had a distinctive calling and responsibility. Each had a distinctive polity and practice. “Our Churches, and civil State have been planted, and growne up (like two tv­ vinnes),” reads the preamble to the Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts. To con­ flate these two institutions would be to the “misery (if not ruine) of both.”53 The Puritans adopted a variety of safeguards to ensure this basic separa­ tion of the associations and activities of church and state. Church officials were prohibited from holding political office, from serving on juries, from interfering in governmental affairs, from endorsing political candidates, or from censuring the official conduct of a statesman who was also a parishio­ ner in the church. Political officials, in turn, were prohibited from holding ministerial office, from interfering in internal ecclesiastical government, from performing sacerdotal functions of clergy, or from censuring the official con­ duct of a cleric who was also a citizen of the commonwealth.54 To permit any

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such officiousness on the part of the church or the state, Winthrop averred, “would confounde those Jurisdictions, which Christ hath made distinct.”55 Although church and state were not to be confounded, they were still to be “close and compact.”56 For, to the Puritans, these two institutions were inex­ tricably linked in nature and in function. Each was an instrument of godly au­ thority. Each did its part to establish and maintain the covenantal ideals of the community. “I look upon this as a little model of the Gloriou[s] Kingdome of Christ on Earth,” wrote Urian Oakes (1631–1681). “Christ Reigns among us in the Common wealth as well as in the Church, and hath his glorious Inter­ est involved and wrapt up in the good of both Societies respectively.” Thus “the Interest of Righteousness in the Common wealth, and Holiness in the Churches are inseparable. The prosperity of Church and Common wealth are twisted together. Break one Cord, you weaken and break the other also.”57 It was on the strength of such arguments that various laws and policies were enacted to facilitate the coordination and cooperation of church and state in colonial New England, even while keeping the institutions separate from each other in their core form and function. The state provided various forms of material aid to congregational churches and officials. Public lands were donated to church groups for the construction of meetinghouses, par­ sonages, day schools, orphanages, and other structures used in the church’s ministry. Tithes and church taxes were collected to support congregational ministers and teachers. Tax exemptions and immunities were accorded to some of the religious, educational, and charitable organizations that they op­ erated. Special subsidies and military protections were provided for congre­ gational missionaries. The state also provided various forms of moral support to ensure that “the people be fed w[i]th wholesome & sound doctrine” and to preserve the “order and comunion of churches.”58 Sabbath-day laws prohibited all forms of unnecessary labor and uncouth leisure on Sundays and holy days; they also required faithful attendance at services. Blasphemy laws prohibited all forms of false swearing, foul language, and irreverence either “toward the Word preached or the Messengers thereof.” Idolatry laws sanctioned various forms of sacrilege, witchcraft, sorcery, magic, alchemy, and other invocations of “false gods.” Religious incorporation laws required all new churches to secure “the approbation of the Magistrates,” and required all “schismaticall” churches to submit to the “coercive power” of the magistrates.59 Churches, in turn, provided various forms of material aid and accommo­ dation to the state. Church meetinghouses and chapels were used not only to

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156 —John Witte, Jr. conduct religious services but also to host town assemblies, political rallies, and public auctions, to hold educational and vocational classes, to house the community library, to maintain census rolls as well as birth, marriage, and death certificates. Parsonage were used not only to house the minister and his family but also to harbor orphans and widows, the sick and the aged, victims of abuse and disaster, and other wards of the state. Churches also afforded various forms of moral support to the state. They preached obedience to the authorities and disciplined by spiritual means those parishioners found guilty of “serious” crimes. They encouraged their parishioners to be active in political affairs and each year offered “election day sermons” on Christian political principles. These ministers also offered learned advice on the requirements of godly law and were often asked to participate in the drafting of new legislation and the resolution of cases that raised particularly trying moral issues.

Checks and Balances Beyond insisting on this balance of separation and cooperation of church and state, the New England Puritans were rather pragmatic in developing the ap­ propriate forms of government for each. They made little pretense that their government structures were biblically commanded or divinely inspired. John Adams wrote that those “employed in the service of forming a constitution” cannot pretend that they “had interviews with the gods, or were in any de­ gree under the inspiration of Heaven.” “Governments [are] contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.” Constitutions “are merely experiments made on human life and manners, society and government.”60 There will al­ ways be “a glorious uncertainty in the law.”61 “I know of no particular Form of . . . Government,” wrote another Puritan leader, “that God Himself has, directly, and immediately, appointed, by any clear Revelation of His Mind and Will, to any People whatever. . . . God Almighty has left it to the natu­ ral Reason of Mankind, in every Nation and Country, to set up that Form, which, upon a thorow Consideration of the Nature, Temper, Inclinations, Customs, Manners, Business, and other Circumstances of a People, may be thought best for them.”62 One constant element in the “nature, temper, and inclination” of persons, however, was their sinfulness. Each person, by his or her very nature, the Puritans believed, is a fallen, sinful, and depraved creature. Each person is inherently tempted by egoism, greed, and corruption. “Sin has . . . vitiated

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the humane Nature,” wrote one New England leader, and driven persons to “unruly Lusts,” “rampant Passions,” and “a constant Endeavour . . . to pro­ mote his own, and gratify Self.”63 This temptation toward self-indulgence and self-gain was particularly strong and dangerous among officials in church and state. “Power is too in­ toxicating and liable to abuse,” wrote one Puritan leader.64 Many officials succumb to their corrupt natures and “make no other use of their higher station, than to swagger over their neighbors, and command their obsequi­ ous flatteries, and enrich themselves with the spoils of which they are able to pillage them.”65 Such official arbitrariness and abuse would inevitably lead to both popular insurrection and divine sanction. The New England Puritans therefore advocated and adopted a variety of safeguards against tryanny for the state as well as the church. First, the Puritans insisted that all officials have as “godly a character” as possible, notwithstanding their inherent sinfulness.66 Officials were to be models of spirituality and morality for the community. They were to be pro­ fessing members of a local congregational church and to swear oaths of al­ legiance to God upon assuming their office. They were also to be diligent, upright, respectful, authoritative, and free from guile and graft. “Their very Example,” wrote Samuel Willard, “will have the force of a Law in it, and win many by a powerful Attraction, to the avoiding of sin, and practising of Righteousness. . . . Their faithful administrations will render them a Terror to Evil Doers, and an Encouragement to them that do well.”67 Second, the Puritans insisted that both state and church officials occupy their offices only for limited tenures. Life tenures were too dangerous, the Pu­ ritans believed, for they afforded the official the opportunity slowly to convert his office into to an instrument of self-gain and self-aggrandizement. It was safer to limit the official’s tenure and require periodic rotation of officers.68 Third, the Puritans advocated the development of what they called selflimiting “republican” forms of government for both the church and the state. Rather than consolidate all forms of authority in one person or one office, they insisted on separate forms or branches of authority, each empowered to check the excesses of the other. Without such division and diffusion of authority, one preacher put it, “we shall ultimately find papacy in the church and monarchy in the state.”69 Church government was thus divided among the offices of pastor, elder, and deacon. Each office held a distinct responsi­ bility in the congregation and each wielded a measure of authority over the others.70 Political government was divided into executive (administrative),

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158 —John Witte, Jr. legislative, and judicial offices. Each office had a distinct responsibility in the commonwealth. Each wielded a measure of authority over the others. Fourth, the Puritans advocated the development of legal codes and clear statutes so that “magistrates might not proceed according to their discre­ tions.”71 Early colonial leaders, such as John Winthrop and John Cotton, had resisted such codification. Codified law was, for them, inequitable because it deprived the magistrate of following “the wisdome and mercy of God as well as his Justice: as occasion shall require.”72 Opponents to discretion, such as Thomas Hooker, found this “a course which wants both safety and warrant, [for] it is a way which leads to tyranny, and so to confusion.”73 Proponents of codification prevailed. The Puritans devised elaborate legal codes and sub­ jected the most minute of daily affairs to close statutory regulation. Fifth, the Puritans adopted what they called a “federalist” structure of government (from foedus, the Latin word for covenant) for both the church and the state. The church was divided into semiautonomous congregations, each with their own internal structures of pastoral, pedagogical, and dia­ conal authority and discipline, but each loosely conjoined by democratically elected synods and assemblies. The state was divided into semiautonomous town governments, each with their own internal structures of executive, leg­ islative, and judicial authority, but conjoined in a broader colonial and later state government. Finally, the Puritans advocated the “democraticall election” of both church and state officials, and periodical congregational and town meetings in between. Early colonial leaders, like Winthrop and Cotton, opposed de­ mocracy as vehemently as they opposed codification. “A democratie is . . . accounted the meanest & worst of all formes of Governmt,” Winthrop de­ clared.74 Likewise Cotton argued that democracy is not “a fitt government eyther for church or commonwealth. If a people be governors, who shall be governed.”75 Other colonial leaders, however, insisted that “Election is the Foundation of our Government.”76 On the one hand, God uses demo­ cratic elections to select those officials who will best maintain the covenantal ideal of the community. Thus “the privilege of election, which belongs to the people,” wrote Hooker, “must not be exercised according to their humours, but according to the blessed will and law of God.”77 On the other hand, the people use elections to protect themselves against autocratic, arbitrary, and avaricious rulers. “They who have the power to appoint [or elect] officers and magistrates, it is in their power, also, to set the bounds and limitations of the power and place unto which they call them.”78

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Both church and state officials came to be democratically elected in the colony. Communicant members of the congregation voted by simple majority rule on the pastors, elders, and deacons who served in the church.79 Citizens of the townships and commonwealth voted by simple majority rule for their respective executive, legislative, and judicial officials.80 Between such demo­ cratic elections, the Puritans held periodic popular meetings. Town meetings were convened for officials to give account of their conduct and citizens to give air to their concerns. Congregational meetings were convened for the purpose of “discussing and resolving of any such doubts & cases of conscience concerning matter of doctrine, or worship, or government of the Church.”81

A Puritan Seedbed of American Constitutionalism and Religious Liberty These Puritan teachings on liberties of covenant and covenants of liberty were one fertile seedbed out of which later American constitutionalism grew. Many of the basic constitutional ideas and institutions developed by the Puritans in the seventeenth century remained firmly in place in the eigh­ teenth century. These ideas and institutions were advocated and adopted not only in their original forms by Puritan sermonizers and political conser­ vatives but also in vestigial forms by those who had claimed no adherence to Puritan beliefs. Puritan constitutional ideas lived on among various Enlightenment liberal and civic republican schools of political thought in the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Enlightenment liberals of various sorts found in the Puritan ideas of natural man and natural law important sources and analo­ gies for their ideas of the state of nature and natural liberty. They found in the Puritan ideas of a social covenant and a political covenant pristine proto­ types for their theories of a social contract and a governmental contract. They found in the doctrine of separation of church and state a foundation for their ideas of disestablishment and free exercise of religion.82 In turn, civic repub­ lican writers of various sorts transformed the Puritan idea of the elect nation under “solemn divine probation” into a revolutionary theory of American nationalism under divine inspiration. They recast the Puritan ideal of the covenant community into a theory of public virtue, discipline, and order. They translated the Puritans’ insistence on spiritual rebirth and reformation into a general call for “moral reformation” and “republican regeneration.”83

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160 —John Witte, Jr. Some Puritan constitutional institutions likewise survived within the new federal and state constitutions of the later eighteenth and early nineteenth cen­ turies—and not just in Massachusetts and other New England states where Puritans dominated the constitutional conventions. In many state constitu­ tions, political rulers were still required to manifest a moral, virtuous, and godly character and to swear oaths attesting to their theistic, if not Christian, beliefs. Most officials were required to stand for democratic elections to their offices. Political offices had limited tenures of office in many states. Political authority was distributed among executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each with authority to check the others. Liberties of citizens were copiously enumerated. Church and state were separated, yet allowed to cooperate. On particular questions of religious liberty and religious pluralism, the Puritans’ formulations were closer to those of early Enlightenment propo­ nents than is often realized. Consider, for example, one of the most famous early Enlightenment statements, John Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), which had a great influence on various American founders, notably Thomas Jefferson. In this tract Locke distilled the liberal English and Dutch learning of the seventeenth century into an elegant plea for church and state to end their corrosive alliances and their corrupt abridgments of the liberty of conscience.84 “Above all things,” Locke pleaded, it is “necessary to distin­ guish exactly the business of civil government from that of religion, and to settle the just bounds that lie between the one and the other” (Letter 5:9) The church, Locke wrote, must be “absolutely separate and distinct from the commonwealth” (Letter 5:21). For the church is simply “a voluntary society of men, joining themselves together of their own accord in order to the public worshipping of God, in such manner as they judge acceptable to Him, and effectual to the salvation of their souls” (Letter 5:13). Church members are free to enter and free to exit this society. They are free to determine its order and organization and arrange its discipline and worship in a manner they consider most conducive to eternal life. “Nothing ought, nor can be trans­ acted in this society, relating to the possession of civil and worldly goods. No force is to be made use of upon any occasion whatsoever: for force belongs wholly to the civil magistrate” (Letter 5:16). State force, in turn, cannot touch religion, Locke argued. The state exists merely to protect persons in their outward lives, in their enjoyment of life, liberty, and property. “True and saving religion consists in the inward persua­ sion of the mind,” which only God can touch and tend (Letter 5:11). A person cannot be compelled to true belief of anything by outward force—whether

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through “confiscation of estate, imprisonments, [or] torments” or through mandatory compliance with “articles of faith or forms of worship” estab­ lished by law. “For laws are of no force without penalties, and penalties in this case are absolutely impertinent, because they are not proper to convince the mind” (Letter 5:11). “It is only light and evidence that can work a change in men’s [religious] opinions: which light can in no manner proceed from corporal sufferings, or any other outward penalties” inflicted by the state. Ev­ ery person “has the supreme and absolute authority of judging for himself ” in matters of faith (Letter 5:41). Locke did not press this thesis to radical conclusions. His Letter Concerning Toleration presupposed a magistracy and community committed to a common Christianity. State laws directed to the common good, he believed, would only “seldom appear unlawful to the conscience of a private person” and would only seldom run afoul of conventional Christian beliefs and prac­ tices. Catholics, Muslims, and other believers “who deliver themselves up to the service and protection of another prince” have no place in this com­ munity. Moreover, “those are not at all tolerated who deny the being of a God”—for “promises, covenants, and oaths which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist” (Letter 5:47). Locke strengthened these qualifications even more in his theological writings—arguing in his volumes, The Reasonableness of Christianity, Essays on the Law of Nature, and Thoughts on Education for the cogency of a simple biblical natural law and endorsing in his several commentaries on St. Paul’s epistles the utility of a moderate Christian republicanism.85

Modern Lessons Puritanism was only one of several religious sources of Western Enlighten­ ment teachings on liberty and human rights. A whole new library of scholar­ ship has emerged demonstrating that these Enlightenment teachings were also rooted and cultivated in other thick and fertile religious soils—whether Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish in inspiration. A separate library of scholar­ ship has emerged to show that a number of basic Enlightenment postulates about liberty and human rights have analogues among the ancient teachings of Islam and even among various Eastern religions. To show that modern Enlightenment constructions of human rights have various religious anteced­ ents and analogues is not to be pedantic or nostalgic. It is rather to suggest

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162 —John Witte, Jr. that religion and the Enlightenment are not so much hostile strangers as old relatives who need to collaborate in the nurture and care for their common rights progeny. It is further to suggest that human rights today, by their very nature, still need religion to survive, just as religions today still need human rights to flourish. Both these propositions are controversial, and I would like to devote the balance of this essay to try to demonstrate them briefly.

Human Rights and Religion Many believe that religion can have no place in a modern regime of human rights. Religions might well have produced some of the prototypes for our modern understanding of human rights. They might even have served as use­ ful advocates for the adoption of human rights in modern times. But religion has now outlived its utility. Religion is, by its nature, too expansionistic and monopolistic, too patriarchal and hierarchical, too antithetical to the very ideals of pluralism, toleration, and equality inherent in a human rights re­ gime. We must purge religion entirely, this argument concludes, so that the Enlightenment human rights paradigm can thrive.86 But this deprecation of religion introduces several distortions into rights theory.87 First, without religion, many rights are cut from their roots. “The right to religion,” the great German jurist Georg Jellinek once wrote, is “the mother of many other rights.”88 For the religious individual, the right to be­ lieve leads ineluctably to the rights to assemble, speak, worship, proselytize, educate, parent, travel, or to abstain from the same on the basis of one’s be­ liefs. For the religious association, the right to exist invariably involves rights to corporate property, collective worship, organized charity, parochial educa­ tion, freedom of press, and autonomy of governance. To ignore religious rights is to overlook the conceptual, if not historical, source of many other individual and associational rights. Second, without religion, the regime of human rights can become in­ finitely expandable. Many religious communities adopt and advocate hu­ man rights in order to protect religious duties. For them, a religious in­ dividual or association has rights to exist and act not in the abstract but in order to discharge discrete religious duties.89 Rights and duties prop­ erly belong together. To speak of one without the other is ultimately de­ structive. Rights without duties to guide them quickly become claims of self-indulgence. Duties without rights to exercise them quickly become sources of deep guilt.

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Third, without religion, the state is given an exaggerated role to play as the guarantor of human rights. The simple state versus individual dialectic of many Enlightenment-based modern human rights theories leaves it to the state to protect and provide rights of all sorts. In reality, the state is not, and cannot be, so omnicompetent. Numerous “mediating structures” stand be­ tween the state and the individual, religious institutions prominently among them.90 Religious institutions, among others, play a vital role in the cultiva­ tion and realization of rights. They can create the conditions (sometimes the prototypes) for the realization of first-generation civil and political rights. They can provide a critical (sometimes the principal) means to meet secondgeneration rights of education, health care, child care, labor organizations, employment, artistic opportunities, among others. They can offer some of the deepest insights into norms of creation, stewardship, and servanthood that lie at the heart of third-generation rights. Fourth, without religion, human rights narratives have no enduring nar­ ratives to ground them. There is, of course, some value in simply declaring human rights norms of “liberty, equality, and fraternity” or “life, liberty, and property”—if for no other reason than to pose an ideal against which a per­ son or community might measure itself, to preserve a normative totem for later generations to make real. But ultimately these abstract human rights ideals of the good life and the good society depend upon the visions and val­ ues of human communities and institutions to give them content and coher­ ence, to provide what Jacques Maritain once called “the scale of values gov­ erning the[ir] exercise and concrete manifestation.”91 It is here that religion must play a vital role. Religion is an ineradicable condition of human lives and human communities. Religions invariably provide many of the sourc­ es and “scales of values” by which many persons and communities govern themselves. Religions inevitably help to define the meanings and measures of shame and regret, restraint and respect, responsibility and restitution that a human rights regime presupposes. Religions must thus be seen as indis­ pensable allies in the modern struggle for human rights. To exclude them is to deprive from the struggle is impossible, indeed catastrophic. To include them—to enlist their unique resources and to protect their unique rights—is vital to enhancing the regime of human rights and provided religious and civil liberties for all. The ancient teachings and practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have much to commend themselves to the human rights regime. Each of these traditions is a religion of revelation, founded on the eternal command

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164 —John Witte, Jr. to love one God, oneself, and all neighbors. Each tradition recognizes a ca­ nonical text as its highest authority—the Torah, the Bible, and the Qur’an. Each tradition designates a class of officials to preserve and propagate its faith, and embraces an expanding body of authoritative interpretations and appli­ cations of its canon. Each tradition has a refined legal structure—the halacha, the canon law, and the shari‘a—that has translated its enduring principles of faith into evolving precepts of works. Each tradition has sought to imbue its religious, ethical, and legal norms in the daily lives of individuals and com­ munities. Each tradition has produced a number of the basic building blocks of a comprehensive theory and law of religious human rights—conscience, dignity, reason, liberty, equality, tolerance, love, openness, responsibility, jus­ tice, mercy, righteousness, accountability, covenant, and community, among other cardinal concepts. Each tradition has developed its own internal system of legal procedures and structures for the protection of rights, which histori­ cally have and still can serve as both prototypes and complements to secular legal systems. Each tradition has its own advocates and prophets, ancient and modern, who have worked to achieve a closer approximation of human rights ideals.

Human Rights in Religion Not only must religion have a place in human rights, human rights must have a place in religion. Many would consider this second thesis to be as mis­ guided as the first. It is one thing for religious bodies to accept the freedom and autonomy that a human rights regime allows. This at least gives them unencumbered space to pursue their divine callings. It is quite another thing for religious bodies to import human rights within their own polities and theologies. This exposes them to all manner of unseemly challenges. Human rights norms, religious skeptics argue, challenge the structure of religious bodies. While human rights norms teach liberty and equality, most religious bodies teach authority and hierarchy. While human rights norms encourage pluralism and diversity, many religious bodies require orthodoxy and uniformity. While human rights norms teach freedoms of speech and petition, several religions teach duties of silence and submission. To draw human rights norms into the structures of religion would only seem to em­ bolden members to demand greater access to religious governance, greater freedom from religious discipline, greater latitude in the definition of reli­ gious doctrine and liturgy. So why import them?

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Moreover, human rights norms challenge the spirit of religious bodies. Human rights norms, religious skeptics argue, are the creed of a secular faith born of Enlightenment liberalism, humanism, and rationalism. Hu­ man rights advocates regularly describe these norms as our new “civic faith,” “our new world religion,” “our new global moral language.”92 The influential French jurist Karl Vasak has pressed these sentiments into a full confession of the secular spirit of the modern human rights movement: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights [of 1948], like the French Dec­ laration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in 1789, has had an immense im­ pact throughout the world. It has been called a modern edition of the New Testament, and the Magna Carta of humanity, and has become a constant source of inspiration for governments, for judges, and for national and in­ ternational legislators. . . . By recognizing the Universal Declaration as a liv­ ing document . . . one can proclaim one’s faith in the future of mankind.93

In demonstration of this new faith, Vasak converted the “old trinity” of “liberté, egalité, et fraternité” taught by the French Revolution into a “new trinity” of “three generations of rights” for all humanity. The first genera­ tion of civil and political rights elaborates the meaning of liberté. The second generation of social, cultural, and economic rights elaborates the meaning of equalité. The third generation of solidarity rights to development, peace, health, the environment, and open communication elaborates the meaning of fraternité.94 Such language has become not only the lingua franca but also something of the lingua sacra of the modern human rights movement. In the face of such an overt confession of secular liberalism, religious skeptics conclude, a religious body would do well to resist the ideas and institutions of human rights. Both these skeptical arguments, however, presuppose that human rights norms constitute a static belief system born of Enlightenment liberalism. But the human rights regime is not static. It is fluid, elastic, open to challenge and change. The human rights regime is not a fundamental belief system. It is a relative system of ideas and ideals that presupposes the existence of funda­ mental beliefs and values that will constantly shape and reshape it. The human rights regime is not the child of Enlightenment liberalism or a ward under its exclusive guardianship. It is the ius gentium of our times, the common law of nations, which a variety of Hebrew, Greek, Roman, Christian, and Enlighten­ ment movements have historically nurtured in the West and that today still needs the constant nurture of multiple communities, in the West and well

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166 —John Witte, Jr. beyond. Doubtless current formulations of human rights are suffused with fundamental libertarian beliefs and values, some of which run counter to the cardinal beliefs of various religious traditions. But libertarianism does not and should not have a monopoly on the nurture of human rights; indeed, a hu­ man rights regime cannot long survive under its exclusive patronage. I use the antique term ius gentium advisedly—to signal the place of human rights as “middle axioms” in our moral and political discourse.95 Historically, Western writers spoke of a hierarchy of laws—from natural law (ius naturale) to common law (ius gentium) to civil law (ius civile).96 The natural law was the set of immutable principles of reason and conscience, which are supreme in authority and divinity and must always prevail in instances of dispute. The civil law was the set of enacted laws and procedures of local political commu­ nities reflecting their immediate policies and procedures. Between these two sets of norms was the ius gentium, the set of principles and customs common to several communities and often the basis for treaties and other diplomatic conventions. The contents of the ius gentium did gradually change over time and across cultures—as new interpretations of the natural law were offered and as new formulations of the positive law became increasingly convention­ al. But the ius gentium was a relatively consistent body of principles by which a person and a people could govern themselves. This antique typology helps us to understand the intermediate place of human rights in our hierarchy of legal and cultural norms today. Human rights are the ius gentium of our time, the middle axioms of our discourse. They are derived from and dependent upon the transcendent principles that religious traditions (more than any other groups) continue to cultivate. And they inform, and are informed by, shifts in the customs and conventions of sundry state law systems. These human rights norms do gradually change over time: just compare the international human rights instruments of 1948 with those of today. But human rights norms are a relatively stable set of ide­ als by which a person and community might be guided and judged. This antique typology also helps us to understand the place of human rights within religion. My argument that human rights must have a more prominent place within religions today is not an attempt to import liber­ tarian ideals into their theologies and polities. It is not an attempt to herd Trojan horses into churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples in order to assail secretly their spirit and structure. My argument is, rather, that religious bodies must again assume their traditional patronage and protection of hu­ man rights, bringing to this regime their full doctrinal vigor, liturgical heal­

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ing, and moral suasion. Using our antique typology, religious bodies must again nurture and challenge the middle axioms of the ius gentium using the transcendent principles of the ius naturale. This must not be an effort to mo­ nopolize the discourse, nor to establish by positive law a particular religious construction of human rights. Such an effort must be part of a collective discourse of competing understandings of the ius naturale—competing theo­ logical views of the divine and the human, good and evil, individuality and community—that will serve constantly to inform and reform, to develop and deepen, the human rights ideals now in place.97 A number of religious traditions, of late, have begun this process of reen­ gaging the regime of human rights, of returning to their traditional roots and routes of nurturing and challenging the human rights regime. This process has been incremental, clumsy, controversial, at times even fatal for its pro­ ponents. But the process of religious engagement of human rights is now underway—in Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and traditional communities alike. Something of a new “human rights hermeneutic” is slow­ ly beginning to emerge among modern religions. This is, in part, a “hermeneutic of confession.” Given their checkered hu­ man rights records over the centuries, religious bodies have begun to acknowl­ edge their departures from the cardinal teachings of peace and love that are the heart of their sacred texts and traditions. Christian churches have taken the lead in this process—from the Second Vatican Council’s confession of prior complicity in authoritarianism to the contemporary Church’s repeated con­ fessions of prior support for apartheid, communism, racism, sexism, fascism, and anti-Semitism. Other communities have also begun this process. This is, in part, a “hermeneutic of suspicion” (in Paul Ricoeur’s phrase). Given the pronounced libertarian tone of many recent human rights formu­ lations, it imperative that we not idolize or idealize these formulations. We need not be bound by current taxonomies of “three generations of rights” rooted in liberty, equality, and fraternity. Common law formulations of “life, liberty or property,” canon law formulations of “natural, ecclesiastical and civil rights,” or Protestant formulations of “civil, theological, and pedagogi­ cal uses” of rights might well be more apt classification schemes. We must not accept the seemingly infinite expansion of human rights discourse and demands. Rights bounded by moral duties, by natural capacities, or by cov­ enantal relationships might well provide better boundaries to the legitimate expression and extension of rights. And we must not be bound only to a cen­ tralized, legal methodology of articulating and enforcing rights. We might

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168 —John Witte, Jr. also consider a more pluralistic model of interpretation that respects “the right of the [local] community to be the living frame of interpretation for their own religion and its normative regime.”98 This is, in part, a “hermeneutic of history,” which has been the principal ambition of this chapter. While acknowledging the fundamental contribu­ tions of Enlightenment liberalism to the modern rights regime, we must also see the deeper genesis and genius of many modern rights norms in religious texts and traditions that antedate the Enlightenment by centuries, sometimes millennia. We must return to our religious sources. In part, this is a return to ancient sacred texts freed from the casuistic accretions of generations of ju­ rists and the cultural trappings of the communities in which these traditions were born. In part, this is a return to slender streams of theological jurispru­ dence that have not been part of the mainstream of the religious traditions or have become diluted by too great a commingling with it. In part, this is a return to prophetic voices of dissent, long purged from traditional religious canons, but, in retrospect, prescient of some of the rights roles that tradition might play today.

notes 1. Papers of John Adams, ed. R. Taylor, M. Kline, and G. Lint, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Belknap, 1977), 1:114–16. 2. See detailed sources in Daniel J. Elazar, Covenant and Commonwealth: From Christian Separation Through the Protestant Reformation (New Brunswick, NJ: Trans­ action, 1996), and Covenant and Civil Society: The Constitutional Matrix of Modern Democracy (Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1998). 3. Robert Rollock, Tractatus de Vocatione Efficaci (1597), in Selected Works of Robert Rollock, ed. W. Gunn, 2 vols. (Edinburgh: Wodrow Society, 1849), 1:15. 4. John Preston, The New Covenant or the Saints Portion (London: n.p., 1629), p. 351; see David Zaret, The Heavenly Contract: Ideology and Organization in Pre-Revolutionary Puritanism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), p. 151. 5. Johann Heinrich Alsted, Catechetical Theology (1619), pp. 28–29, quoted by Jaro­ slav Pelikan, Reformation of Church and Dogma, 1300–1700 (Chicago: University of Chi­ cago Press, 1984), p. 367. 6. William Ames, Medulla Sacrae Theologiae Pertita (Frankener: Uldaricus Balk, 1623), 1.10; John Norton, Orthodox Evangelist (London: J. Macock, 1654), p. 102 ff. 7. Ames, 1.14–15; The Works of Thomas Shepard, 3 vols. (Boston: Doctrinal Tract and Book Society, 1853), 1:17 ff., 90 ff. 8. Richard Alleine, Heaven Opened: Or the Riches of God’s Covenant of Grace (Lon­ don: n.p., 1665), p. 29 ff.

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9. Preston, quoted by Christopher Hill, Puritanism and Revolution: Studies in Interpretation of the English Revolution of the Seventeenth Century (London: Secker and Warburg, 1958), p. 246. 10. Paul Ramsey, Basic Christian Ethics (New York: Scribner, 1950), p. 371. 11. Samuel Willard, Covenant-Keeping the Way to Blessedness (Boston: J. Glen, 1682). See further Samuel Willard, Morality Not be Relied on for Life (Boston:Green and Al­ len, 1700); Samuel Willard, Walking with God, The Great Duty and Privilege of True Christians (Boston:Green and Allen, 1701). 12. Elisha Williams, The Essential Rights and Liberties of Protestants (Boston: Knee­ land and Green, 1744), pp. 3, 7–8. 13. Despite this liberalization, it took Baptists another fifty years to achieve full legal equality in New England. William G. McLoughlin, New England Dissent 1630– 1833, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971); and Soul Liberty: The Baptists’ Struggle in New England, 1630–1833 (Hanover: University Press of New England, 1991). 14. In F. Thorpe, ed., The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws, 7 vols. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909), vol. 3 (hereafter Thorpe); and analyzed in detail in my “‘A Most Mild and Equitable Es­ tablishment of Religion’: John Adams and the Massachusetts Experiment,” Journal of Church and State 41 (1999): 213–52. 15. Thorpe, 3:452–56. 16. Letter to Thomas Jefferson (June 28, 1813), in The Adams-Jefferson Letters, ed. Lester J. Cappon, 2 vols. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1959), pp. 339–40. 17. Letter to Thomas Jefferson (June 25, 1813), ibid., p. 334. 18. John Winthrop, Winthrop’s Journal, ed. James K. Hosmer, 2 vols. (New York: Scribner’s, 1908), 2:238. 19. John D. Eusden, “Natural Law and Covenant Theology in New England, 1620–1670,” Natural Law Forum 5 (1960): 1. 20. John Barnard, The Throne Established By Righteousness (1734), in Perry Miller and Thomas Johnson, eds., The Puritans (New York: American Book, 1938), 270–71 (hereafter Miller and Johnson). 21. Winthrop’s Journal, 2:238. 22. Thomas Hooker, The Application of Redemption by the Effectual Work of the Word, and Spirit of Christ, for the Bringing Home of Lost Sinners to God (London: Peter Cole, 1659), p. 43. 23. Cotton Mather, The Serviceable Man (1690), in Edmund S. Morgan, ed., Puritan Political Ideas (Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill, 1965), p. 233 (hereafter Morgan). See also J. Higginson, The Cause of God and His People in New England (Cambridge, Mass.: Samuel Green, 1663), p. 18. 24. John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity (1630), in Morgan, pp. 75, 93. J. Scottow, Narrative of the Planting of Massachusetts (1694), in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th series (1871), 4:279. 25. Willard, Covenant-Keeping the Way to Blessedness (1682).

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170 —John Witte, Jr. 26. The Agreement Between the Settlers of New Plymouth (1620), in Williston Walker, The Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism (Boston: Pilgrim, 1960), p. 92. 27. The Covenant of 1629, ibid., p. 116. 28. Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity, p. 92. 29. Thomas Hooker, A Survey of the Summe of Church-Discipline, 2 vols. (London: John Bellamy, 1648), 1.47, 50. 30. John Winthrop, “A Defense of an Order of Court Made in the Year 1637,” in Miller and Johnson, pp. 200–1. 31. Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity, p. 92; Increase Mather, The Excellency of a Publick Spirit (Boston:Green and Allen, 1702). 32. Robert W. Kelso, The History of Public Poor Relief in Massachusetts, 1620–1920 (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1922). 33. W. Stoughton, New Englands True Interest: Not to Lie (1670), in Miller and Johnson, p. 243. 34. N. Shurtleff, ed., Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 5 vols. (Boston: White, 1853–1854), 5:59; Election Day Sermons: Plymouth and Connecticut, facs. ed. (New York: AMS, 1983). 35. Quoted in Harold J. Berman, “Religious Foundations of Law in the West: An Historical Perspective,” Journal of Law and Religion 1 (1983): 3, 30. 36. See Phillips Payson, “Election Sermon of 1778,” reprinted in American Political Writing During the Founding Era, 1760–1805, Charles S. Hynemann and Donald S. Lutz, eds., 2 vols. (Indianapolis: Liberty, 1983), 1:529. This was also one reason that Adams wrote into his draft of chapters 1 and 2 that every official must be “of the Christian religion.” 37. The Cambridge Synod and Platform (1648), chaps. 1–3, 5, in Walker, Creeds and Platforms, pp. 203–10. See also Richard Mather, Church Government and Church-Covenant Discussed (1643), in R. Robey, ed., Church Covenant: Two Tracts (New York: Arno, 1972), p. 217. 38. Cambridge Synod and Platform, chaps. 4–10. 39. Ibid., chap. 4. 40. Watertown Covenant-Creed (1647), in Miller and Johnson, 149, 155–56. 41. Samuel Willard, The Character of a Good Ruler (1694), in Miller and Johnson, p. 253; Jonathan Todd, Civil Rulers the Ministers of God for Good to Men (London: Timothy Green, 1749). 42. Ibid. See also John Winthrop, On Arbitrary Government, in Morgan, p. 152; Cotton Mather, Bonifacious: An Essay Upon The Good, ed. David Levin (Cambridge: Belknap, 1966), pp. 91, 94. 43. Cambridge Synod and Platform, chap. 17. 44. Ibid. 45. Letter from John Cotton to Lord Say (1636), in Miller and Johnson, pp. 209– 12; Willard, The Character of a Good Ruler, pp. 250–56. 46. The Generall Lawes and Liberties of New Plymouth, p. 148. 47. Willard, The Character of a Good Ruler, p. 254. 48. Ibid.

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49. Ibid., p. 255. 50. Max Farrand, ed., The Book of the General Laws and Liberties Concerning the Inhabitants of Massachusetts (1648) (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1929), p. 1. 51. Samuel Willard, A Sermon Upon the Death of John Leverett, Esq. (Boston: John Foster, 1679), p. 6; see also Increase Mather, The Necessity of Reformation With the Expedients Thereunto Asserted (Boston: John Foster, 1679), pp. iii–iv. 52. Mather, Bonifacious, p. 130. 53. Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts, p. A2. 54. Ibid., 18–20; Cambridge Synod and Platform, chap. 17. See also Thomas Breen, The Character of the Good Ruler, 1630–1730 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970), pp. 37–44. 55. Ibid., p. 42. 56. Letter from John Cotton to Lord Say (1636), in Morgan, p. 209. 57. Urian Oakes, New England Pleaded With, and Pressed to Consider the Things Which Concern Her (Cambridge: Samuel Green, 1673), p. 49. 58. Massachusetts Records, 5:328. 59. Ibid.; Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts, 18–20; Cambridge Synod and Platform, chap. 17. 60. Adams, Works, 4:297. 61. Letter to Josiah Quincy (February 9, 1811), in Adams Works, 9:629–632, at 630. 62. John Barnard, The Throne Established by Righteousness (1734), in Miller and Johnson, p. 273. 63. Ibid., p. 272. 64. Peter Whitney, The Transgression of a Land Punished by a Multitude of Rulers (Boston: John Boyle, 1774), p. 21; John Cotton, An Exposition on the Thirteenth Chapter of the Revelation (1655), in Morgan, p. 175. 65. Mather, Bonifacious, p. 92. 66. Willard, The Character of a Good Ruler, p. 250. 67. Ibid., p. 254. 68. Breen, The Character of a Good Ruler, pp. 74–75. 69. Willard, The Character of a Good Ruler, pp. 251–252; Hooker, The Summe of Church-Discipline, pp. 3–5. 70. Cambridge Synod and Platform, chaps. 5–7. 71. Winthrop’s Journal, 2:191. 72. Quoted by Breen, The Character of a Good Ruler, p. 60. 73. Thomas Hooker, in Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society 1 (1860): 11; Perry Miller, “Thomas Hooker and the Democracy of Early Connecticut,” New England Quarterly 4 (1931): 663. 74. Life and Letters of John Winthrop, ed. R. Winthrop, 2 vols. (New York: Da Capo, 1971), 2:430. 75. Quoted by Clinton Rossiter, The First American Revolution: The American Colonies on the Eve of Revolution (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1956), p. 90.

76. William Hubbard, The Benefit of a Well-Ordered Conversation (Boston: Samuel Green, 1684), p. 25.

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172 —John Witte, Jr. 77. Connecticut Collections, 1:20; Hooker, Summe of Church-Discipline, pp. 8–13. 78. Connecticut Collections, 1:20. 79. Cambridge Synod and Platform, chap. 8. 80. Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts, pp. 20–21, 50–51. 81. Ibid., pp. 19. 82. See generally Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 32–34, 161–229, 246–72. 83. See Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969), pp. 107–24. 84. John Locke, Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), in The Works of John Locke, 12th ed., 9 vols. (1824), 5:1–58. Locke wrote two subsequent such letters and had a frag­ ment of a fourth letter underway on his death in 1704. It was the first letter of 1689 that was best known in America. 85. John Locke, The Reasonableness of Christianity, in Locke, Works, 6:1–158, at 140– 43, and Essays on the Law of Nature, ed. W. von Leyden (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1954 [ca. 1662]); The Educational Writings of John Locke, ed. James L. Axtell (London: Cambridge University Press, 1968). See Nicholas P. Wolterstorff, John Locke and the Ethics of Belief (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); Jeremy Wal­ dron, God, Locke, and Equality: Christian Foundations of John Locke’s Political Thought (Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002); John Perry, “Locke’s Ac­ cidental Church: The Letter Concerning Toleration and the Church’s Witness to the State,” Journal of Church and State 47 (2005): 269–88. 86. For a critical analysis, see Max L. Stackhouse, “The Intellectual Crisis of a Good Idea,” Journal of Religious Ethics 26 (1998): 263. 87. See varying perspectives collected in Tore Lindholm, W. Cole Durham, Jr., and Bahia G. Tahzib-Lie, Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Deskbook (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2004); Malcolm D. Evans, Religious Liberty and International Law in Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); Bahia G. Tahzib, Freedom of Religion or Belief: Ensuring Effective International Legal Protection (The Hague: Mar­ tinus Nijohff, 1996). 88. Georg Jellinek, Die Erklärung der Menschen- und Bürgerrechte: ein Beitrag zur modernen Verfassungsgeschichte (Liepzig: Duncker and Humblot, 1895), p. 42. 89. See, e.g., David Novak, Covenantal Rights: A Study in Jewish Political Theory (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000); Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and International Law (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1990); John Witte Jr. and Johan D. van der Vyver, eds., Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective, 2 vols. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1996); World Council of Churches, Human Rights and Christian Responsibility, 3 vols. (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1975); Wolfgang Huber and Heinz Eduard Tödt, Menschenrechte: Perspektiven einer menschlichen Welt (Stuttgart: Kreuz-Verlag, 1977). 90. See various arguments for social pluralism in James W. Skillen and Rockne M. McCarthy, eds., Political Order and the Plural Structure of Society (Atlanta: Schol­ ars Press, 1991); Michael Walzer, Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality (New York, Basic Books, 1983).

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91. Jacques Maritain, “Introduction,” in UNESCO, Human Rights: Comments and Interpretations (New York: Columbia University Press, 1949). Maritain went on to make clear that there need not be, and indeed sometimes cannot be, a consensus on these religious foundations of human rights. In response to expressions of surprise at mustering such widespread agreement among religious and cultural groups to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights that he helped to draft, Maritain stated: “Yes, we agree about the rights but on condition that no one asks why.” Quoted and astutely analyzed along with other “foundationalist theories” of human rights in Rob­ ert A. Schapiro, “The Consequences of Human Rights Foundationalism,” Emory Law Journal 54 (2005): 171, 174ff. 92. See John Nurser, For All Peoples and All Nations: Christian Churches and Human Rights (Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2005); Allen D. Hertzke, Freeing God’s Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights (Landham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2004); Robert Traer, Faith in Human Rights: Support in Religious Traditions for a Global Struggle (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1991). 93. Karel Vasak, “A 30-Year Struggle,” UNESCO Courier, November 1977, p. 29; see also Karel Vasak, “Foreword,” in Karel Vasak, ed., The International Dimensions of Human Rights (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982), xv; Karel Vasak, “Pour une troisième génération des droits de l’homme,” in Christophe Swinarksi, ed., Études et Essais sur le Droit International Humanitaire et sur les Principes de la Croix-Rouge en l’Honneur de Jean Pictet (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1984), pp. 837–45. 94. Vasak, “Pour une troisième génération,” p. 837. 95. See comparable comments, from a Muslim perspective, in Abdullahi Ahmed AnNa’im, “Towards an Islamic Hermeneutics for Human Rights,” in Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, et al., eds., Religion and Human Rights Values: An Uneasy Relationship (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), pp. 229–42; and, from a Catholic perspective, Robert P. George, “Response,” in Michael Cromartie, ed., A Preserving Grace: Protestants, Catholics, and Natural Law (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), pp. 157–72; Jacques Maritain, Man and the State (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), pp. 97–101. 96. See my Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. 157ff. 97. See especially, from a theological perspective, Wolfgang Huber, “Human Rights and Biblical Legal Thought,” in Witte and van der Vyver, Religious Human Rights, 1:47–64, at 59ff.; Huber, Gerechtigkeit und Recht (Gütersloh: Gütersloher, 1996), pp. 252ff., 366ff., 446ff.; Christina M. Cerna, “Universality of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity: Implementation of Human Rights in Different Socio-Cultural Contexts,” Human Rights Quarterly 16 (1994): 740–52; Jerome J. Shestack, “The Jurisprudence of Human Rights,” in Theodor Meron, ed., Human Rights in International Law: Legal and Policy Issues (Oxford: Clarendon, 1984), p. 75; David Tracy, “Religion and Human Rights in the Public Realm,” Daedalus 112, no. 4 (1983): 237–54. 98. An-Na’im, “Towards an Islamic Hermeneutics for Human Rights,” p. 235.

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chapter seven

India The Politics of Religious Reform and Conflict Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Religion, Law, and Reform The Indian State has played a prominent part in defining not just the line be­ tween the religious and the secular but also the legitimate boundaries of reli­ gious practice as well. What we think of as the line between the religious and the secular is not some antecedently given distinction, but is something the state produces in asserting its authority. Hinduism’s accommodation to the authority of the state was a product of a complex historical process. In par­ ticular, it was a product of the internal crisis of authority within Hinduism. Here the Hobbesian lesson is important. More than the truth of the religion, what is crucial is whose authority religious adherents will accept. “Religious” conflict in India does not stem from doctrinal or theological sources, but is firmly a product of the politics of representation. No constitutional culture can entirely escape the thorny problem of de­ fining religion and thereby regulating its meaning. As Kent Greenawalt has argued,1 there is a paradox at the heart of the free exercise and establishment clauses in the American case. Sometimes courts have to determine whether or not a policy places a substantial burden on the free exercise of a religion. This might require the court to have not only a definition of religion. The

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court might also have to determine whether a particular practice counts as falling under that definition. In making these determinations, courts can, of course, favor some religions over others, but they can also regulate the meaning of a particular practice within a religion by attaching more or less significance to that practice. For this reason, it has been a presumption of American constitutional law that the courts must not, as far as it is pos­ sible, determine religious truth or even whether claimants are faithful to a religious tradition. Where are the legitimate boundaries to be drawn on the state’s interfer­ ence in religious matters? What would the freedom of religion amount to if the state had broad powers to regulate religion in the name of social reform?2 In some ways these questions arise in any constitutional context with vary­ ing degrees of urgency. But often in contemporary discussions the tensions between the free exercise of religion and the secular purposes of the state are minimized. Our prevalent metaphors for talking about regimes of reli­ gious toleration often disguise the stakes. No secular state, as is now familiar, can be neutral or impartial among religions, because the state determines the boundaries within which neutrality must operate. Similarly, another metaphor used by Amy Gutmann (2000),3 which describes the separation of church and state as a “two-way accommodation” whose purpose is to pro­ tect religion from the state as much as it is to protect the state from religion, does not adequately acknowledge the fact that the two-way accommodation metaphor works only when vast areas of religious practice have already been ceded to the state, arguably to the point where religious practice becomes socially less consequential. The two-way accommodation metaphor also neglects the fact that all states extensively regulate religion. Particular aspects of religion are given protection, recognition, and support; others are the subject of indifference, and many aspects are curtailed and proscribed. But there are different modes of regulating and shaping religion. One, which might be called external regu­ lation, often favored by liberals, goes something like this. As Marc Galanter puts it, “the state promulgates its public purposes, it defines the areas where these public standards will prevail, where they will override competing asser­ tions of religious authority and leaves it up to religion to accommodate itself to these standards.”4 But another mode of regulation might be more internal. The state might try and reformulate religious traditions from within. The state might do this in one of two ways. It might try to define what the proper practice of a particular religion requires. It could go even further and argue

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176 —Pratap Bhanu Mehta that public secular purposes are themselves the best expression of a particular religious doctrine or are at least congruent with it. Indian legislatures, the courts in particular, have done much more of the latter than their corresponding American counterparts in order to align reli­ gion with a particular discourse of toleration. This is not to deny that Indian courts have also externally regulated religion as well. The Constitution gives the state broad powers to regulate religious freedom, if such regulation can be justified in terms of public purposes, including the maintenance of “public order, morality and health.” The Indian Supreme Court has, in some sense, taken to heart Hobbes’s recognition that the control of public meanings of religion was the essence of the civil sovereign’s role; it has tried to install itself as the true measure of the meaning of a religion. Why would the courts go to great lengths to determine the internal con­ tent and meaning of religion and argue that those provide reasons for going along with public purposes? One obvious answer might simply go as follows. Indian courts like to find support for their reformist agendas within Hindu scriptures and traditions themselves. This is simply a way of bolstering their authority by giving Hindus reasons that are internal to the tradition itself to go along with the courts and legislatures reform agenda. This motivation is certainly part of, but only a part of the story, as I will explain.

The Role of the Courts Indian courts are faced with the obvious question. Which practices are en­ titled to constitutional protection under the freedom of religion clauses? Defining religion is a complex problem; defining what counts as a Hindu religious practice is even more notoriously thorny. Yet, if the constitutional right to the freedom of religion is to be tested, the court is required to have a definition of a religion so that it can assess when religious freedom is being violated. Indian courts stress that religion has an ambit wider than simply be­ lief.5 In the very first case dealing with this question, Commissioner of Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras v. Sri Lakshmindra Tirtha Swamiar, popularly known as the Shrirur Math case, the court acknowledged that the Consti­ tution not only guarantees freedom of religious belief but also freedom of practice. In determining whether a practice counts as religious practice, the courts have consistently rejected an assertion test. According to this test, a practitioner could simply assert that his particular practice was a religious

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practice; all the courts would have to do is establish the existence of such a practice. The Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion in the Shrirur Math case, rejected the test. Instead it came up with “the essential practices” test. In order for it to be established that a policy or law violates the freedom of religion, it must be shown that the policy in question violates an “essential” practice of religion. Ever since the Shrirur Math case, the notion of the “essential” part of re­ ligion has acquired critical importance. Later judgments have held that the Constitution’s protection of freedom of religion extends only to its essential part. For example in Durgah Committee, Ajmer v. Syed Hussain Ali, only the “essential and integral” part of religion has constitutional protection. This excludes not only secular matters disguised as religious ones but also, in the words of Justice Gajendragadkar, the key architect of this doctrine, “super­ stitious” beliefs and practices which may be “extraneous and unessential ac­ cretions to religion itself.” The courts seem committed to some Ciceronian idea of religio cleansed of superstitio, to the search for a “pure” religion whose theology turns out to be compatible with the civil theology of the Com­ monwealth. Debates over secularism often overlook the fact that even secular purposes can in some ways remain anchored in religious ones. And the In­ dian Supreme Court takes it upon itself to show how. The essential practices test serves a number of purposes. On the one hand it allows the courts to determine whether or not a practice is a candidate for protection under the Constitution’s freedom-of-religion guarantees. For instance, does the setting up of a trust providing milk for cobras in a temple precinct count as a Hindu religious trust? The courts argued that a trust formed to feed milk to reptiles could not be so counted.6 But the logic of the essential practices test has given the court wide authority to define, interpret, and regulate the meaning of religion. For example, take cases in­ volving such questions as does an individual or a cult or sect form part of Hinduism or not? In numerous cases the courts have identified the essen­ tial practices of both the sect in question and Hinduism and, on that basis, have determined whether or not the sect belongs to Hinduism. The stakes in defining whether or not a sect belongs to Hinduism were quite high, as will be discussed further. But the essential practices test has also allowed the courts to do more. They have been able to—in theory at any rate—minimize the conflict between the free exercise of religion and the secular purposes of the state by constructing an argument to the effect that the practices being regulated were not essential to that religion in any case. By distinguishing

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178 —Pratap Bhanu Mehta the essential from the nonessential aspects of religion, the courts seek to nar­ row the gap between the guarantees of free exercise of religion and the pub­ lic purposes served by the state. Recall that the two-way accommodation doctrine works only if religious authority is confined to particular domains. The distinction between essential and nonessential potentially narrows the range of activity that might otherwise be deemed as the free exercise of reli­ gion. The net result is that “the Courts can discard as nonessentials anything which is not proved to their satisfaction—and they are not religious leaders or in any relevant fashion qualified in such matters—to be essential, with the result that it would have no constitutional protection. The Constitution does not say ‘freely to profess and propagate the essentials of religion, but this is how it is constructed.’”7 But the court has also used the essential practices doctrine to make a more far reaching move. In many instances the court has argued that the secular, public purposes of the state just are the best expression of the free exercise of the particular religion in question. The courts can claim that if one properly understood the essentials of religion, one would find that those essentials would support or justify the legitimate public objectives of the state. How does the court determine what is essential or integral to a religion? The Supreme Court’s deployment of the distinction between religion and superstition, or essential and inessential, arouses immense legal controversy. The obvious criticism of the court is that one person’s superstition is another person’s religion. While there are no hermeneutic injunctions that constrain the court’s interpretative practices, the court starts off with the assumption that the essentials of a religion are congruent with the requirements of a modern liberal society. Shastri Yagnapurashdasji v. Muldas Bhundardas Vaishya,8 also known as the Satsang case, gives a representative glimpse into the Court’s modus operandi. The petitioners in this case claimed that temple-entry legislation, passed in Bombay in 1947, whose objective was to open Hindu temples to untouchables, did not apply to them because they were not Hindus. In effect, this was an attempt to subvert the social reform of Hinduism and its attempts to be more inclusive by starting a new religion. The issue be­ fore the Court was whether the Satsangis could claim exemption from the temple-entry legislation by declaring themselves to be of a religion different from Hinduism. The case was significant for a variety of reasons. On the one hand, against the backdrop of the insidious history of caste oppression in the name of Hinduism, it was opening up temples to untouchables. On

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the other hand, the Court was put in the position of saying why it was that the Satsangis could not declare themselves to be non-Hindus. The question, therefore was, whether the Satsangis were Hindus, and this meant consider­ ing who was a Hindu. The Court, in declaring the Satsangis to be Hindu, first argued that the teachings of the sect were identical with Hinduism properly understood; sec­ ond, that the founder of the sect, SwamiNarayan, was simply one in a long series of reformers of Hinduism who carried the spark of divinity. In order to prove their distinctiveness, the Satsangis claimed that, first, their sect gave women diksha (initiation), which was unusual; second, they admitted Muslims and Parsis to diksha—members of these religions could become full members of the sect without ceasing to be Muslim or Parsi; and, third, that the founder of the sect was worshiped as a god in the temples of the sect. The Court dismissed the first claim swiftly: although historically unusual, there were no theological impediments within Hinduism to initiating women. On the second, the Court argued that the fact merely shows that the “Satsang philosophy preached by SwamiNarayan allows followers of other religions to receive the blessings of his teachings without insisting upon their forsaking their own religion. In a sense this attitude of the Satsang sect is consistent with the basic Hindu reli­ gious and philosophic theory that many roads lead to God.” But the crucial point in the judgment was this: was not the state’s regula­ tion of entry to temples a violation of the constitutional freedom of the de­ nomination to manage their own affairs? Was not control over participation in temple services a religious act and therefore deserving of constitutional protection? In an earlier case, Sri Venkatarama Devaru v. State of Mysore,9 the court had considered the very same question. In that case the Court up­ held the Temple Entry Act, but acknowledged that it may violate religious freedom.10 In effect, the Court was imposing a form of external regulation on religion. But, in the Shrirur Math case, the court had this to say: “The Satsangi’s apprehension about the pollution of the temple is founded on superstition, ignorance and complete misunderstanding of the true teachings of Hinduism and the real significance of the tenets and philosophy taught by Swami Narayan himself.” Having begun its judgment with an acknowledgment that Hinduism was diffuse and undefinable, the Court managed to conjure up the “true teach­ ing” of Hinduism that enabled it to discern what was essential to the tradi­ tion and what was not. It enabled the Court to argue that progress, democra­ cy, egalitarianism were at the heart of a properly interpreted Hinduism. The

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180 —Pratap Bhanu Mehta judgment, penned by Justice Gajendragadkar, contained a lengthy discussion of the definition of Hinduism, which relied heavily on modern Indian philo­ sophical reconstructions of Hinduism that stressed its progressive capacity for internal reform, its compatibility with the doctrine of social equality, and its tolerance for a variety of outlooks. On these grounds, the judgment could argue that any discrimination against untouchables in Satsangi temples was a misunderstanding of both Hinduism and the SwamiNarayan’s teaching. Examples such as this can be multiplied. In Seshammal v. State of Tamil Nadu,11 Tamil Nadu legislation abolishing the hereditary appointment of temple priests was challenged on the grounds that it interfered with the priests’ constitutional right to the freedom of religion. In this instance, the Court took it for granted that the sacred texts on which this practice was based, the Agamas, were authoritative in relation to the particular temple in question. It then went on to uphold the Tamil Nadu legislation on the basis of a reinterpretation of Agama texts. The Court argued that the Agama texts in question laid down some qualifications a priest must meet, but the mode of appointment (hereditary entitlement) was of secular, not religious, origin and therefore open to regulation. It is clear that Indian judges engage in extensive scriptural exegesis, almost as if they were authorized to do so. Judges interpret the true meaning of reli­ gious traditions, and, conveniently enough, their interpretations and reinter­ pretations make religious traditions congruent with modern ideals of social reform. The act of interpreting religious texts has a dual purpose. On the one hand, the courts are able to demonstrate that the authority of their rulings rests both upon modern constitutional principals and scripturally sanctioned foundations. On the other hand, the courts offer internal reasons to Hindus to the effect that there is little in the content of social reform efforts that is a threat to their religion, understood in its essentials. In some ways it may be easy to dismiss the vast efforts the courts expend on interpreting religious texts as simply a veneer that gives added support to the conclusions they would have arrived at anyway. On this view, it is simply a contortion of the tradition or another instance of judicial mythmaking to suppose that many wonderful modern values like democracy and equality can be produced out of traditional scriptures. But a more benign view might suppose that Hindu discourse has never been monolithic and that it often reinterprets itself in new lights. Indeed, there are long-standing indigenous interpretive traditions of ancient texts that unrecognizably alter the meaning of the original text in the act of interpretation.

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As Fuller has also pointed out, if one finds what Indian judges do with religious texts odd or arbitrary, one need only to see that at least in formal terms their procedures are not radically different from what, at least, on some views, judges do in the American law.12 Dworkin, for instance, argued that judges “generally offer . . . ‘new’ statements of law as improved reports of what the law, properly understood, already is. They claim, in other words, that the new statement is required by a correct perception of the true grounds of law even though this has not been recognized previously or has even been denied.”13 In an analogous fashion, Indian judges discover the true grounds of religious law even when these have not hitherto been recognized. What are the ideological functions performed by the interpretation of texts by Hindu judges? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a strat­ egy? One could simply say that Indian judges are forced to interpret scripture out of necessity. Due to the “thickness” of Hinduism, and the extensive reach of its obligations on vast areas of social life, neither the Indian state nor, by implication, Indian courts have the luxury simply to impose external regula­ tion on religions; they have to reformulate the religion from within. In some ways what Indian courts do would be analogous to an American court not only upholding legislation that required some churches to ordain women as priests, but then going on to suggest that this comported well with the true meaning of the Bible. The would probably be seen as a violation of religious freedom, and the courts meddling in biblical hermeneutics would seem gra­ tuitous indeed. While many might think that the exclusion of women is in some sense unjust, there is also the recognition that, at this juncture, its social and public consequences are not onerous enough to warrant interference in a religious practice. But Indian courts face an acute dilemma: The potential conflict between the public purposes of the state and considerations of modern conceptions of jus­ tice, on the one hand, and freedom of religion, on the other, are much greater, and the social consequences of not intervening in religion can be monumen­ tal. But extensive interference violates freedom of religion; too little interfer­ ence would violate the ameliorative aims and public purposes of the state. The courts have tried to square this circle by saying, in effect, that interventions that look like violations of religious freedom are, if properly considered, not really so. And, to make that argument to work, they have to interpret religious doctrines by their own lights and, in so doing, reconstitute them. But ideological functions of these interpretations extend beyond the le­ gal issues at stake. For one thing, the courts’ reinterpretations find a way of

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182 —Pratap Bhanu Mehta overcoming tradition without making tradition despicable. They draw suste­ nance from and articulate a version of Hindu traditions, much in line with the reform movements at the turn of the century, that allow Hindus to make their peace with the modern world. Should this matter? Clearly, in a political and psychological sense, this is important. Such ongoing reinterpretations provide a complex way of negotiating postcolonial insecurities, about which will I comment at greater length. But, more important, such reinterpreta­ tions allow the Indian state to achieve two goals: the first is that the state, rather than positioning itself as hostile to religion, became the vehicle for its democratization.14 In a sense, the democratic state was the vehicle through which the community of believers acquired interpretive authority over many of the requirements of their religion. The extent to which the courts’ deci­ sions are democratic is, of course, open to debate. It has been argued that their interpretations often reflect the biases of middle-class Hindus; and there are general reasons for being suspicious of the courts setting themselves up as the embodiments of the popular will. The second, which in retrospect, has turned out to have some negative consequences, is that this process of reinterpretation also provided the means for the consolidation of a more uni­ fied Hindu identity than had probably existed previously. In consequence, modern Hindu law is creating something traditional Hinduism has never been: one single territorially based community welded together with a coherent body of law overriding particular customs. The boundaries of this community are marked by the definition of Hindu con­ tained in these statutes. The process of reform and the inclusion of lower castes and untouchables serves a dual purpose. On the one hand, it ostensibly advances the cause of social justice. On the other, it seeks to create a unitary Hindu identity. Although this is not the place to discuss this, in some ways the paradox of modern Hinduism is that the process of social reform has also helped the consolidation of Hindu identity. Indeed, the normatively salutary elements Justice Gajendragadkar identified as elements of true Hinduism— progressivism, tolerance, and a capacity for reform—are now being politi­ cally mobilized in a discourse of intolerance against the Muslims. Of course the consolidation of this identity had various sources, but its availability as a legal category surely helped the process. But the quotation from Lingat raises the following question: How do judges, who are not religious leaders in any sense of the term, acquiring the authority to interpret religion and regulate its meaning? Part of the answer has, of course, to do with the nature and character of Hinduism. Although,

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historically, the practices of Hindus have denied that many people—lower castes in particular—had any such interpretive authority, it is never clear who actually did. So the state, rather than wresting the right to regulate religious affairs away from a church, more or less filled in the vacuum in different ways, according to the ideology that underpinned it. Although this is not the occasion to make this argument at any length, Indian religious and political identities were, in some significant sense, constituted through the state. But, in order to fully understand how judges acquired this authority, one has to come to terms with the recent history of the relationship be­ tween the state and religion, and for that one has to turn, as always, to colonial origins. As important as the imperatives of social reform and nationalism were, however, it could be argued that they would not have been enough to make Indians feel an “elective affinity for democracy” had certain longstanding features of Hinduism not been present. The notion that democracy fits nicely into, or even can somehow be said to spring from, Hindu tradition may have begun as part of a defense against colonialist claims, but there are features of Hinduism that bolster this line of thought. There is something to be said for the idea that Hinduism has a certain supple, plural, or open quality. As the Indian Supreme Court confessed in a recent ruling, “We find it difficult, if not impossible to define Hindu religion or even adequately describe it. Unlike other religions in the world, the Hindu religion does not claim any one prophet; it does not worship any one God. It does not subscribe to any one dogma: it does not believe in any one philosophic concept: it does not follow any one set of religious rites or performances; in fact, it does not appear to satisfy the narrow traditional features of any religion or creed.”15 Hinduism, moreover, is a tradition whose source texts contain a great deal of what might be called skepticism. As the Mahabharata says, “There are many different Vedas, the law books are many, the advice of one sage is necessarily different from that given by others. The real rules of duty remain buried in a dark cave. The only path is the way in which great men [or, in some readings, “a great many men”] have lived their lives.” Within primal Hinduism, in short, the question of authority was open to a remarkable de­ gree. Hinduism’s complex encounter with colonialism—and with modernity more generally—both tested that openness and made it possible for Hindus who grasped the inner and outer challenges their tradition was facing to le­ verage the tradition’s openness in constructive ways.

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184 —Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Hindu Law and the Debate About Reform Yet not all was by design. There were decisive accidents and momentous side effects as well. A big side effect began its cascading career in 1765, when the British East India Company started to consolidate Hindus into a single legal community. In 1772 (the heyday of the Enlightenment), mostly for reasons of expediency and out of a hope that respecting local ways would help to le­ gitimize its rule, the company directed its civil courts to adhere invariably to Qur’anic law with respect to Muslims and to the shastras (Hindu scriptures) with respect to Hindus “in all suits regarding inheritance, marriage, caste and all other religious usages or institutions.” Though administered by ordinary courts, these laws—unlike criminal statutes—were not applied equally across company territory, but according to differences of personal status related to membership in religiously defined social groups. For help in navigating the complexities of native law, the British institu­ tionalized the role of Hindu and Muslim legal experts trained in the inter­ pretation of normative traditional texts. Over time, differences of opinion among these experts, as well as the company’s suspicion that some experts were being deliberately misleading, led to efforts to regularize their training under company supervision as well as to codify religious law in the form of standard legal digests. Particularly in the case of Hindu texts, this meant unearthing, studying, and, most important, publicizing original and ancient religious sources. The implications were enormous. First, the process of codification remade the very idea of what counted as Hindu tradition. British officials generally privileged some written shastras over others and tended to privilege shastras as a whole over unwritten customs. An explicit legal code based on ancient Sanskrit writings displaced the fluidity and variability of customary law. This project, undertaken to serve the official purposes of British administrators and judges, caused the standardization and homogenization (sometimes re­ gressive, sometimes progressive) of social and religious practices in accord with ancient norms often identified with the priestly Brahmins, Hinduism’s highest caste. The project also reified the equation of tradition and religion in such a way that all future debate on social and legal reform would take tradi­ tion, albeit variously construed, as normative.16 The codification project also sparked debates over who had authority to do the codifying and why. A crucial episode in the long contest came in 1891, the year that saw the promulgation of the Age of Consent Act, which

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said that no female under twelve could be wed (as in most of the world, marriages arranged under the authority of patriarchs had been the historic norm in India). The act met with bitter and concerted opposition. It was the first piece of social legislation that colonial authorities had passed since 1856, when Governor-General Lord Dalhousie had banned suttee (widow burn­ ing) shortly before the Great Indian Mutiny broke out. In 1859, after the violent suppression of this massive uprising—which had been partly a back­ lash against British changes to native customs—Britain declared a prudential policy of nonintervention in subcontinental religious matters. By 1891 na­ tionalists had committed themselves to the defense of native traditions. Even India’s Westernized intellectual classes were less willing to cooperate with the British in the cause of reform. Some of the opposition to British-led reform was simply reactionary. But another strain of feeling opposed less the substance of this or that reform than the British role in it. Partha Chaterjee, whose analysis of these epi­ sodes is the most impressive I have seen, argues that the emergent national­ ist imagination divided society into two domains, the outer material and public domain and the inner, spiritual domain of the private. The outer domain was conceived to be the realm of public institutions, economics, technology, and civil society. This domain was the social space where cre­ ative borrowing from the West could take place. The inner domain was sup­ posed to remain the ambit of tradition and a distinct cultural identity. In this sphere, which was taken to include religion and family life, nationalists rejected emulation of the West and sought to preserve what they saw as venerable cultural traditions. Crucially, nationalists believed the nation as whole was entitled to claim sovereignty over this inner domain.17 Opposi­ tion to British reforms such as the Age of Consent Act bespoke this shift in the “agency of reform from the legal authority of the colonial state to the moral authority of the national community.”18 Nationalists felt that the task of authenticating, articulating, codifying, and reforming tradition should belong to the entire nation. The nationalists had two goals: to throw off colonial subordination and to take distinctively “national” traditions out of the realm of the unselfcon­ scious and merely customary in order that the nation itself might claim them to further its self-realization as an autonomous people deserving of sover­ eignty. Of course, who exactly might be said to constitute the nation and on what terms was and is deeply contested. The general expectation among In­ dian nationalists seems to have been that each of the subcontinent’s various

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186 —Pratap Bhanu Mehta subcommunities would take charge of revivifying and reforming its own traditions and customs. Such thinking helped to inspire a spate of Hindu and Muslim reform movements that swept across early twentieth-century British India. The idea was to make substantive reforms and to refashion communal identi­ ties in the process. Muslim reformers sought to replace the variegated array of customary practices followed by their coreligionists in various parts of India with a common and reformed Muslim personal law. This effort cul­ minated in the passage of the Shariat Application Act of 1937. At about the same time, wide-ranging Hindu reform movements were paving the way for Hinduism’s modernization. The precise agendas of such movements, and the furious controversies they generated, need not detain us here. What is crucial is that these movements were not just challenging the authority of the colonial state to interpret native traditions, but were opening up these religions to a far-reaching self-examination. This was a contest over doc­ trine, authority, and identity.

Authority and Ambivalence But who did have authority to speak for indigenous traditions? That never became clear. Hindus in particular had unique issues of their own to wrestle with as they tried to answer this question. One issue was Hinduism’s own am­ bivalence about politics. As one of the most astute analysts of Indian political thought puts it, “Kingship remains, even theoretically, suspended between sacrality and secularity, divinity and mortal humanity, legitimate authority and arbitrary power, dharma and adharma.”19 Political power and spiritual authority were firmly separated, as exemplified by the traditional distinction between the priestly Brahmins and the Kshatriya (warrior) caste. The king inhabited the realm of necessity where politics had its own autonomy and internal logic that brooked no outside interference. But the king drew his le­ gitimacy from his service to the “spiritual order,” just as the priests depended upon the king for physical protection. The upshot is that Hindu thought’s version of the separation of church and state has never been quite stable. And yet politics, even when dependent upon religion for earthly legitimization, has never taken on messianic or apocalyptic significance. The world of the political is significant, but it can never become an arena for what Eric Voege­ lin called “the immanentization of the eschaton.”20

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In practice, this Hindu capacity to imagine the political without expecting it to give meaning to everything or comprehensively relieve the human estate has been of great service in defining the secular space that liberal democracy requires. A respect for the proper autonomy of different spheres of human action and a refusal to pine for a single moral order that can render the world whole are aspects of the Hindu moral imagination that not only reinforce democratic politics but also help to set healthy boundaries for it. When Hin­ dus claim that democracy has been a “natural” outgrowth of Hinduism, they may be gesturing at something like this account of Hindu political prudence and moderation. The Hindu tendency to see politics as an autonomous but limited sphere obviates the need to impose a single doctrinal orthodoxy and permits a well-advised toleration of various forms of social existence. Indeed, Hindu intellectuals’ discussions of democracy often seem to equate it with a kind of group pluralism: Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s influential Hindu View of Life mostly sees democracy as a matter of ensuring that each group “should be allowed to develop the best in it without impeding the progress of others.”21 Yet, contrary to what Radhakrishnan and other neo-Hindu apologists have claimed, traditional Hindu intellectual pluralism long coexisted with the imposition of the most rigid social orthodoxy and hierarchy. Differ­ ent groups were tolerated only so long as they stayed well within certain none-too-broad boundaries and conventions. While the specific distribution of power and authority among castes could be fluid, and while various spe­ cies of protest against caste hierarchies arose from time to time, premodern Hinduism on the whole remained bound up with the phenomenon of caste. Many Hindu reformers, such as Vivekananda, thought that political democ­ ratization might be the only sure means of improving the lot of historically marginalized groups, since their ranks were so large and democracy does so much by majority rule. The empowerment of India’s lower castes goes on still—and still encounters resistance. Hinduism may have been hierarchical, but it was, at the same time, so multiple that Hindu society was nearly impervious to projects for imposing centralized uniformity. Even after colonialism and then statehood brought a measure of centralization, the pluralism of Hindu group life continued to spin such a complex web of cross-cutting cleavages that no single group could hope to dominate, a circumstance indirectly propitious for liberal democ­ racy. To gain power required building alliances whose very formation would tend to rub the sharpest edges off a group’s own claims. Hinduism’s skeptical streak and sophisticated approach to ethical reflection, moreover, precluded

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188 —Pratap Bhanu Mehta dreams of reducing the complexity of Hindu society to an imposed confor­ mity of allegedly “pure” thought or belief. Another unique aspect of the Hindu situation was the impact of Islam­ ic conquests in the subcontinent during the centuries before the British achieved dominance. Hindus had lived under a congeries of regional and lo­ cal rulers, including the Muslim Mughal emperors, and had nothing like the Islamic caliphate whose specter still haunts the imagination of some limited sections of the Muslim world. The absence of any historic model of a king­ dom that represented Hindus as Hindus made it easier to experiment with new political forms and gave leeway for fresh thinking about political ques­ tions. This “do-it-yourself ” quality of the Hindu experience may also help to explain why so many Hindus have been and continue to be fascinated by the idea that democracy is somehow a “Hindu” system that springs from Hindu sources and represents Hindus as such. Hinduism has mostly known only local forms of authority, whether em­ bodied by Brahmins in some areas or by other dominant castes elsewhere. Modern times brought all-Indian political forms (first the Raj, then the Re­ public) and an all-Indian consciousness to go with them. As state consolida­ tion made strides, traditional forms of authority became ever more limited in their appeal. There was no way that appeals to such fading and fragmented sources of authority could legitimize anyone’s hope to rule the huge new en­ tity being created across the vast reaches of land between the Himalayas and Ceylon. With traditional authority dropping out of the picture, in practice the sole recourse for all those hungering and thirsting after political legiti­ macy and credibility was popular mobilization in some guise or other. Only democracy, in other words, could fill the void left by the old authorities’ un­ avoidable withdrawal. As internal and external pressures for change mounted, Hindus had to face them without any institution that had prima facie authority to direct the reforms: There is no Hindu Vatican. What agency was there, then, with the power and the legitimacy to undertake an overhaul of religious traditions? What would be a credible representative and institutional process through which these reforms would be carried out? In India after independence, the answer turned out to be obvious. The modern state, with institutions legiti­ mated by universal suffrage, could take upon itself the task of reforming Hin­ duism. The modern Indian state is secular in the obvious sense of the term. It accords equal citizenship to people of all religious descriptions (modern India’s Muslim population is outstripped in numbers only by those of Indo­

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nesia and Pakistan, while Christianity has been present on the subcontinent for millennia) and it favors no establishment of religion. Yet the Indian Con­ stitution has been rightly called a charter for the social reform of Hinduism: The secular, democratic government of this Hinduism-suffused society is the authoritative vehicle for the reform of Hinduism. Perhaps secularism, like cricket, is a quintessentially Indian game that just happens to have been in­ vented elsewhere. The Indian state thus not only aims to reform Hindu practices but has also, in some sense, been authorized to do so by Hindus. In the Indian context, therefore, it is legitimate for state institutions such as the Supreme Court and the Lok Sabha (parliament) to concern themselves with reforming or eliminating invidious socioreligious practices such as second-class treat­ ment of “untouchables.” Faced with the challenge “Who shall decide?” Hin­ dus in effect answered: “We all will, and the federal Republic of India will be our means.”

The Pluralism Question What are the patterns of exclusion and inclusion that the process of identity formation entails? Who is the outsider and who is the insider? What are the terms on which citizenship and political standing is defined? This is both a question of legal and political status. Legally, at any rate, India has adopted a republican conception of citizenship, where citizenship rights are not tied to any substantial benchmarks of ethnicity or religion. And citizens are guar­ anteed a full range of recognizably liberal rights. But politically there have been attempts to define the boundaries of exclusion and inclusion based on some substantial notion of what it means to be an “authentic” Indian. The question of inclusion and exclusion is not just a question of political rights, but of representation as well. In a society composed of different communi­ ties there is the obvious question: what counts as fair terms of representa­ tion? The paradox is that this question cannot be settled by representation itself. Arguably, India’s identity, both before and after partition has been marked by the difficulties of resolving this question in the case of the Hindu Muslim divide. Crudely put, the dilemma was this. Once it was admitted that deviation from one person one vote was warranted for the protection of the interests of minorities, the question became: what counts as adequate protection?

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190 —Pratap Bhanu Mehta One-third or one-fourth guaranteed representation at the Centre, the na­ tional government? Veto power for minorities at the Centre? The truth is there never was any real stable answer. Any position was liable to create a political backlash. One-third reservation, and some Hindus would argue that too much had been given away. One-fourth, and some Muslims would argue that too little had been secured. The backlash to any position would in turn generate a further backlash. The Hindu Mahasabha’s reaction to Jinnah’s proposals seems gradually to have radicalized him, in turn unleash­ ing another round of reactions. This vicious circle found its ultimate de­ nouement in partition, an outcome nobody apparently wanted, but no one could prevent. Partition did not resolve this issue. The result was a colossal anomaly whose ramifications are still with us. The Indian state had a Janus face before Muslims. On the one hand they presented their own solicitousness toward Muslims by selectively directing benefits toward them: funding madrasas, arranging Haj pilgrimages, protecting personal laws from judicial scrutiny. It is certainly not the case that only Muslims were beneficiaries of this politics. The state selectively doled out resources that had no justification on any con­ ceivable interpretation of our constitutional principles to a variety of groups, and it is part of the grave misinformation campaign of our times to suggest that the state and religion are illegitimately entangled only when it comes to Muslims. Hindu places of worship receive enormous maintenance grants from the state; so-called secularized laws of Hindus are as much about the consolidation of a Hindu communal identity as they are about modernizing Hinduism. On the other hand, the state was doing its best to make sure that Muslims were more and more effectively alienated from the political process itself. Muslim representation in all spheres of public life—parliament, press, police, civil service, big business—was and still remains on average far below what their numbers would warrant. One does not have to believe in strict proportional representation to acknowledge that public life and public insti­ tutions of this country are thoroughly unrepresentative as far as Muslims are concerned. (One amazing example of this is the refusal of the state to fund Urdu medium secular education, but its willingness to subsidize madrasas.) This alienation could not but have a deleterious affect both on Muslim politics and the politics of the nation as a whole. The alienation from pub­ lic life produced its own vicious cycle. The less Muslims could acknowledge public life as being, in some important sense, their own, the more they turned inward to tradition; the more inward they turned, the more of a handle their

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opponents got to accuse them of being antinational or antimodern. The fact is that Indian politics acknowledged Muslims, insofar as it did, only as a sup­ plicant minority, not as full citizens. In most cases the state gives selective benefits to groups to integrate them into a wider process and co-opt them. In the case of Muslims, the resources of the state directed toward them were meant to reinforce their status as minority, not to integrate them more fully into the political process. Muslims remained locked in a dilemma not of their own making. The more their leadership and the state emphasized their status as a minority requiring a distinct ensemble of rights and privileges, the more they set Muslims up for a majoritarian backlash. On the other hand, the wid­ er political culture was doing its best to prevent Muslim integration into the wider process in the same breath as it was demanding it. The result: Muslim politics became impossible in any genuine sense of the term. After the violence in Gujarat, this dilemma becomes even more pro­ nounced. But there are hopeful signs. The most significant one is that there is an enormous amount of social churning amongst Muslims themselves. While there was a good deal of opposition to the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Shah Bano, a recent Supreme Court ruling (Daniel Latifi v Union of India) that effectively restored Muslim women’s right to alimony met with no opposition; there is immense pressure to democratize the Muslim Per­ sonal Law Board; new initiatives have been taken in the field of personal law, including the modification of the marriage contract, and a rival all-women’s personal law board has also been set up. Such initiatives break the cycle of alienation from mainstream politics, but the struggle over full membership in a cultural sense is still likely to continue for some time to come. The failure represented by partition is still a recurring motif in Indian politics and casts a shadow on who is excluded and included. The point of this brief and potted history is this. The most formidable obstacles to avoiding religious conflict do not turn on questions of the com­ patibility of religious belief. The terrain of conflict is political, not theologi­ cal. Indeed, the secularization or reform of society is quite compatible with religious conflict, understood as a conflict over representation. The most formidable question turns out to be the trustworthiness of structures of rep­ resentation. Whom does the political community represent? The ensuing dilemma is that structures of representation can be most trusted when they are least tested by the burden of identities. Can religious identities be con­ figured in a way that they do not actually test structures of representation, that they cede to the sovereign its authority over a vast domain of activity?

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192 —Pratap Bhanu Mehta It is a sobering thought that not a single transition from imperial rule has avoided this identity quagmire.

notes 1. Kent Greenawalt, Religion and the Constitution, vol. 1: Free Exercise and Fairness (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006). 2. Within the Indian Constitution there is a significant tension. On the one hand, the constitution guarantees a broad range of religious freedoms. Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution state that, subject to certain specified conditions, “all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to practice and propa­ gate religion,” and that every religious domination is, amongst other things, entitled to “manage its own affairs in matters of religion.” On the other hand, the Constitu­ tion empowers the state to engage in significant social reform of religion. 3. Amy Gutmann, “Religion and State in the United States,” in Nancy L. Rosen­ blum, ed., Obligations of Citizenship and Demands of Faith, pp. 127–64 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000). 4. This section is heavily indebted to Marc Galanter, Law and Society in Modern India, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 25. 5. One of the implications of this wider definition of religion is that Indian courts are less apt to take recourse to a distinction familiar in American law between a belief and actions consequent upon that belief. In some instances constitutional protection is then extended to the former and not the latter. 6. The Indian Supreme Court is confronted with awkward judicial issues: Are the Kabir Panthis Hindus? Is a fanatical sect like the Ananda Marga a religious denomina­ tion? How many kripans is a Sikh obligated to wear? Are there religious injunctions against photographing women? All such cases invoke the essential practices test. 7. Robert Lingat, The Classical Law of India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 447. 8. A.I.R 1966 S.C. 1119. 9. A.I.R 1958 S.C. 255. 10. “Under ceremonial law pertaining to temples who are entitled to enter them for worship and where they are entitled to stand and how the worship is to be con­ ducted are all matters of religion.” Ibid., 265. 11. A.I.R. 1972 S.C. 1586. Interpretation of Agamas was also at issue in a further series of temple-entry cases. See Kalyana Das v. State of Tamil Nadu, A.I.R. 1973 Mad 264. 12. C. J. Fuller, The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India (Princ­ eton: Princeton University Press, 1992), p. 25. 13. Ronald Dworkin, Law’s Empire (Cambridge: Belknap, 1986), p. 6. 14. I should add the obvious caveat that I do not take this democratization to be an accomplished fact, but a slow ongoing process. Here I simply mean the proposition

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that most adherents of the religion no longer deny, at the level of ideological justifica­ tion, the normative validity of modern egalitarian norms. 15. Prabhoo v. Kunte, S.C.C. 1995. 16. In campaigning to ban widow burning, for example, the leading native foe (Ram Mohan Roy) held that the custom had never enjoyed clear approval from the most authoritative traditional scriptures, which, he said, actually recommended as­ cetic widowhood. British reformers conceded scriptural warrant for immolation, but argued that the current material and social motives of relatives, and even the wid­ ows themselves, had undermined the scriptures’ assumptions that widows would be acting freely and for purely spiritual reasons. All the reformers took indigenous tradition, not universal progress, as the vital ground upon which to make their case for change (widow burning was banned in 1829). Reform had become a means of conserving tradition. 17. Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995). 18. Karuna Mantena has greatly clarified my understanding of this history. 19. C. Heesterman, The Inner Conflict of Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), p. 111. 20. Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), p. 120. 21. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, The Hindu View of Life (London: Unwin, 1960), p. 70.

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chapter eight

Reason and Revelation in Islamic Political Ethics Abdulaziz Sachedina

I

n his Regensburg lecture on September 12, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI at­ tempted to underscore the compatibility of self-communicating reason with mysterious word, that is, revelation in Christian faith as a source of Christian political ethics. It was an endeavor to demonstrate the reasonable­ ness of the “Christian spirit” and its ability to sit in dialogue with the “Greek spirit” in the context of modernity. This context has denied the rationality of faith in God and its ability to engage in genuine enlightenment that seeks to influence civil liberties and peaceful coexistence among nations. Most im­ portant, guided by a kind of modern Enlightenment thinking that belittles the role of religion, Hellenistic reason has found revelation-based reason to be nothing more than a faith that affirms God’s overpowering will, which can be known only through the unquestioning acceptance of and submis­ sion to God’s commandments, however irrational they might appear. Such a concept of an absolute God leads to a kind of impenetrable voluntarism that deprives humanity of its moral agency and freedom to act in accord with its intuitive reason. Further, faith in this absolute, omnipotent God renders the good and the just as eternally unattainable to reason without submitting to a “capricious” God’s transcendence and otherness, which are not bound to any self-evident ethical norms. The pope then goes on to attribute such a

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concept of transcendent God to Islam, whose believers, on the basis of the comments made by the Byzantine emperor, have resorted to spreading their faith through violence. This violence in the name of God, the pope argues, is totally against God’s nature as conceived in Christianity. In other words, vio­ lence and intolerance among Muslims can be traced back to the very nature of God in Muslim revealed texts that present a dichotomy between reason and revelation. This dichotomy is then related to the concept of holy war—ji­ had—in the political realm of Islamic civilization, which demonstrates, ac­ cording to the pope, “unreasonableness” of Muslim belief in God’s transcen­ dence and omnipotence—the main source for this appalling lack of political ethics in the Muslim world. The main purpose of beginning this chapter with the pope’s controversial assessment of Islamic revelation—based on some secondary sources about Muslim theological politics authored by fellow Catholics—is to call attention to a well-entrenched thesis among Western academicians and policy makers about the Islamic tradition’s intrinsic relation to violence, and its political in­ compatibility in the context of modern international public order. Further, this thesis, surmised on the basis of the conduct of some Muslim militant groups that have disregarded a long and well-established Islamic tradition of just pub­ lic order founded upon principles of coexistence and God-centered pluralism, perpetuates the notion that, without reformation and thorough seculariza­ tion of Islamic tradition through disestablishment of Islam, it is impossible to see the development of constitutional democracy based on equality of all citizens—regardless of their religious differences—in Muslim countries. In my view the most misconstrued assumption in this thesis is the idea that, since in Islam religion and politics are inseparable, the traditional paradigm of Islamic political society based upon a discriminatory principle that divides humanity into believers and nonbelievers is incompatible with the modern public order founded upon each person’s religious and civil rights guaranteed in a consti­ tutional democracy. In other words, traditionally conceived Islamic political society can never serve as a guarantor of the two most prominent features of the contractarian theories of public order: individual liberty and religious plu­ ralism. Moreover, Islamic political society is permanently at odds with contrac­ tarian theory of political obligation. Whereas interaction with others on just terms is conditional on political association based on religious commitment in Islamic political society, contractarian theories of political obligation are based on a standard of just interaction that was a system of natural law and natural rights of all human beings regardless of their religious affiliation.

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196 —Abdulaziz Sachedina In the following pages I argue that modern notions of liberty, pluralism, and human rights have their antecedents in the authoritative theological and legal traditions of Islam. Without succumbing to the temptation of regard­ ing the human analytical mind as the only arbiter of just public order, and without denying revelation the power of correlating the human understand­ ing of justice with revelatory guidance in the matter of just social order, it is not farfetched to argue that there is consonance between the truths of revela­ tion and the demands of human intelligence in discovering a standard of just interaction that would be reasonably accepted by all in some suitably defined public order. Moreover, although Islamic public order accommodated the default separation of religious and temporal jurisdictions through its notions of human-God and human-human relationships, it carved out a special role for revelation as the source of a comprehensive doctrine for guiding the mor­ al and spiritual lives of the people living under its public system.1

Religious Reason in Muslim Polity The sociopolitical realities that make religion and politics inseparable in Muslim societies—with consequences for the exercise of basic freedoms of expression and religion—call for serious rethinking regarding the precondi­ tion set by the theoreticians of liberal democracy for the establishment of democratic governance in the Muslim world. The precondition deals with setting aside religious reason based on Islamic comprehensive doctrines about just political order and promotion of common good in the context of Muslim communitarian ethics. In order to develop a public political dis­ course that is inclusive of all citizens of a nation-state without any discrimi­ nation, Muslim societies need to adopt public reason that guarantees hu­ man rights based on secularization of public space through separation of the religious and the political. The proposition to separate religion and politics is based on the assumption that by adopting secularism as an organizing principle, Muslim societies could establish a responsible and just govern­ ment for a citizen body composed of all humankind through a public rather than a religious reason and a public rather religious consensus. The opera­ tive hypothesis in this secular assumption about democratization through the separation of “church” and “state” is that as long as religion determines the nature of the just and the human good, it is impossible for an inclusive secular consensus to emerge as part of the Muslim political culture. Religion

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must be privatized and limited to the domain of individual lives and reli­ gious institutions to allow for an inclusive and equal citizenship built upon the inherent moral standing of persons without requiring uniformity in mat­ ters of personal faith in the public space.2 Of all the world religions, Islam, with its comprehensive doctrine, claims to govern human life in all its manifestations in this and the next world. This political phenomenon connected with Islam has been identified by Western social scientists as “political Islam.” So interpreted, “political Islam” is an ac­ tivist ideology seeking to respond to the internal decadence and political cor­ ruption in Muslim states. Further, “political Islam” functions as a militant strategy to press for political and social reforms in order to make them com­ patible with Islamic teachings about the Muslim public order, which also includes the implementation of the divinely ordained shari‘a.3 To be sure, the political agenda of the ideological religiosity must question both the authoritative claims and the substantive content of its traditional sources, which must now take into account new political realities that de­ mand just solutions to the problem of accommodating modern concepts of democracy. Democracy is no more than the ability to vote for or against po­ tential political leaders. Such voting in and out of state leaders, in the Muslim world, at least, has not led to the accountability of these elected leaders to the people. In the context of our deliberations about Muslim societies where religion is a major source of social and political identification, the working assumption is that a democratic system is one in which the consent of the governed, the rule of the people through their elected representatives, and basic human rights and equality of all citizens within its religion-based ideol­ ogy are respected. Since “political Islam” treats the two spheres of religion and politics as integrated, it is further assumed that it is least prepared to be democratically inclusive and tolerant of religious diversity prevalent in most countries in the Muslim world. These and other assumptions about religious politics and Islam’s compati­ bility with liberal democracy’s prerequisite of secularization of religious space need to be examined in the light of the foundational religious texts of Islam. These texts, I contend, reveal a complex and, at times, contradictory political landscape of religiously oriented public order in Muslim history. Traditional understandings of Islam did not oppose a pluralistic approach to religious di­ versity or intercommunal relations. Islamic civilization was very much com­ mitted to peaceful social coexistence. In fact, Islam’s ability to live with other faiths and peoples was underscored by its universal narrative of the creation

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198 —Abdulaziz Sachedina of the first man and woman on earth, which deserves to be reexamined, how­ ever briefly, for its universal undertones.

Theological-Ethical Implications of Creation Narrative in the Qur’an Given the inevitable linkage between religion and politics in the Islamic psyche, and the centrality of theological resources that provide the moral ba­ sis of legitimate political authority and individual rights in Muslim culture, it is important to emphasize that it is only through the retrieval, further inter­ pretation, and reappropriation of these religious ideas that one can expect the necessary political reform in the Muslim world to take firm roots. Right from Islam’s inception as a public religion, the Qur’an underscored the need to de­ velop a universal discourse of moral awareness as its foundation for an inclu­ sive human community that is guided by both an ethical necessity grounded in intuitive reason and supernatural revelation brought by God’s prophets. The creation narrative in the Qur’an is not geared toward providing details of how the universe was created—the central piece of biblical genesis. Quite to the contrary, human creation is the main subject of the Qur’anic genesis sto­ ry, with total attention to the development of moral sensibilities that speak to the future ethical order for a human body composed of diverse human communities sharing the same parentage. Human being is in constant need of guidance, which comes both in its universal form in the innate moral sen­ sibility and in its particularistic form in the revelation that actually correlates to the evidential confirmation of the former by the latter. The theological-ethical implications of this creation narrative assume great significance as a counterpoise to the secular project of abandoning the particularistic traditional linkage of morality to religion. The secular theory of moral development favors the exclusively reason-based morality founded upon human experience in the context of everyday life situations. In con­ trast, moral development, as it emerges in the creation narrative, takes re­ vealed guidance as well as naturally endowed intuitive reason as two inter­ related sources of moral knowledge that humanity needs in order to avoid moral perdition. The universal dimensions of the creation narrative in the Qur’an become even more significant when examined in the context of another unique cosmic event that speaks about the Trust (amana). Apparently, the theme covered in

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this event forms part of the creation story, but it antecedes the actual creation of the first human. It deals with the offering of the Trust and its ultimate ac­ ceptance by humankind: “We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to carry it and were afraid of it; and human being carried it. Surely he is unjust, ignorant” (Q. 33:73). Scholars of the Qur’an have speculated on two related issues in this pas­ sage. First, what exactly was the nature of the Trust that the awesome heav­ ens and the earth and the mountains refused to carry and were afraid of it? Second, if human being, who in comparison to the tremendous heavens and the earth is so insignificant, demonstrated courage by daring to accept the Trust, why was he being criticized as being unjust and ignorant? Did he not deserve to be praised for his willingness and daring instead? Here, based on some classical Muslim exegetical elaboration, God’s deci­ sion to commission humankind to rule on earth is linked to humankind’s boldness in assuming the Trust of exercising God’s authority. As God’s repre­ sentative, human being is commissioned to assume authority and exact obe­ dience in practice. Human deputyship is intrinsically related to the moral vision of the Qur’an about a just society. The Qur’an regards public life as an inevitable projection of personal response to the moral challenge of creating a divinely ordained public order on earth. Personal devotion to God requires assuming the responsibility of furthering the realization of a just society, em­ bodying all the facets of religious faith in the material as well as spiritual life of humankind. This responsibility of striving for one’s own welfare and for that of the society in which one lives derives from the fact that humankind has boldly ac­ cepted the challenge of exercising God’s sovereignty as part of the Trust that God had offered. Even though the Trust has been variously interpreted, in light of the creation narrative and Adam’s appointment as God’s deputy, the Trust, which must be ultimately returned to its owner intact, had something to do with assuming the stewardship of the earth. To be sure, the criticism leveled at humanity as being “unjust” and “ignorant” has an inherent con­ nection with the ethics of political power. How else can we understand the nature of the Trust if not in terms of its ethical implications for human life on earth? Consequently, of all the interpretations given by Muslim exegetes about the Trust from being affirmation of God’s unity (tawhid) to adherence to God’s laws in the shari‘a, there is strong evidence to support the view that the Trust deals with human ability to exercise God’s authority as God’s representative with justice and knowledge on earth. The fact that only hu­

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200 —Abdulaziz Sachedina man beings assumed the Trust indicates that it is only human beings who possess the potential to attain perfection as the caretaker of the creation. More important, only they are not afraid to bear the burden of this Trust and to accept the consequences of being a tyrant and ignorant, because they alone can acquire the opposite attributes—namely, those of being “just” and “knowledgeable.” In fact, both tyranny and ignorance are the primary coun­ terpoise of human responsibility in accepting the deputyship, especially as it concerns God’s providential purpose in allowing imperfect humanity to ac­ cept responsibility. It is indeed through the acceptance of this Trust of God’s rule on earth that human beings acquire both responsibility for their actions as well as superiority over all other creatures in the world. God’s deputyship both enables and hampers them to put society in order in accordance with their unique comprehension of the realities and challenges that face human­ ity in the exercise of limitless power in the name of God. According to the Qur’an, after creating the first human being, God taught him the “names.” What were these names? There is much speculation about it in the exegetical literature. Some commentators maintain that God taught Adam the names of things animate and inanimate. Others have speculated that Adam was taught the names of all things and essences. The verses leave little doubt that God displayed before the doubting angels, who had ob­ jected to the appointment of human being as God’s deputy on earth, the essences of things named with the challenge: “Inform me of the names of these if you speak the truth!” In other words, attainment of a higher station of deputyship came from the acquisition of knowledge. Acquired knowledge necessitating higher attainments belongs especially to the human commu­ nity. This is what the angels do not know. The divine mystery of God’s love and knowledge, which God deposited in human being, is what God has safe­ guarded in His knowledge. However, God’s deputyship is given to humankind with a clear warning that it will have to rise above “tyranny” and “ignorance” by heeding the call of divine guidance regarding the establishment of just public order on earth. Human beings, according to the Qur’an, have been endowed with the cogni­ tion needed to further their comprehension of the purpose for which they are created and the volition to realize it by using their knowledge. It is through divine guidance that human beings are expected to develop the ability to judge their actions and choose what will lead them to prosperity. But this is not an easy task. It involves spiritual and moral development, something that is most challenging in the face of the basic human weakness indicated by the

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Qur’an: “Surely human being was created fretful, when evil visits him, impa­ tient, when good visits him, grudging” (Q. 70:19–20). Human beings need to be constantly reminded of their origins. This is the central function of the Qur’an. The Qur’an is essentially the Reminder (dhi dhikr). Hence, the story of creation, which is crucial for human ethical and spiritual progression, is repeated for moral edification and to inspire religious commitment. The following two selections add some remarkable facets: “O Adam, inherit, you and your wife, the Garden, and eat of where you will, but come not close to this tree, lest you be of the evildoers.” (19) The Satan whispered to them [both], to reveal to them that which was hidden from them of their nakedness. He said: “Your Lord has only pro­ hibited from this tree lest you become angels, or lest you becomes im­ mortals.” (20) And he swore to them [both], “Truly, I am for you [both] a sincere adviser.” (21) So he led them [both] on by delusion; and when they [both] tasted the tree, their nakedness revealed to them, so they took to stitching upon themselves leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called to them, “Did I not prohibit you [both] from this tree, and say to you, ‘Verily Satan is for you a manifest foe?’ ” (22) They said, “Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us, and have mercy upon us, we shall surely be among the lost.” (23) (Q. 7:19–23)

In yet another place the challenge to Adam posed by the Satan is repeated with a warning to all humans that it is worth remembering what our parents suffered in the hands of the accursed devil: And We made covenant with Adam before, but he forgot, and We found in him no firm resolve whatsoever. (115) And when We said to the angels, “Bow yourselves to Adam”; so they bowed themselves, save Iblis; he refused. (116) Then We said, “Adam surely this is an enemy to you and your wife. So let him not expel you both from the Garden, so that you are unprosper­ ous. (117) It is assuredly given to you neither to hunger therein, nor to go naked, (118) neither to thirst therein, nor to suffer the sun.” (Q. 20:115–19)

An element of tension enters the narrative with the appearance of Satan— the one who has caused humanity to slip. The Qur’anic purpose in relating

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202 —Abdulaziz Sachedina parts of the genesis story seems to underscore two contradictory character­ istics in Adam: on the one hand, the Qur’an demonstrates Adam’s cognitive ability and asserts his superiority over the angels who proclaim God’s praise and sanctity, and, on the other, it reveals Adam’s vulnerability to the satanic temptations and ensuing misguidance that could be detrimental for the de­ velopment of an ethical society on the earth. To be sure, it is the temptation followed by eating the forbidden fruit that caused the first human couple to slip from the Garden. What is most revealing in the second set of verses is that “when they both tasted the tree, their nakedness revealed to them, so they took to stitching upon themselves leaves of the Garden.” Until that time their nakedness was not an issue. In fact, the Garden offered them more than that. It offered them a place in which Adam did not have to toil. The third set of the verses confirm this when they state: “It is assuredly given to you neither to hunger therein, nor to go naked, neither to thirst therein, nor to suffer the sun.” In other words, the Garden was the state of nature, the state of innocence in which Adam and his wife could live forever without having to worry about making any ethical decisions or toil for their livelihood with all its challenges. Everything was perfect and provided. And, yet, Adam and Eve allowed themselves to be led astray by the Satan and face the grim conse­ quence of “each of you an enemy to each.” At this juncture it is important to clarify that in the Qur’anic story of genesis the blame of being tempted is not put squarely on Eve’s shoulder. Actually, according to the carefully used dual verbal and pronominal forms of Arabic, the Qur’an puts the blame on “both” Adam and Eve. The Satan whispered to both of them, to reveal to them that which was hidden from them of their nakedness. In other words, he led them both on by delusion; and when they both tasted the fruit, their nakedness was revealed to them, so they took to stitching upon themselves leaves of the Garden. In the words of the Qur’an, it was only then that “the two of them ate of it, and their nakedness revealed to them.” Nevertheless, although both Adam and Eve be­ came deluded, the Qur’an puts the blame of disobedience squarely on Adam, God’s deputy, who erred. Hence we read: “And Adam disobeyed his Lord, and so he erred.” Remarkably, Eve is not mentioned by name in any of these passages that speak about human creation. She is, as the Qur’an says, Adam’s compan­ ion. The details about Eve’s role in “Adam’s fall” are in the commentaries of the Qur’an, where the main source for this exegetical information is the Isra’iliyat, that is, Jewish and Christian traditions.4 A number of traditions

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are related that elaborate the role Eve played in Adam’s fall. And, yet, it is important to keep in mind that the Qur’an incriminates both, and lays the blame on Adam. The important consequences of Adam’s disobedience and expulsion from the Garden are underscored by the emphasis laid on the lessons that his future progeny could ill afford to forget. Symbolically, the Qur’an speaks about the loss of innocence in terms of its impact on human relationship and what it entails in terms of mutual responsibilities. The life in the Garden was “given to you neither to hunger therein, nor to go naked, neither to thirst therein, nor to suffer the sun.” But now human beings will have to work for all these comforts, keeping the ethical framework provided in human na­ ture, the fitra, as a universal standard of moral conduct: “We have honored the children of Adam [with karam, that is, “noble nature”] and carried them on land and sea, and provided them with good things, and preferred them greatly over many of those We created” (Q. 17:70). The Qur’an honors all of humanity without drawing the lines between believers and nonbelievers. The source of human dignity (karam) is provided in the creation narrative, where it evidently points to the human ability to know right from wrong. The story relates the effect of tasting the fruit: “they [both] tasted the tree, their nakedness revealed to them, so they took to stitching upon themselves leaves of the Garden.” The couple’s knowledge and reaction to the nakedness being revealed to them evidently reveals naturally endowed ability to know the right from the wrong. However, this apparently universal reaction to the knowledge about nakedness points to the concrete and historical context of Semitic moral sensibilities. This relative dimension of the Qur’anic ethics sug­ gests an important caveat in the search for universal ethics. If a paradigm for universal ethics has to emerge as a principle of human interaction in society, it has to acknowledge communitarian boundaries of application within vari­ able cultural and historical experience of the communities. In other words, there will always remain a tension between a particular revelation with its specific appeal to the community of faithful and a universal ethics that will require the community to relate itself beyond its communal affiliation to the larger world community. This tension is inevitable, because in Islam the first human is not only God’s deputy, he is also God’s prophet sent with specific guidance at a certain point in history. This historical relativity of God’s guidance to human beings at a particular time leads to the problem of raising a particularistic moral language in the Qur’an to the level of universal application when it comes to

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204 —Abdulaziz Sachedina Muslim public order. How can the language of revelation that came at a cer­ tain time in history, and to a specific race, serve both as a source of universal and particular application for organizing a just and equitable public order? Does the Qur’an address this problem?

Human Dignity and Religious Particularity The Qur’an is concerned with the tension between universal and commu­ nitarian ethics, and therefore it undertakes to address the issue on several occasions. The strategy employed by the Qur’an to connect humanity as a single community, even when it recognizes the plurality of scriptural guid­ ance given through various prophets, is to relate them through the “innate nature” that is capable of recognizing a moral good (al-khayr, al-ma’ruf). This “innate nature” is the source of the very first qualities in virtue of which someone becomes human: “So set your purpose for religion, a human by na­ ture upright—God’s original [nature] upon which He created humankind. There is no altering [the laws of] God’s creation” (Q. 30:30). In addition, God also honors humanity with the “noble nature” (karam). As part of their noble nature, all humans are endowed with an innate scale with which they can weigh rightness and wrongness of their conduct. This innate scale is connected with universal ethical cognition as stated in another reference to human creation: “By the soul and that which shaped it and inspired it [with conscience of] what is wrong for it and [what is] right for it. Prosperous is he who purifies it, and failed has he who seduces it” (Q. 91:7–10) Hence “human by nature upright,” or created in “original nature” (fitrat allah = “God’s nature”), is endowed with a morality that cannot be arbitrary. Ethi­ cal knowledge that is “inspired by God” does not require any justification independent of the naturally endowed innate scale. The Qur’an leads hu­ mankind with “upright nature” to achieve a balance between the “known” (the convictions determined through the process of reflection) and the “un­ known” moral judgments by placing the known in history and culture at the same time. Consequently, the Qur’an anchors moral norms in the reflective process and invites human beings to ponder the consequences of their ac­ tion and learn to avoid any behavior that leads to perilous ends. Moreover, it appeals to the human capacity for learning from past destructiveness in order to avoid it in the future. The assumption in the Qur’an is that there is something concrete about human conditions that cannot be denied by any

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reasonable persons endowed with “hearts to understand,” that is, conscience to judge its consequences (Q. 22:46). Accordingly, the concept of a known prerevelatory moral language in the Qur’an does not fail to acknowledge the concrete historical and social condi­ tioning of moral concepts. But it insists that different cultures must seek to elicit the universal ideal out of the diversity of concrete human conditions—a common foundation upon which to construct an ethical language that can be shared cross-culturally in the project of creating a just society. Both the “known” and the “unknown” moral principles in the Qur’an point to con­ crete ways of life constructed in different cultural idioms that must be under­ stood in order to elicit the universals and to apply them in similar context. The moral and spiritual awareness that ennobles human existence and leads it to carry out duties to God, as well as other humans, functions as a torch of the divinely created innate human nature, enabling it to discover the univer­ sals that can build bridges of understanding across cultures.

Universal Accessible Through Particular-Communitarian In search for universals, the secularists have tended to devalue the role the particular, that is, the religious, plays in preparing humanity to undertake the challenge of treating the other as equal in dignity, regardless of differences in creed, race, and gender. Their prescription to create world citizenship has been to secularize the public sphere in its entirety by restricting the particular derived from the religious to the private domain. Today many commentators view religion as a major threat to world peace. There is much evidence in re­ ligious histories to suggest that God-human encounter in the form of specific revelation given to a community, at one time or other, has been distorted to accommodate the political ambitions of that community. Such accommoda­ tion between the core spiritual-moral message of the particular tradition and political power has actually led to the disestablishment of the universal ethi­ cal foundations of various religious traditions. Nevertheless, the Qur’an regards revelatory guidance as an important source for the universal ethical code founded upon human relations. “God created the first human couple from a single soul—the very foundation of human relations to one another—so that people would be aware of their du­ ties to one another and realize the greatest good of establishing interpersonal justice in their relations” (Q. 4:1–2). This teaching of the Qur’an about hu­

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206 —Abdulaziz Sachedina man creation, in addition to the emphasis on the “noble nature,” promotes human sociability and positive bonds between peoples because the emphasis is on a shared sense of common ethical responsibility toward one another. Recognition of common origins through the first man and woman on earth can foster mutual expectations and just relationship in human society. At the same time, the Qur’an lays importance on the community that can foster concern for the common good in its membership. To that end, the communal order promotes religious-moral institutions through which the community’s ethical aspirations are fulfilled. The doctrine of the noble nature is properly anchored in the history of human struggle toward discovering what it is to be properly human. The greatest challenge facing the commu­ nity of the faithful is its claim about the transcending quality and unique relation it has to truth. The conflicting and even incommensurable theologi­ cal positions held by different communities on their exclusive claim to reli­ gious truth have led to oppressive use of force to ensure adherence to a single comprehensive religious doctrine. The ensuing intolerance has manifested in inter- and intrafaith relations. Yet, the spirit of accommodation and tolerance certainly demands that a common ground be sought for implementing the common good in society. Working for the common good without insisting on imposing the beliefs and desires each holds most dear can result in a le­ gitimate public space for diverse human religious experience. Can this public space be realized without interfering with the ability of each person to work out his or her own individual salvation? The debate on this issue has its origin in ideas about the highest ends of human existence on the earth. Can they be accomplished through com­ munal cooperation for the collective good or for widely different and even irreconcilable individual interests? How can a particular religious commu­ nity remain neutral and noninterventionist on ethical issues that, from the individual point of view, might run counter to one’s sense of the highest moral ends in life? As members of a democratic society, individuals are free to endorse various religious views or none at all. The place of religion in the public space is a highly contested and divisive issue in many parts of the Muslim world. Democratic negotiation and bargaining over the normative role of religion in government are part of the process of social coexistence in a multifaith society for a peaceful accommodation of the differences in the individual and the communal sense of the highest moral ends. The secular prescription with an inherent egalitarian and this-worldly pre­ disposition requires that social coexistence built on religious toleration can

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be achieved only when the idea of freedom of conscience is institutionalized in the form of equality of rights and treatment before the law for all citizens without discrimination. In other words, the principle of toleration is equated with the idea of nonviolent management of human affairs in order to create a good life on this earth, without any reference to the Hereafter. Moreover, it delimits the role of conscience to the domain of private faith, which is clearly demarcated from the public sphere—the separation of church from state. Whereas one has freedom to choose between competing doctrines and pursue one’s belief in private religious institutions, one is linked in common citizenry in public state institutions. This is the secularist foundation of a public order in which, in pursuit of the good life, all considerations drawn from belief in God or other sacred authority in one’s private life are excluded from the administration of public life. Here it is important to consider a nonsecularist model of religiously based political system offered by a public sphere founded on religious consider­ ations, a society founded upon a belief that God alone provides the center of gravity for developing a sense of loyalty to a comprehensive political life. Religion speaks to different, and apparently to inherently contradictory and even controversial, aspects of the human condition. Its decidedly oth­ erworldly orientation makes a theologically based political system different in its various manifestations. Hence, the belief in God as the principle of unity in Islam presupposes a link between this world and the next world in such a way that faith becomes the essential medium for the comprehension of the norms that guide collective life of socially responsible individuals. The Qur’an propounds a set of beliefs and practices, embodies a public dimension in which the integration of the private and public spheres is grounded in the contract between two parties. Historically, it constructed the community on the principle of equality among believers, who through their personal com­ mitment to Islamic faith undertook to work toward establishing a just polity to realize interpersonal justice: “Say [o Muhammad]: ‘My Lord has com­ manded justice. Set your faces in every place of worship and call on Him [when you pray], making your religion sincerely His. As He originated you so you will return’” (Q. 7:30). In other words, God’s religion is the command to act with justice and eq­ uity in such a way that justice is at the heart of everything one does. The em­ phasis is on the individual’s obedience to the command of God. In the absence of a mediating religious institution like a church to represent God’s claims, the community felt justified insisting on individual responsibility to construct

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208 —Abdulaziz Sachedina and maintain an ethical order founded upon justice and equity as a collective response to the Prophet’s call of obedience to God’s commandments. Abrahamic traditions are characteristically founded upon scriptures that fa­ vor the creation of a just community on earth. Accordingly, instead of merely favoring the future appearance of restorer or redresser of mutilated justice or purely esoteric stress on the disciplining of a believer on the mystical path of realizing the true calling of human beings, they emphasize the divine-human covenant that locates justice in history through community. The indispens­ able connection between the religious and ethical dimensions of personal life inevitably introduces religious precepts into the public arena. In other words, church and state are closely linked, requiring the involvement of the religious community in taking the responsibility for law and order. All human beings are called on to support the community, the norms of which—defined as ex­ clusive, comprehensive, universal, and uncompromising—form the bound­ aries of an individual’s spiritual life. There is one true faith represented by the religious body, and all else is false. Hence the tendency for people to be divided among the confessional religious bodies, belonging exclusively and decisively to one or other of them, is strong. Hence the organization of the entire population of a region into many mutually exclusive rival communi­ ties defined more by religious identity than by territorial claims. For an in­ dividual it is as socially unthinkable to be associated with two or more such communities as it would be to be associated with none. The questions of individual autonomy and human agency, which are cen­ tral to a secular public order, necessitate a retreat or separation of religion from politics. Further, these questions presuppose a shared foundation of morality and binding sentiments that unite autonomous individuals into a citizenry in the public sphere. However, these individuals are unable to ne­ gotiate their spiritual space except through a membership in a community of the faithful that demands from them to look beyond their individual to the collective good of the group. It is this latter trait that is extracted from one’s religious resources and articulated in the form of rules affecting interpersonal justice in the public sphere. This is the purport of the following instruction given to the Prophet to serve as a guideline for his community’s interaction with others: “Say [o Muhammad]: ‘My Lord has forbidden only those deeds which are shameful, be they done in public or in private, and [my Lord has forbidden] acts of oppression and transgression against the rights of others’” (Q. 7:24). This scriptural commandment, to recognize and implement moral values of sharing and mutuality in the private as well as the public sphere

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that encourage coexistence on the basis of acknowledging the rights of others even when diverse religious communities do not share a particular vision of salvation, bears the interjection of one’s relationship with God into the public sphere as a way of regulating social relationships. The moral-legal foundation of legitimate political authority is not limited exclusively to the horizontal axis. Rather it derives legitimacy by relating and integrating the horizontal with the vertical—by connecting the political to the religious and providing a political justification founded upon religious reason. The usual, and some­ times realistic, secular criticisms of religious politics as being so ideologically rigid that it undermines tolerance, pluralism, and necessary political prag­ matism somehow fail to account for integral secularity demonstrated by the aforementioned verse from the Qur’an. From the Qur’anic point of view, as long as the political order is founded upon divinely ordained norms of justice and good, both the political authority and the public order are in conformity with the will of God and the purposes for which God created humanity in the first place. There is nothing modern or liberal about such an acknowledg­ ment of individual autonomous dignity and the human need for moral and spiritual nourishment through corporate existence—such yearnings are evi­ dent throughout history. The existence of similar human conditions in other cultures and the universally recognizable laws of nature that regulate inter­ action between religion and history, faith and power, ideology and politics suggest the common moral and spiritual terrain that human beings tread in their perennial search for solutions to the problems of injustice, oppression, and poverty.5

Reminder to the Children of Adam Children of Adam! Let not Satan tempt you as he brought your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their garments to show them their naked­ ness. Surely Satan sees you, he and his tribe, from where you see them not. We have made the Satans the friends of those who have rejected faith. (Q. 7:28)

Religious traditions are constantly faced with rebellion from within. Without such rebellion, it is inconceivable to trace the development of liberal democ­ racy in the West, which went through highly contested debates about the place of religion, in this case Christianity, in the public sphere. The transition

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210 —Abdulaziz Sachedina to liberal democracy would have been impossible without the democratic exchanges that took place over the normative role of Christian tradition in government. As such, religious politics has been an integral part of the his­ tory and struggle for secular public sphere.6 Moreover, historically religious debates about internal reformation have preceded political development, sometimes influencing the latter and at other times being influenced by it. It is worth keeping in mind that religious traditions like Christianity and Islam did not emerge with ready-made solutions to their turbulent relation with the ever-changing political powers to be. Hence to raise questions about their compatibility to democracy or any other form of politics seems to be out of place. In the case of Islam, I can assert with much evidence that the Qur’an never suggested a form of governance. It simply laid down the purpose in its comprehensive doctrine about the nature of the just and human good. What emerged throughout its political history is the result of its entanglement with the powers that adopted its specific interpretation to fit their political ends. Hence today it is once again salutary to engage in theorizing and debating the role of Islam in the public square, without reducing the debate to the kind of essentialism that has plagued public political discourse about the nor­ mative role of religion, in particular of Islam, in government. Given the importance attached to religion in the public square in Mus­ lim societies, there has existed an intimate relationship between religious debates about internal reformation and political development. On the one hand, Islam is being evaluated from within for its relevance in the contem­ porary social and political context; on the other hand, modernity is putting pressure on Muslim theorists to engage in a reinterpretation of religious ideas that touch upon the moral foundation of legitimate political author­ ity and equal rights of all citizens in a modern nation-state. Without theo­ logical reformulation, there will be little role for Islamic norms of public life in the growing demand for participatory politics and constitutional democracy. Insistence on adoption of secularism, which emerged from a Christian and Western experience of separation of religion and politics in the contemporary Muslim world, where primary intellectual, political, and cultural resources are religious, will achieve little in terms of badly needed political reforms. The role of religion in determining the normative resources for Muslim politics cannot be underestimated, even when secular-minded Muslim intel­ lectuals speak about Islamic “enlightenment” founded upon separation of Islam from politics. The call for an “Islamic state” will continue to dominate

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Muslim political discourse. Without a comprehensive search in Islamic tradi­ tion and Islamic sense of historical progression, Western attempts to under­ stand the struggle for democracy or human rights in the Muslim world will remain reductionist, if not outright flawed, with preconceptions about nonWestern societies in academia. Today, it is the widely prevalent hegemonic epistemology that has be­ come a hurdle to overcome when it comes to analysis about the “other”— whether cultural, religious, or racial. Such a hegemonic “quick-fix” method of dealing with the perceived threat to Western liberal values—not dissimi­ lar from what Pope Benedict XVI attempted to convey on September 12, 2006—achieves nothing substantial in influencing the changes that must come in order for the Muslim world to claim its rightful position in the international public order. Do human beings have a choice in the matter of being misguided by Sa­ tan? To be sure, the aforementioned verse plainly limits Satan’s ability to misguide only “those of them that follow” him, and only these will be pun­ ished with the Hell. Thus God assures humankind that Satan “has no hold over those who believe and trust in their Lord. His hold is over those who take him for their friend and ascribe associates to God” (Q. 16:100). In other words, one needs faith in God and trust in God to withstand satanic attacks on one’s moral sense. This is the role of revelatory guidance that becomes accessible through religious reason as part of the process connected with dec­ laration of faith. In this sense, morality needs religion to become a dependable force in the human spiritual and ethical development. Adam, as God’s deputy, is the founder of universal ethical life, fortified with the particular revelation re­ ceived from God as God’s envoy. It is indeed God’s decree that humanity will always need both religion and morality to lead it to create an ethical order on earth. One without the other will be an easy prey to satanic temptations. The Qur’an demonstrates, time and again, that when Satan enters the ethical realm he destroys the human ability to distinguish right from wrong, expos­ ing the human “nakedness” as a ploy for further corruption and wickedness, and, when he enters the religious sphere, he destroys sincerity and humility, replacing these with arrogance and self-righteousness. Hence it behooves hu­ manity to thank God for entrusting it with the knowledge to defeat ignorance and immorality, charging it with justice to uproot injustices and inequities. At the same time, Satan’s entry in human life right from the genesis shows that, had it not been for Satan, the first human couple would have contin­

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212 —Abdulaziz Sachedina ued to live in the Garden, rendering life on earth hardly a challenge for the posterity. Nevertheless, it seems that, as a deputy of God, human being had to inhabit the world in order to exercise divinely invested authority among God’s creation. As such, for Adam to remain in the Garden forever was in­ conceivable. His terrestrial connection is part of the divine plan. The life on earth provides him with an opportunity to work hard to earn his lasting re­ ward back in the Garden in the Hereafter. Is this what God meant when He replied to the angels’ objection to putting Adam as God’s deputy on earth: “Assuredly I know what you do not know”? This unfolding of the drama of creation, with Adam playing the main role, renders God’s deputyship a blessing for humanity. It also explains the divine Trust—the amana, which the heavens and mountains shirked from accept­ ing, and which God let human being accept, despite knowing his ignorance and tyranny. The Qur’an reminds its readers that God is Omniscient Creator, and God certainly knows where to put His message as a trust (Q. 6:124). The angels did not know this. They were veiled from the knowledge about the future of humanity that only God possessed. It was through the creation of humanity and its endowment with stewardship that divine sovereignty could be manifested on earth. In turn, human exercise of the divinely endowed authority could create the ideal public order that would reflect divine justice. Only through the creation of such an order will human beings deserve to earn their final reward with God. The last mystery in the God-human encounter that still awaits vindication is the spreading corruption and bloodshed by humanity. When the angels pointed out the human tendency to shed blood and spread corruption, God did not reject it as a false accusation against humanity. He simply retorted by declaring that what He knew the angels did not. The Qur’an vividly draws the images of violent confrontations in human society. It regards humans as capable of the kind of wrongdoing that is best addressed by punitive mea­ sures designed to combat threats to the social fabric. However, God’s solu­ tion to this reality of human tendencies to resort to violence is to teach Adam to “turn unto your Lord”: “Thereafter Adam received certain words from his Lord, and He turned toward him; truly He turns, and is All-compassionate” (Q. 2:37). These words inspired Adam to repent. The overarching message of the Qur’an is God’s forgiving power to compensate for human shortcomings, whether in dealing with oneself or others. God’s forgiveness leads to restora­ tion of self-respect, which can lead to better human relationships. There is a deep moral insight in the following verse of the Qur’an: “Your Lord has

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made bestowal of Mercy incumbent upon Himself; if any of you commits an evil in ignorance, and then repents and mends his ways, [he will be certainly forgiven]. Be sure that He is All-forgiving and All-merciful” (Q. 6:55). On the one hand, humankind is assured of God’s forgiving nature; on the other, humans are required to demonstrate their predisposition to moral humility in reforming and restoring membership in society. In order to earn divine forgiveness, human beings must act responsibly toward one another. They must take responsibility for wrongdoing in a personal and social way. Ac­ knowledgment of harm or injury caused to others or to oneself is the first and key step in seeking forgiveness. “Turning to God” is turning in repentance to earn divine mercy and forgiveness. It is a withdrawal from behavior injurious to oneself and to others. “Turning to God in repentance” (Q. 39:53) serves as the most important means by which a wrongdoer can distance himself from his wrongdoing. Those who are looking to establish peace within themselves and with others in society must engage in the ritual of apology by sincerely humbling themselves to repair their self-respect. According to the Qur’an, it is unthinkable to regain the confidence of other humans without first work­ ing toward the restoration of one’s vitiated sense of security and integrity. Providing an inner sense of security and integrity is the function of faith. Faith bestows safety and peace. The most important Qur’anic teaching con­ cerning faith and its external projection in action undergirds the notion of iman (faith) in the meaning of “to be at peace,” “to be safe.” In order to gain security and tap their vast potentialities for creating an ideal public order, human beings can and ought to avoid moral and physical peril, individually and collectively. The destiny of every society depends on how faith shapes the quality of individual and collective behavior. Genuine faith in God sharpens the human ability to know that wrongs done to others are more profoundly wrongs done to oneself. The fundamental problem faced by humanity today is lack of firm resolve in matters of divine guidance made accessible through revelation. Hearken­ ing to God’s warnings about the perils of disobedience is repeated in the Qur’an. The paradigmatic case of this situation occurs in the context of Ad­ am’s disobedience despite God’s warning about the consequences of eating the forbidden fruit. Individuals and societies cannot ignore the potential of disobedience, as reminded in the creation narrative. These acts lead to frag­ mentation and destruction. Disbelief in God’s guidance leads to self-decep­ tion, narrow-mindedness, rejection of truth, and a total privation of moral energy. The crucial human defense against such self-abasement is vigilance

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214 —Abdulaziz Sachedina against the self-deception that arises from all myopic interests, whether in­ dividual or collective. Although the Qur’an frequently emphasizes God’s mercy, pardon, and forgiveness, it requires human beings to respond to their divinely ordained inner disposition, which gives them the ability to extricate the self from self-deception. Interpersonal human justice depends on one’s ability to realize a moral injury done to others and to work toward wiping the slate clean. Divine mercy and pardon await those who care deeply about others, and their relationships with them, those who seek others’ forgiveness. The humility expressed through genuine repentance and surrender to God restores our self-respect in the community. What stops human beings from self-reform, from turning toward God, seeking divine forgiveness, and working toward the betterment of society? Two grievous sins in the Qur’an are arrogance and jealousy. Religious arro­ gance has been one of the major causes of antagonism across cultures. Power­ ful political and religious institutions in some parts of the world have ironi­ cally worked hand in hand to institutionalize hatred in the name of God and to suffocate any attempt to pave the way for better understanding among different religious communities. Arrogance leads to trampling of the rights of others and thus often engenders violent conflicts. Jealousy is also a source of arrogant behavior. Jealousy leads to aggressive behavior inflicting physical, psychological, or social harm on others. Since jealousy is self-cultivated vice, it is remediable. The antidote to jealousy is social interaction, which fosters a sense of interdependence, thereby reducing violence caused by jealousy among individuals. Furthermore, recognition of interdependence requires people to realize that intentional wrongdoing prompted by resentment degrades others and causes moral and spiritual in­ jury. Hence, when jealousy occurs an essential and effective remedy for it is an act of sincere repentance and public apology for the wrongdoing. Such an acknowledgment in public can serve as a religious prelude to the just resolu­ tion of the conflict caused by the injury inflicted upon those whose well-be­ ing should be the concern of the entire community. As God’s deputy, Adam is entrusted with the responsibility of exercising God’s authority with justice. Since authority engenders arrogance, Adam needs to constantly remind himself that when God’s deputy begins to wrong people he then becomes God’s adversary. In return for this behavior, God renders null and void the argument of whoever contends with Him. It is in this specific meaning that the fall of God’s deputy is conceivable in Islam. The source of the angels’ objection to Adam’s appointment as God’s deputy is the

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human capacity to do evil and shed blood. According to the Qur’an, the source of this socially depraved conduct is the worship of Satan, who was the first be­ ing to utter the statement that has become the source of all human conflicts: “I am better than he!” (Q. 38:76). The Qur’an warns all humanity against suc­ cumbing to this satanic claim of superiority: “Children of Adam! Did I not make a covenant with you that you should not serve Satan? [Did I not tell you that] he is your sworn enemy? And that you should serve Me, for this is a straight path” (Q. 36:61–62). “Serving Satan” is actually following Satan’s path of arrogance and zest for conflict, which were demonstrated at the time of creation when Satan swore that he would entrap human beings and drag them to perdition (Q. 17:63) by instigating them to rebel against God’s order. “Serving Me,” that is God, restores the original state of creation through the natural inclination toward obedience and doing good, the straight path.

Is Mixing of Religion and Politics Unavoidable? It is worth keeping in mind that the problem of mixing religion and politics is not limited to the ideologues of political Islam. Muslim culture, in general, regards religion as an essential part of its mundane activities, including its politics. There is hardly anything political in the strict sense of the separation of temporal from spiritual in Islamic culture. In fact, the tendency among Muslims is to regard the religious and the cultural as one and the same. Much evidence exists in the call for internal reform by prominent Muslim thinkers of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries to separate religion from cul­ ture in the areas that affect, for instance, the rights of women and minorities adversely. Such an attempt, as the reformers argued, would restore the purely religious rights of women that had been downplayed or suppressed by pre­ dominant patriarchal cultural norms. Such an integration of religion and culture, on the one hand, and religion and politics, on the other, make it impossible to conceive of a democratic political culture in Muslim societies in which religion could be restricted to the private domain. In fact, from all that we know, even in the thoroughly secularized Turkish paradigm of democratic governance, religion continues to guide and even lead political debates. Thus democratic politics based on the ideas of equality of citizens in a modern nation-state that requires priva­ tization of religion through secularization is not always an accepted solution in the Muslim context.

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216 —Abdulaziz Sachedina There is another dimension to the critical stance adopted against the “po­ litical Islam” of Western social scientists. This is the unstated assumption that the secret of the Western democracies’ success is, namely, the separation of “church” and “state” required by the Judeo-Christian traditions. Differently stated, unlike Islam, Judeo-Christian traditions religiously support the sepa­ ration clause. In contrast, the political history of Islam shows a religiously ordained interdependence between religion and politics in the Muslim pol­ ity—a fact that degenerated into discriminatory treatment of the non-Mus­ lim populations living under Muslim domination. Consequently, the devel­ opment of democratic politics in which religion is confined to the private domain is problematic in Muslim societies, unless the public arena is secular­ ized to allow equality of all citizens in the public domain. To be sure, there is much evidence on the ground to support the observa­ tion that Muslims in general do not view integration of the religious and po­ litical negatively. In fact, politics is not devalued as something “un-Islamic” that should be shunned by Muslims as part of their faith commitment. Islam, unlike Christianity, is a “world-embracing” faith, steeped in managing the mundane while preparing its adherents for the future life in the Hereafter. Politics in the sense of active social engagement to improve the living con­ ditions of the people is regarded as a form of piety that affords meaning to doctrines that teach human accountability for their performance on earth. More pertinently, the paradigm of the first Muslim polity under the founder of Islam makes it impossible to conceive religion as totally disentangled from politics. Active submission to God meant active involvement with everyday mundane life in all its aspects. Islam’s emphasis on God-centered spirituality sought perfection in advancing justice and equity on earth. How could one be concerned about justice in the world and remain apolitical? This was the core of Islamic tradition. It is for good reason that political reform in Mus­ lim societies, whether leading to constitutional moves to restrict the absolute power of rulers or development of democratic governance through the rule of law and accountability of public officials, has also meant religious reform, which would seek a new interpretation or an extrapolation based on the scriptural sources that could provide religious legitimacy to the public order. As Muslims seek political empowerment through democratic politics in the Muslim world, they cannot ignore the deeply held religious values about an ideal public order. It is important to underscore the fact that Islam does not provide a paradigm of the form of government Muslims need to further jus­ tice in the world. It simply emphasizes the justification for the existence of

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government, namely, “to institute the good and prevent the evil” in society. Historical institutions like the caliphate and the sultanate function as the means rather than the end of governance. The purpose of the governance is absolute, whereas its mode is relative to the time and place in which that purpose must be fulfilled. And yet raising the historically contingent paradigm to a normative value spawns injustice to the purpose, which requires humans to learn to live in peace and harmony with one another. Such a treatment of the historic as nor­ mative has also become the major source of liberal suspicion and assessment of the role religion can or cannot play in a constitutional democracy. The liberal prescription that without secularization of the public space through privatiza­ tion of religion it is impossible for democratic governance to emerge is based on the ideologies of “political Islam” that treat historic political institutions of Muslim civilization as normative. What is needed today is an intellectually honest evaluation of Islam and its “secular” underpinnings to demonstrate that it is possible to conceive a religious understanding of secularization needed to develop the critical notion of citizenship for constitutional democracy. If one were to follow the social science thesis about the necessity of de­ veloping “secular Islam” in line with “secular Judeo-Christian” traditions for democracy to take root in Muslim countries, such a proposition would be re­ jected outright by the traditionalists and their supporters in Muslim societies. In addition, it would foreclose the possibility of engaging religious leaders, who are highly suspicious of the project of modernity, with its emphasis on secularization and reason-based relative morality, in a dialogue about the role religion can and cannot play in a democratic state. In other words, we need to understand the newly coined term for democracy in the Islamic Repub­ lic of Iran: “Religiously Sanctioned Rule of People (mardum salari dini)” or “religious democracy.” Is this possible? Can there be a religiously conceived notion of equality, human rights, rule of law, public participation in political process, accountability of the elected officials to the people, and so on? I am aware of the total rejection of such an idea among the theoreticians of democracy today. It is a contradiction in terms when one juxtaposes “religion,” which is exclusionary, and “democracy,” which is inclusive in its formulation of human relationships under a constitution. This is particularly true in the view of traditional Islam not being conducive to the idea of all people’s political participation in the political processes regardless of their religious or ethnic af­ filiation. According to this essentialist view, Islamic heritage is an obstruction to the development of democracy. Hence the possibility of democracy taking root in countries like Iran, for instance, is ruled out mainly because Islam has

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218 —Abdulaziz Sachedina no clause resembling the liberal understanding of separation of religion and politics. Such a judgment has overlooked the possibility of not only a different paradigm of democracy to emerge in the Muslim world; it has also insisted that it is only liberal democracy as understood in the Western hemisphere that can serve as a lead for such a development in Muslim societies. If democracy can be taken is its most basic signification of the empower­ ment of the people to participate in all political processes, including electing and critically evaluating their representatives in the administration, then it is necessary to conceive a native paradigm responsive to the values and culture of a particular society. Today the search in Muslim societies is for a gover­ nance responsible to the people. Moreover, Muslims are seeking a govern­ ment that can be challenged for its performance and removed from power if found corrupt. In this particular goal, the core question that needs to be raised and responded to is whether Islamic heritage is a hindrance to the people’s empowerment or not. My observation of the recent Iranian elections in the context of Iranian dem­ ocratic culture of the last three decades leads me to strike an optimistic note. Even in the so-called atmosphere of theocratic politics of that country, Islam, with its deep-seated suspicion of any absolutist claims to power by any fallible human governance, has emboldened the people and highlighted their demand that public officials must be held answerable to the public and removed from power if they abuse the divine trust of exercising authority with justice. My proposal to seek a native paradigm in democratic governance is not unrealistic. Islam has offered a fait accompli solution to the separate jurisdic­ tions of human-God and human-human affairs—a kind of functional secu­ larity—to deal with complex issues connected with intercommunal relations. Human-God relationships were and remain beyond the jurisdiction of the state administration. No human institutions could intervene in regulating human-God relationships. The state ought to maintain neutrality in matters of faith, leaving it to individuals and their faith community institutions to regulate them. But interhuman relationships were and remain under the ju­ risdiction of human institutions that are created to regulate them in fairness and justice. Islam had acknowledged this principle of secularity (sifa madaniyya) within its juridical system by clearly demarcating the human-divine ju­ risdiction under the ‘ibadat from the human-human jurisdiction under the mu’amalat. The former remains, as it has always been, under God’s judg­ ment; whereas the latter remains under the socially structured institutions for the advancing of good and preventing of evil.

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Reason and Revelation—2 1 9

It is for this reason that I do not need to reconcile Islam with secular­ ism in order for democratic governance to emerge. Rather my proposition is based on Islamic teachings, preserved in the classical heritage, that negate any human claim to represent God’s interest and function in the manner of a “church” in Christianity. In fact, Islam rejected the idea of creating a “church,” demanding uniformity and conformity at the threat of excommu­ nication. This absence of the “church,” representing God’s rights on earth, has served as the basis of both a civil society and a civil religion that function as the foundation for democratic governance. My proposition is to work on developing a “native” paradigm for democ­ racy in Muslim societies by keeping a watchful eye over the militant project of depriving people in order to process noninterventionist religiosity that can guarantee Muslim authenticity and identity as “Muslim” and as “citizen” in a modern nation-state. No Muslim can hope to work toward democratic poli­ tics without first developing respect for all human beings, regardless of their gender, race, or creed. The key to democracy in the Muslim world is to recog­ nize freedom of religion and conscience as an inalienable right of all citizens in a nation-state. This right can be guaranteed by engaging the religion of Islam and politics in a healthy partnership rather than antagonistic rivals that compete in outstripping and discrediting the other. Muslims are faced with the challenge of developing religious democracy that emphasizes the natural role of Islam in guiding rather than ruling humanity to develop ethical politics with the good of all humans and not just Muslims at heart. As long as Muslims abuse their religion as a source of power in the struggle that exists between the state and the seminary (not the mosque), it will be deprived of its God-given mandate to do justice and work for peace by recognizing and treating all hu­ mans as equally endowed with dignity, accruing inalienable rights.

notes A version of this chapter appears in Ali Paya and John Esposito, eds., Iraq, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World (London: Routledge, 2010).

1. Various articles in the volume Religion in the Liberal Polity (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), edited by Terence Cuneo, discuss some of the issues raised in this section. See, in particular, Cuneo’s introduction. 2. Such a view of religion and its problematic for the establishment of democracy has had a long history in the West. Some two centuries ago Alexis de Tocqueville,

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220 —Abdulaziz Sachedina in his assessment of American republic in Democracy in America (New York: Harper Collins, 1988), points out the “great problem of our time is the organization and the establishment of democracy in Christian lands” (p. 311). In the nineteenth century it was Christianity that was seen as incompatible with democracy and today it is Islam that is regarded as the “greatest problem of our time.” This extension of observation in the nineteenth century about Christianity to Islam in twenty-first century is not merely a coincidence. In the wake of September 11, 2001, events Western views about religion’s relationship to democracy have hardened to the extent that a widely held opinion among a number of prominent American social scientists, encapsulated by Francis Fukuyama, states explicitly that “there seems to be something about Islam or at least fundamentalist versions of Islam that have been dominant in recent years, that makes Muslim societies particularly resistant to modernity.” “History Is Still Going Our Way,” Wall Street Journal, October 5, 2001.

3. See Abdulaziz Sachedina, The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001). 4. Tabari, Tafsir, 1:525–26. 5. For various criticisms leveled against religious politics from the perspective of liberal-democratic theory see John Rawls, Political Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996), pp. 10–11; Charles Taylor, “The Politics of Recognition,” in Amy Gutmann, ed., Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), pp. 25–73; James Reichley, “Democracy and Reli­ gion, “ in Political Science and Politics 19 (Autumn 1986): 801–6.

6. This fact has been underappreciated or even ignored in all analyses of the poli­ tics of the Muslim world in the aftermath of 9/11. Bernard Lewis’s article, “Islam and Liberal Democracy: A Historical Overview,” Journal of Democracy 7 (April 1996): 52– 63, which has become an authoritative reference for a number of subsequent Western studies on the relationship between religion and politics, totally ignores any reference to the role of religion in the political development of Christianity in the West. See, for instance, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World (New York: Basic Books, 2003), pp. 28–34; 139–44.

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chapter nine

Islam, Constitutionalism, and the Challenge of Democracy Sohail H. Hashmi

M

uslim engagement with formal constitutions and the ideology of constitutionalism dates back more than a century and a half. To­ day, virtually all the fifty or so states with predominantly Muslim populations have promulgated written constitutions—indeed, the writing of a constitution is one of the first tasks upon which they embarked soon after independence. But, as we all know, it is one thing to promulgate a constitu­ tion and quite another to develop a constitutional order, one that is able to support liberal democracy. Thus far in their political history, modern Muslim states have poor records in developing either constitutionalism or liberal de­ mocracy—although there are certainly encouraging signs from states such as Indonesia, Senegal, and Turkey. All three of these states have, however, pro­ claimed themselves to be secular in their orientation. The record of those states that have self-consciously sought to apply Islamic principles in their political institutions, for example by proclaiming that the “Qur’an is our constitution,” as in Saudi Arabia, or by declaring that “sovereignty belongs to Allah,” as in Pakistan and Iran, is particularly disheartening for those who look to Islamic constitutionalism to provide a basis for liberal democracy. These countries’ experiences and those of others, including the Islamizing military dictatorship of Sudan and Afghanistan under the Taliban, prompt the question: is there

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222 —Sohail H. Hashmi something inherently authoritarian in the vision of an Islamic state, some­ thing that can be illuminated by studying the process of writing a constitution and later in the struggle to interpret and apply it? This is, of course, a very complicated and controversial question, a full an­ swer to which would require much more space than I have here. I will exam­ ine this question with reference to one central issue: the understanding and application of shari‘a, or “divine law,” as it is understood by many Muslims, and the tension such an understanding creates in constitutionalism. Before we look specifically at this issue, it will be useful to examine the relationship between constitutionalism and religion more generally.

Constitutionalism, Democracy, and Religion Constitutionalism is defined in many ways, but at its core is the idea that the political order is subject to a “higher law” that is beyond arbitrary or capri­ cious human changes, whether they are suggested by an autocrat, an oligar­ chy, a democratic mob, or even a duly constituted legislature. Today, in much scholarly writing and in popular perception, constitutionalism is linked to a liberal democratic regime that operates according to the will of the major­ ity while guaranteeing the equal rights of its citizens. “Liberal democracy” and “constitutional democracy” are often treated as interchangeable terms. Yet, according to most definitions of constitutionalism, such a linkage is not necessary. In the broadest sense, any regime that provides for 1. limited and accountable government, 2. adherence to the rule of law, and 3. protection of fundamental rights is in accord with the principles of constitutionalism.1 Constitutionalism does not require the two distinguishing aspects of liberal democracy: majority rule through periodic election of representatives and equal rights of all citizens. In theory, then, we could phrase the relationship between constitutionalism and liberal democracy thus: constitutionalism does not require liberal democracy, but liberal democracy does require con­ stitutionalism. In practice, however, constitutionalism seems wedded to lib­ eral democracy because history shows that constitutionalism is most fully re­ alized and sustained in liberal democracies. In many ways liberal democratic theory emerges out of a prior and much more ancient tradition of limiting government by constitutional restraints. Based on the three characteristics of constitutionalism, it is not at all ap­ parent that religion and constitutionalism would necessarily conflict. The

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Islam, Constitutionalism, and Liberal Democracy—2 2 3

conflict arises to the extent that constitutionalism proposes a higher law based upon rational deduction—a civil religion—that challenges the higher law based on divine command. The conflict is inevitable to the extent that divine law is understood to contain timeless and unchangeable provisions that cannot be reconciled or accommodated with changing human under­ standings of what justice requires. As Said Arjomand writes, “Both religion and natural rights, explicitly or by implication, provide transcendental bases for constitutions. . . . The number of heterogeneous principles of order is thereby increased, and with it the potential for tension. The legitimating ap­ peal to religion reintroduces a source of tension which is perhaps the oldest in world history: that between transcendent and man-made law.”2 Constitutionalism emerged and developed in Western societies because of a number of philosophical and practical developments unique to them. No two factors were more determinative, at least for the theoretical underpin­ nings of constitutionalism, than a robust notion of natural law, on the one hand, and a relatively weak idea of divine law in Christianity on the other. The roots of constitutional theory lie in the natural law tradition of the an­ cient Greeks and Romans, particularly the Stoics. Cicero, the bridge between Greek and Roman Stoicism, declares in the Republic: There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, un­ changeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohi­ bitions restrain us from evil. . . . This law cannot be contradicted by any other law, and is not liable either to derogation or abrogation. Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this uni­ versal law of justice. . . . It is not one thing at Rome and another at Athens; one thing today and another tomorrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must for ever reign, eternal and imperishable.3

“God himself is author, promulgator, and enforcer” of this law, Cicero writes, but only transcendentally, as it were, for natural law “needs no other exposi­ tor and interpreter than our own conscience.”4 In medieval Christendom, Greco-Roman notions of natural law were res­ urrected and “Christianized” by the Catholic Scholastics, foremost among whom was Thomas Aquinas. In the Summa Theologiae Thomas outlines four types of law.5 The first is “eternal law,” God’s plan for the universe, of which human beings can comprehend only a small part. The second is “natural law,” which is that part of the eternal law knowable to humans through their exer­ cise of right reason. Third is “human law,” or the civil law enacted by govern­

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224 —Sohail H. Hashmi ments to implement the requirements of natural law in particular societies. Human laws, according to Thomas, are just insofar as they are in accord with the rule of reason or, in other words, to the extent they are compatible with natural law. Now comes the crucial point: inasmuch as human understand­ ing of natural law is imperfect and perfectible, so the human laws based in natural law are changeable. Thomas writes: “Those who first endeavored to discover something useful for the human community, not being able by themselves to take everything into consideration, set up certain institutions which were deficient in many ways, and these were changed by subsequent lawgivers who made institutions that might prove less frequently deficient in respect of the common weal.”6 Finally, Thomas lists “divine law,” by which he means that part of the eternal law revealed by God to open a path for salvation. Divine law is a twofold mercy from God: First, it supplements natural law with regard to our supernatural ends, a realm where our reason is incapable of guiding us. Second, it refines our understanding of natural law by clarifying right from wrong in areas where our reason is inadequate.7 For Thomas, and for medieval Christians generally, divine law was a necessary but limited element in a just constitution. In practice, medieval Christendom evinces a complex and overlapping pattern of interaction between the secular and religious realms, with no clear demarcation between “divine” and “hu­ man” laws or who is the supreme interpreter of each. Brian Tierney ob­ serves: “Kings were anointed like bishops, and popes crowned like kings. Papal sovereignty was defined according to rules derived from civil law, and imperial elections were conducted according to rules derived from canon law.”8 The Reformation went far in disentangling the secular and religious realms in Christendom, and the Enlightenment affirmed this separation as a cardinal principle of a well-ordered constitution. Enlightenment thinkers fundamen­ tally altered the way natural law was conceived. Not only did they diminish the divine element in natural law, they also shifted the focus of natural law away from human obligations to human rights. The major contribution was that of John Locke. Locke’s argument in the Second Treatise on Government for the natural right to life, liberty, and property hardly needs mention. His views on reason versus revelation as sources of human rights and on the role of religion in politics generally are scattered across his writings. In the First Treatise on Government he describes reason as our “only Star and compass” and in other passages suggests that revelation merely confirms what reason

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Islam, Constitutionalism, and Liberal Democracy—2 2 5

dictates. In political matters especially, Scripture is too vague to serve as a useful guide, and in A Letter Concerning Toleration Locke directly asserts that ecclesiastical law should have no purview in worldly or civil matters.9 Never­ theless, for Locke and his many disciples on both sides of the Atlantic, consti­ tutionalism remained wedded to natural law in the sense of holding human beings accountable to a relatively stable—one could say “timeless”—set of prescriptions on what government may or may not do toward its people and what citizens may or may not do toward each other. Modern constitutionalism—constitutionalism as an ideology—arose as part of a package of Enlightenment ideals in which rationalism and secu­ larism occupied prominent places. Modern constitutionalism has gener­ ally been seen as a means of formalizing the secular quality of the political arena. The framers of the seminal documents of modern constitutionalism, the American Constitution and the French revolutionary constitutions, took pains either to separate religion and politics or to subordinate the church to the state. Political theory largely upheld the increasing desacralization of politics as a defining characteristic of modernity. Max Weber, for example, never explicitly linked secularism and constitutionalism, but the connection is inferred in his contrasting of rational-legal legitimacy, expressed through the codification of man-made laws and description of governmental institu­ tions in formal, written documents, with premodern types of legitimacy in which allegiance to a system of formally enacted, universally binding, and periodically changeable rules was absent.10 Yet, modern constitutionalism has never been entirely devoid of religious influences, either in the process of constitution writing or in the constitu­ tional texts themselves. Religiously motivated individuals and groups have always been engaged in the processes of constitutionalism—in what may be characterized as both supportive and oppositional roles—and religion is fre­ quently a part of written constitutional documents—again in both positive and negative expressions, that is, either to promote it or to curb it in the political realm.11 The tension between the “free exercise” and “no establish­ ment” of religion clauses in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution has spawned extensive debates in American constitutional law. Similar dis­ putes characterize the constitutional jurisprudence of many other Western countries. But even in those Western states with an established church, there is a consensus that the higher law enshrined in constitutions is grounded in reason, not revelation. This is one of the most enduring and profound lega­ cies of the Enlightenment.

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226 —Sohail H. Hashmi The ideas of constitutionalism spread around the world in the tracks of European imperialism, but its transplantation has proven difficult. In Mus­ lim societies constitutionalism has been stymied in part by interpretations of Islamic law (shari‘a) as divine law that cannot be reconciled or accommodat­ ed with other notions of a transcendent law, including a natural law ground­ ed in reason, evolving and perfecting itself over time. A number of specific tensions emerge between conceptions of shari‘a as a holistic and unalterable legal code and constitutionalism, relating to such fundamental issues as the legitimacy of democratic government, the equal rights of all citizens before the law, and my focus here, the ability of parliamentary bodies to frame laws that reinterpret and sometimes alter divine will as expressed in sacred texts. The balance between revelation and reason in understanding the shari‘a long predates the arrival of constitutionalist ideas into Muslim societies. Indeed, controversies over this fundamental issue dominate much of classical Islamic intellectual history.

Reason and Revelation in Classical Islamic Jurisprudence Perhaps from the time of the prophet Muhammad himself, the Qur’an was viewed in part as an expression of divine law. The Qur’anic text contains vers­ es on a variety of subjects, ranging from marriage and inheritance to war and peace that have legal import. Some injunctions are preceded by the words kutiba ‘alaykum (“it is written for you”), suggesting that God is directly legis­ lating for humanity. But, on the constitution of an Islamic polity, the Qur’an offers very little specific guidance. As long as the Prophet lived among his people, there was no question as to the supreme interpretive agent for divine revelation. The problem that confronted the Muslim community immediately after Muhammad’s death was how to interpret the Qur’an, particularly when verses are ambiguous or apparently contradictory, and what normative value, if any, to give the sunna, the sum total of Muhammad’s prophethood in words and deeds. Unlike the Qur’an, the sunna was not formally recorded either in Muhammad’s lifetime or even in the first century after his death. This led to a proliferation of oral traditions ascribed to him, so that when the collection of authoritative tradi­ tions (hadith) began in earnest two hundred years after his death, the task of the collectors was not so much to unearth traditions as it was to winnow

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Islam, Constitutionalism, and Liberal Democracy—2 2 7

out the sound from the unsound ones. Yet, despite the best efforts of the collectors, the hadith collections purporting to relate Muhammad’s sayings and deeds contained numerous examples of internal contradictions as well as some apparent departures from the Qur’an. The situation was thus ripe for prolonged and bitter controversies. At stake was not just the definition of Islamic law, but issues fundamental to Islamic theology and ethics, including what makes God’s laws right or good and whether human beings are capable of discerning right from wrong on the basis of reason alone. From his vantage point in the fourteenth century, Ibn Khaldun looks back in the Muqaddima on the development of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). He writes that two centers of legal scholarship arose in the second Islamic cen­ tury, the formative period of Islamic jurisprudence. One, the Hanafi school centered in Baghdad, championed the use of opinion (ra’y) and analogy (qiyas). The second, the Maliki school based in Medina, relied on traditions, not the Prophetic hadiths that would be compiled later, but the living tradition of the Medinan Muslims who were assumed to preserve most faithfully the way (sunna) of the Prophet and his companions. The synthesis of these two approaches came in the form of the Shafi‘i school, but it was a synthesis that clearly favored the champions of tradition over opinion. The last school of Sunni jurisprudence to emerge, the Hanbali, continued this trend toward reliance on the Qur’anic text and its interpretation through the hadiths of the Prophet. But, as Ibn Khaldun makes clear, the proponents of tradition did not disavow all interpretive activity (ijtihad) by qualified jurists because the jurist’s task was to illuminate shari‘a by his jurisprudence. The literalists, or Zahiris, who shunned ijtihad, failed to establish a lasting school, claims Ibn Khaldun. “Worthless persons occasionally feel obliged to follow this school and study these books in the desire to learn the (Zahirite) system of jurispru­ dence from them, but they get nowhere and encounter the opposition and disapproval of the great mass of Muslims.”12 The early controversies in jurisprudence were mirrored by bitter disputes in speculative theology (kalam).13 The advocates of human reason as a source of law found support in the ethical objectivism of Mu‘tazili theologians. Revelation could be supplemented by reason, the Mu‘tazilis argued, because truth and falsehood, right and wrong, are objective categories independent of God’s will. Revelation supplements reason in confirming the value of cer­ tain actions, particularly those involving human obligations toward God, such as religious rites in particular. Nevertheless, reason unaided by revela­ tion is a sufficient guide to ethical behavior, and therefore theoretically even a

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228 —Sohail H. Hashmi conscientious infidel may reach right moral conclusions. The Mu‘tazilis were clearly influenced by the dissemination of Aristotelian philosophy in Arabic translation beginning in the second Islamic century. They were also react­ ing to theological disputations with their Christian counterparts in Syria and Iraq. Both Muslims and Christians were thus trying to reconcile Greco-Ro­ man natural law arguments with their respective conceptions of divine law. The Mu‘tazilis were engaged in bitter disputations with fellow Muslims as well. The Maturidi school accepted reason as a source of moral knowledge, but held that the Mu‘tazili position relied excessively on it over revelation. The Maturidi view was a middle ground of sorts between the Mu‘tazilis and their fiercest critics, the Ash‘aris. In opposition to the Mu‘tazilis’ embrace of ethical objectivism, the Ash‘aris held that God’s power could not be subject to any objective ethical values; rather, ethical value was derived entirely from God’s command. Man discovers right action through God’s grace to his cre­ ation, through the scriptures and the actions of divinely inspired prophets. These sources of divine law are the only arbiters of the moral content of spe­ cific actions. Without the light of the shari‘a, humans cannot be sure that an action is good or bad. By the end of the twelfth century, for reasons largely extraneous to the intellectual merits of the rival views, the Ash‘ari position had emerged as the orthodoxy in Sunni intellectual circles. Maturidism remained influential, particularly in areas ruled by Turkic dynasties in Anatolia and Central and Southern Asia. Mu‘tazilism lingered in some Sunni circles, but its impact was greatest on the evolution of Shi‘i jurisprudence, which underwent its own controversy between traditionalists and rationalists, ending in the eighteenth century with the triumph of the latter. In Sunni Islam the ascendancy of the Ash‘ari position had profound consequences for the evolution of Islamic conceptions of law and ethics. A moral epistemology rooted in revelation is intrinsically conservative. Those most familiar with revelation, the ulema, were placed in a privileged position to interpret the faith to the mass of the faithful. Confronted as they were with political instability and pressures to interpret the law in ways favorable to those in power, the ulema naturally tended toward greater conservatism in their legal interpretation. One could say they upheld the shari‘a as a higher law above human tampering and expedient interpretations. But, in this Islamic context, the higher law that was being upheld was rooted in conceptions of divine, not natural law. The “closing of the gates of ijtihad” was an event more mythic than real—as legal interpretation certainly continued—but behind the myth lies an undeniable

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Islam, Constitutionalism, and Liberal Democracy—2 2 9

reality: the ethos that gripped Sunni legal scholarship was deeply resistant to change or critical inquiry. Ibn Khaldun has some pointed comments on this development: “(Scholars) came to profess their inability (to apply indepen­ dent judgment), and had the people adopt the tradition of the (authorities) mentioned and of the respective group of adherents of each. . . . The person who would claim independent judgment nowadays would be frustrated and have no adherents.”14 As development and even reinterpretation of the shari‘a became more and more restricted, while Muslim societies continued to change and encounter new problems, extra-shari‘a legislation developed parallel with it. This siyasa shariyya or qanun (an Arabicization of the Greek word “canon”) created, in effect, an ever-increasing sphere of secular law. As the qanun expanded in scope, the shari‘a contracted—in practice, not in theory. In theory, qanun was the realm of man-made laws, tolerated by ulema for pragmatic or utilitarian purposes but never as a substitute for the ideal divine law. Ibn Khaldun, him­ self a jurist, offers the standard juristic position: Anything (done by royal authority) that is dictated by force, superiority, or the free play of the power of wrathfulness, is tyranny and injustice and considered reprehensible by (the religious law), as it is also considered rep­ rehensible by the requirements of political wisdom. Likewise, anything (done by royal authority) that is dictated (merely) by considerations of policy or political decisions without supervision of the religious law, is also reprehensible, because it is vision lacking the divine light. . . . Political laws consider only worldly interests. . . . (On the other hand,) the intention the Lawgiver [the Prophet] has concerning mankind is their welfare in the oth­ er world. Therefore, it is necessary to cause the mass to act in accordance with the religious laws in all their affairs touching both this world and the other world. The authority to do so was possessed by the representatives of the religious law, the prophets. (Later on, it was possessed) by those who took their place, the caliphs.15

Beginning in the early nineteenth century, constitutional ideas began to creep into Muslim states as more and more Muslims traveled to and stud­ ied in Europe. What impressed early Muslim visitors about constitutional­ ism was not so much the secular foundations of Western constitutions as it was the orderly procedures of government that constitutionalism pro­ vided—not the substance of constitutionalism, so to speak, but the form. For example, Mirza Abu Talib Khan, one of the first Indians to visit Europe

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230 —Sohail H. Hashmi (in the years 1800–1802), records in his famed travelogue, the Masir-i Talibi, how impressed he was with the rules for succession to the English throne. The wars of succession that had repeatedly wracked the Mughal Empire no doubt influenced his views. He was not, however, favorably impressed with the House of Commons, whose members reminded him of a flock of parrots incessantly squawking at each other as they debated. Mirza Abu Talib noted incredulously that Parliament legislated according to its own wits, without the assistance or the constraints of divine law.16 As the nineteenth century wore on, the need to reopen the shari‘a to rein­ terpretation and reform was one of the driving forces underlying the advo­ cacy of constitutionalism among reformers. For these men, constitutional­ ism was the supreme manifestation of neo-ijtihad, a legitimate vehicle for the reconceptualization of Islamic polity and the creation of new and more effective political institutions that reflect the true purposes of Islamic ethical sources. But from the beginning, the reformers faced concerted opposition from many ulema and other conservatives, who viewed constitutionalism as human tampering with the sacred law. According to this view of Islamic pol­ ity, the shari‘a is the immutable Islamic “constitution,” and human engage­ ment with it is limited to “law finding” rather than lawmaking. Significant differences also arose over the credentials of those who may engage in this law-finding effort and the extent to which it may be taken. These serious differences in understanding of the constitutional process and the meaning of the constitution in national life have obviously had pro­ found consequences for Muslim societies. They have often stymied the devel­ opment of genuine constitutionalism or they have led to the demise of the constitutional enterprise altogether.

Islam, Constitutionalism, and Democracy Today In March 2005 the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom published a useful survey of the constitutions of Muslim-majority countries. The survey finds that out of a total of forty-four such countries, ten declare themselves formally to be “Islamic states” and an additional twelve establish Islam as the official state religion. Of the remaining twenty-two countries, eleven have no constitutional declaration on religion and the other eleven officially declare themselves to be secular states. The report concludes that, after factoring in the large Muslim populations of India, China, Russia, and

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Islam, Constitutionalism, and Liberal Democracy—2 3 1

the countries of Western Europe and North America, “more than half of the world’s Muslim population (estimated at over 1.3 billion) lives in countries that are neither Islamic republics nor countries that have declared Islam to be the state religion. Thus, the majority of the world’s Muslim population currently lives in countries that either proclaim the state to be secular, or that make no pronouncements concerning Islam to be the official state religion.”17 The important question for the present discussion of Islam and constitu­ tional democracy is whether there is an identifiable correlation between the declared religious or secular status of a Muslim country and the degree of political and civil liberties enjoyed by its people. Is there, in fact, a propensity toward authoritarianism in those states that constitutionally link religion and politics? One way to answer this question is to see how each of the forty-four Muslim-majority countries rate in Freedom House’s annual survey of “free,” “partly free,” and “not free” states. In its 2008 report, Freedom House rates only three of these countries as “free,” whereas nineteen are “partly free,” and twenty-two are “not free.” These three broad designations are based on the average score a country gets from two, more specific indexes, one for political rights (which includes such things as electoral process, political pluralism and participation, and government operation), the other for civil liberties (in­ cluding freedom of expression and belief, individual and associational rights, and rule of law). Each country is scored on a scale of 1 to 7 for both political rights and civil liberties, 1 being the greatest degree of rights and liberties and 7 being the least. Table 9.1 shows where Muslim states, grouped according to their consti­ tutional declaration on secularism or Islam, rate on both political rights and civil liberties. As the table indicates, there is a marked range of results within each group, resulting in group averages that are fairly close together. With regard to political rights, the group average for officially secular states is only 0.87 points less than that of self-professed Islamic states; for civil rights, the difference is even less: 0.74. And, as regression analysis shows, the correla­ tion coefficient is very low for officially Islamic states versus those that are not with respect to the degree of political rights (r2 = 0.0598), and even lower for civil liberties (r2 = 0.0424). In other words, declared Islamic states are nearly as likely to uphold (or not) these rights as are secular Muslim states. Of course, looking at what is or is not declared in constitutions may not give us an accurate picture of Muslim practice; we may just as well conclude that the constitutions reflect political ideals, not realities. There is certainly some merit to this argument. All the secular Muslim-majority states have

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table

9.1

Freedom Ratings of Muslim States Grouped According to Constitutional Declarations on Religion

Political rights*

Civil liberties*

Freedom rating

Declared secular (11) Azerbaijan Burkina Faso Chad Guinea Kyrgyzstan Mali Niger Senegal Tajikistan Turkey Turkmenistan

Avg = 4.73 6 5 7 6 5 2 3 2 6 3 7

Avg = 4.36 5 3 6 5 4 3 4 3 5 3 7

5 not/4 partly/2 free not partly not not partly free partly free not partly not

No constitutional declaration (11) Albania Comoros Djibouti Gambia Indonesia Lebanon Sierra Leone Somalia Sudan Syria Uzbekistan

Avg = 5.00

Avg = 4.82

4 not/6 partly/1 free

3 4 5 5 2 5 3 7 7 7 7

3 4 5 4 3 4 3 7 7 6 7

partly partly partly partly free partly partly not not not not

Declared Islam as state religion (12) Algeria Bangladesh Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait Libya Malaysia Morocco Qatar Tunisia U.A.E.

Avg = 5.58

Avg = 4.83

7 not/5 partly/0 free

6 5 6 6 5 4 7 4 5 6 7 6

5 4 5 6 4 4 7 4 4 5 5 5

not partly not not partly partly not partly partly not not not

(continued on next page)

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Islam, Constitutionalism, and Liberal Democracy—2 3 3 table

9.1  (continued)

Freedom Ratings of Muslim States Grouped According to Constitutional Declarations on Religion

Political rights*

Civil liberties*

Freedom rating

Declared Islamic states (10) Afghanistan Bahrain Brunei Iran Maldives Mauritania Oman Pakistan Saudi Arabia Yemen

Avg = 5.60

Avg = 5.10

6 not/4 partly/0 free

5 5 6 6 6 4 6 6 7 5

5 5 5 6 5 4 5 5 6 5

partly partly not not not partly not not not partly

* On a scale of 1–7, with 1 being most free and 7 least free. Sources: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, A Comparative Textual Analysis of the Constitutions of Predominantly Muslim Countries (March 2005); Freedom House, Map of Freedom 2008 (January 2008).

varying degrees of domestic pressure to “Islamize” themselves, and their pol­ itics are hardly free of Islamic influences. But the converse of this situation is that many of the Islamic states face varying degrees of domestic pressure to “secularize,” and despite their public identification with Islam often operate as states generally do, in pragmatic, self-interested, nonideological ways. We are left with the conclusion that statistically there is little correlation between Islam and authoritarianism. Constitutionalism has fared poorly in Muslim countries, whether they are constitutionally secular or religious. This conclusion, however, does not negate the fact that so far no self-pro­ fessed “Islamic state” has managed to attain a “free” rating from Freedom House. One of the major reasons why is the focus of this chapter: shari‘a reform necessary to achieve modern standards of political rights and civil lib­ erties is hampered by forces that see constitutionalism as corruption of divine law. Two cases will serve to illuminate this problem. Of all the “Islamic states,” no two have a longer and more sustained en­ gagement with constitutionalism than Iran and Pakistan. The Iranian con­ stitutional movement of 1905–11 resulted in bitter disputes among the Shi‘i ulema over their role in the drafting of the constitution and over the role

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234 —Sohail H. Hashmi of the constitution in the life of the faithful. A glimpse into the rival posi­ tions is provided in two tracts, the first by the pro-constitution jurist, Shaykh Muhammad Na’ini. The soundness and completeness of the constitution, he writes, arises from its dealing with all affairs necessary for the well-being of society, with the proviso that none of its provisions are in contradiction with the holy law of Islam. Legislation under the constitution, Na’ini insists, must conform to the limits established by the shari‘a. But he does not specify ex­ actly what the limits are. What is noteworthy about Na’ini’s tract is that while he assigns a supervisory role to the Shi‘i scholars, he does not limit the leg­ islative function to them or to any particular group. He writes only: “There must be reliance on the elements of perfect guardianship, calculation, and responsibility, and the entrusting of a group of people gathered in a consulta­ tive assembly which is composed of those who are the enlightened ones of the country and the good intentioned. . . . Thus the whole intellectual power of the country is put into service within the official setting of the national consultative assembly.”18 In marked contrast to Na’ini’s views are the opinions of Shaykh Fadlullah Nuri, a leader of the anticonstitution faction among the ulema. What par­ ticularly aroused Nuri’s ire were the legislative provisions of the constitu­ tion. He characterizes them as “an innovation and a downright aberration because in Islam, no one is allowed to legislate or to establish a provision. Islam does not have any shortcoming that requires completion. Concerning new incidents which may emerge, it would be necessary to refer to the gate of the provisions, that is, the agents of the Imam [i.e., the ulema]. The agents would then deduce the relevant provision from the Qur’an and the Sunna, but they cannot make law.”19 Similar controversies erupted in 1979 when the constitution of the Is­ lamic Republic of Iran was being drafted. This constitution was framed in light of Ayatollah Khomeini’s notion of velayet-e faqih, and so it incorpo­ rated into its framework an explicit guardianship role for not just the Shi‘i ulema as a whole, but for one of them in particular, the rahbar or “guide.” The guide is assisted in the task of ensuring that no law passed by the Majlis (the Iranian parliament) contravenes the principles of Islam by a twelvemember Council of Guardians. The council proved such an impediment to the Majlis’s legislative functions that Khomeini established the Expe­ diency Council to arbitrate disputes between the two institutions. Upon Khomeini’s death in 1989, this body was formally instituted by amending the constitution. But its existence has not resolved the frequent clashes that

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Islam, Constitutionalism, and Liberal Democracy—2 3 5

polarize the elected reformers in the Majlis and the appointed conservatives on the Council of Guardians. Pakistani constitutionalism has grappled with the complexities of fram­ ing an Islamic constitution ever since the 1949 Objectives Resolution of the First Constituent Assembly proclaimed: “Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone but He has delegated it to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him as a sacred trust.” Very quickly, shari‘a reform tested just where the “limits” lay in the people’s exercise of their “delegated” sovereignty. In August 1955, as Pakistanis began the ninth and final year of drafting their first constitution, the Government of Pakistan formed a Commission on Marriage and Family Laws, consisting of six mem­ bers—three men and three women, five “lay” members and one representa­ tive of the ulema. Its purpose was exploratory and advisory; the commission was to consider the applicability and possible revision of Islamic family law in light of the modern conditions of the Pakistani people. The commission’s investigations and recommendations were released the following year, but in two different reports. The majority report, reflecting the consensus of the committee’s lay members, begins with the traditional acknowledgment of the “comprehensive” and “all-embracing” nature of Islamic law, the shari‘a, but proceeds to argue that since no code of law “can comprehend the infinite variety of human relations for all occasions and for all epochs,” the commis­ sion was justified in proposing the reform of laws pertaining to marriage, divorce, and inheritance. The Islamic rationale presented for this revision was the principle of ijtihad, which the majority report enshrines not only as the dynamic force underlying the shari‘a, but as a basic right of each Muslim generation. The discussion of ijtihad concludes with a ringing expression of the modernist Muslim position: “No Muslim can believe that Islam is an outworn creed incapable of meeting the challenge of evolutionary forces. Its basic principles of justice and equity, its urge for universal knowledge, its ac­ ceptance of life in all its aspects, its world-view, its view of human relations and human destiny, and its demand for an all-around and harmonious devel­ opment stand firmly like a rock in the tempestuous sea of life.”20 The lone dissenting opinion from the majority’s claimed right of legal re­ vision came from the commission’s sole religious scholar. First, a committee comprised of individuals not expert in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), writes Maulana Ihtisham al-Haq, is unqualified to engage in detailed inquiry into technical points of shari‘a. He then focuses his criticism on the lay members’ claim to ijtihad. To consider “personal and individual whims” to be a legitimate

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236 —Sohail H. Hashmi form of shari‘a interpretation, he charges, is not ijtihad, but a mere distortion of “the religion of God and the worst type of heresy.” He continues: In spite of their blatant departure from the view of the Muslim commen­ tators and jurists, no member of the commission could take the place of Fakhruddin Razi or Abu Hanifa [leading jurists of the classical era]. This is the reason that certain recommendations, which reflect subservience to the West of some of the members and their displeasure with Islam, constitute an odious attempt to distort the Holy Qur’an and the sunna with a view to giving them a Western slant and bias.21

The recommendations of the majority were eventually pushed through the National Assembly in 1961 under the dictatorship of General Ayub Khan. During the rule of General Zia al-Haq, Muslim personal law was explicitly singled out as the one area of legislation beyond the purview of the new­ ly created Federal Shari‘a Court, a court empowered to declare legislation passed by the National Assembly as repugnant to Islam. Yet, under its sweep­ ing mandate, the Federal Shari‘a Court has taken the opportunity to curb the rights accorded to women and children under the 1961 legislation. Conserva­ tive ulema and their supporters in the country have lobbied incessantly that this exception to the court’s jurisdiction be lifted and that the “true” shari‘a provisions on personal law be fully implemented.22 The experiences of Iran and Pakistan are familiar to virtually all Muslimmajority states. The two most recent cases of constitution writing in Muslim countries once again raised immediate and important questions about the role of shari‘a in the constitutional order. In both Afghanistan and Iraq—two constitutional systems being developed under American tutelage—Islam has been designated as the official religion of the country. Article 3 of the Afghan constitution states: “In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.” Article 2 of the Iraqi constitution declares: “Islam is the official religion of the State and it is a fundamental source of legislation. No law that contradicts the established provisions of Is­ lam may be established.” The article then continues: “No law that contradicts the principles of democracy may be established. No law that contradicts the rights and basic freedoms stipulated in this constitution may be established.” We will have to wait and see how Iraqis and Afghans reconcile the applica­ tion of Islamic law with the principles of modern democratic rights. We may predict that they will encounter much of the same difficulties as their Iranian and Pakistani coreligionists before them.

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Islam, Constitutionalism, and Liberal Democracy—2 3 7

Conclusion: How to Proceed? Given the historical record, how should Muslim states proceed if their goal is to realize a truly constitutional order? One obvious path, of course, is to em­ brace secularism outright. As we saw in the previous section, half of the for­ ty-four Muslim-majority states have already explicitly or implicitly embraced this path, and many of the other half have done so as well to a large extent in practice. Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and moderate Is­ lamic parties in Malaysia and Indonesia are important test cases of religiously based or religiously inclined parties accommodating to secular politics. So far these examples provide the basis for some hope, hope that Islamists and secularists can find mutually acceptable political space. But these experiments are still in their early stages. The secular path, especially if it follows the French model of laïcisme that attempts to keep religion completely out of the public sphere, will be a dif­ ficult one for other Muslim countries to follow. In other countries the experi­ ence of the past sixty years has shown that Islam must be incorporated into the constitutional order or the risk is that it will become the ideological basis for those who challenge the very legitimacy of that order. So the task for Muslim constitutionalists is to find the resources within Islamic thought that permit the development and sustaining of constitutionalism. One of the first tasks in this process is to assert the possibility of natu­ ral law and natural rights within an Islamic framework. This will require a resurrection and dissemination of the early Mu‘tazili emphasis on ethical objectivism, that is, that all human beings possess the rational faculty—as a God-given faculty—to discern right from wrong and to form moral conclu­ sions on how to order their communal lives apart from reliance on one or another revelation. The second task is to develop a societal consensus that ijtihad is the birth­ right of all Muslims and that each Muslim generation has the right and the obligation to understand the Qur’an and sunna in light of their own needs and their own circumstances. Far from being a heretical idea, this view, as Muslim scholars such as the late Fazlur Rahman have argued, was the un­ derstanding of shari‘a for the earliest Muslim generations.23 It was certainly the methodology embraced by the earliest legal scholars, the ones closest to the Prophetic community. These scholars gave as much importance to istislah (public welfare) and istihsan (equity or fairness) as they did to custom or dogma.

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238 —Sohail H. Hashmi In later centuries jurisprudents adopted a conservative attitude toward in­ terpretation and development of shari‘a for a variety of reasons. Many of the ulema of the Abbasid period resisted tampering with shari‘a because of the theological argument that to do so would be to tamper with divine law. But there was another, very practical political reason involved as well. By uphold­ ing the immutability of the shari‘a, the jurists were attempting to separate the legislative from the executive functions. They were not seeking to enforce any specific legal points within the shari‘a. They were trying to uphold the rule of law. They were trying to prevent the transformation of the shari‘a into an instrument for tyranny at the hands of what were widely considered to be corrupt rulers. Modern Muslims can embrace this same conception of shari‘a and apply it to their own political realities, which are in essence not so far removed from those of the early centuries. If shari‘a is understood as the moral foundation for constructing a political order and not the legal minutiae itself, if it is un­ derstood as enjoining justice, equality, and the submission of human beings to a transcendent authority, then it can serve as a check upon arbitrary rule, upon authoritarian regimes that dictate laws to their people. Shari‘a in this concep­ tion can play the functional role of natural law in early Western constitutional thought and the role that constitutions play today in a constitutional order.

notes The author thanks Samah Jafari, John Owen, Judd Owen, and Thomas Pangle for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this chapter.

1. Michel Rosenfeld, “Modern Constitutionalism as Interplay between Identity and Diversity,” in Michel Rosenfeld, ed., Constitutionalism, Identity, Difference, and Legitimacy: Theoretical Perspectives (Durham: Duke University Press, 1994), p. 3. 2. Said Amir Arjomand, “Constitutions and the Struggle for Political Order,” European Journal of Sociology 33(1992): 49. 3. Cicero, The Political Works of Marcus Tullius Cicero: Comprising His Treatise on the Commonwealth; and His Treatise on the Laws, trans. Francis Barham (London: Ed­ mund Spettigue, 1841–42), vol. 1, bk. 3, para. 689. 4. Ibid. 5. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, 1–2, questions 90–97. 6. Ibid., question 97; translated in The Political Ideas of St. Thomas Aquinas, ed. Dino Bigongiari (New York: Hafner, 1953), pp. 78–80.

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Islam, Constitutionalism, and Liberal Democracy—2 3 9

7. Ibid., question 91. 8. Brian Tierney, Religion, Law, and the Growth of Constitutional Thought: 1150–1650 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), p. 10.

9. John Locke, First Treatise on Government, section 58; A Letter Concerning Toleration (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1955), pp. 22–23. 10. Max Weber, Economy and Society, ed. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich (Berke­ ley: University of California Press, 1978), 1:212–301. 11. See John Markoff and Daniel Regan, “Religion, the State and Political Legiti­ macy in the World’s Constitutions,” in Thomas Robbins and Roland Robertson, eds., Church-State Relations: Tensions and Transitions (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1987), pp. 161–82. 12. Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, trans. Franz Rosen­ thal (New York: Pantheon, 1958), 3:6. 13. On the theological disputes in medieval Islam, see Harry A. Wolfson, The Philosophy of the Kalam (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976); George Hourani, Reason and Tradition in Islamic Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); and Richard C. Martin, Mark R. Woodward, and Dwi S. Atmaja, Defenders of Reason in Islam: Mu‘tazilism from Medieval School to Modern Symbol (Oxford: Oneworld, 1997). 14. Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah, 3:9. 15. Ibid., 1:386–87. 16. Mirza Abu Talib Khan (sometimes referred to as al-Isfahani), Masir-i Talibi, ed. Husain Khadiv-Jam (Tehran: Kitabha-yi Jibi, 1974), pp. 242–51.

17. Tad Stahnke and Robert Blitt, The Religion-State Relationship and the Right to Freedom of Religion and Belief (Washington, DC: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, 2005), p. 2. 18. Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Na’ini, “Islam and Constitutional Government,” in John J. Donohue and John L. Esposito, eds., Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 290. 19. Shaykh Fadlullah Nuri, “Refutation of the Idea of Constitutionalism,” ibid., p. 296. 20. “The Debate Over Family Law Reform in Pakistan: The Modernist Majority Report,” ibid., p. 202. 21. “The Minority Report,” ibid., p. 205. 22. See “Women’s Rights in Muslim Family Law in Pakistan: Forty-five Years of Recommendations vs. the FSC Judgement (January 2000),” http://www.shirkatgah. org/SB%20MFLO%20-%20complete%20file.pdf (March 19, 2010).

23. Fazlur Rahman, Islamic Methodology in History (Islamabad: Islamic Research Institute, 1984).

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chapter ten

Religion and Politics The Identity of the Christian Democrat Movement and Theory of Democracy Roberto Papini

The Origins of Christian Democracy

D

espite an evident internal diversity, it is possible to refer to a Chris­ tian Democrat movement (that was primarily of a social character before being political), as well as of a liberal or socialist movement, made up of parties and organizations of various kinds, which developed in the continent of Europe (but not in Great Britain1 and not in the countries of Eastern Orthodoxy)2 and then, because of the influence of European culture, spread to Spanish-speaking Latin America (not Brazil),3 primarily beginning with the period that immediately followed the First World War.4 This movement was not the sole expression of the involvement of Chris­ tians in politics—one need only recall here, for example, the counterrevolu­ tionary attitudes or the manifestations of Christian Socialism. Michael Fog­ arthy, who wrote the first history of the Christian Democrat movement in English, offers the following definition of this movement: “a movement of lay persons who, under their own responsibility, attempt to solve political, economic and social problems in accordance with Christian principles and who deduce from these principles and from practical experience that democ­ racy is the best form of government in the contemporary world.”5

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The Identity of the Christian Democratic Movement—2 4 1

From the middle of the nineteenth century onward, Catholic parties al­ ready existed within wider Catholic movements (the birth of Protestant parties came later), that is to say confessional political formations created to defend the Catholic Church and Christian values, which were challenged by political liberalism and the secularization of institutions following the French Revolution. These political formations brought together the Catholic asso­ ciations that already existed in the various social fields under the direction of the Church hierarchy. Faced with the industrial revolution, and in particular after the social en­ cyclicals of Leo XIII (Rerum Novarum, 1891) and Pius XI (Quadragesimo Anno, 1931), a strong social, antiliberal and antisocialist movement developed within the Catholic movement. It powerfully contributed to the growth of Christian Democracy in Europe along the lines set out by Leo XIII,6 through orienta­ tions that sought to reconcile the Catholic Church with modern society. Another and much smaller current (which did not, however, give rise to political parties), and that was often regarded with suspicion by the Church, was liberal Catholicism.7 This current sought to reconcile the rights of the Church with the rights of the state by acknowledging the freedoms set out in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of 1791. In the light of events, we can identify at least four kinds of parties that were termed “Christian”: the traditional Catholic parties, the Christian parties of a national or nationalist character (such as the Unió Democratica de Catalu­ nya or the Basque Nationalist Party), the social-Christian parties (which were closely connected with trade unions), and the Christian Democrat parties.8 The Christian Democrat parties that were formed after the First World War inherited a “Catholic question” (to which was linked the question of the temporal power of the popes) as well as a “social question.” They also had to address the “question of democracy,” a question that could no longer be avoided after the establishment of parliamentary systems and universal suf­ frage in many European countries.9 Although the idea of Christian Democracy arose in France, it was in It­ aly that it found its first historical expression. Immediately after the Great War, in 1919, Luigi Sturzo, an intelligent Sicilian priest, founded the Italian People’s Party (PPI), the first party of its kind in Europe to be independent of the Church hierarchy.10 This party immediately raised the “question of democracy.” Sturzo created a political formation that had a program (which was based on Christian social teaching), was “nonconfessional” (even though it defended the rights of the Catholic Church), and had a strong

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242 —Roberto Papini social dimension. Precisely because of its nonconfessional character—that is, because of its autonomy on the political level—this party’s principal refer­ ence point was not the Church but the state. However, the PPI was an exception among the Christian parties of the interwar period, even though it would have an influence on the Spanish Par­ tido Popular, the French Parti Démocrate Populaire, and also, in part, the Czechoslovak People’s Party. We should, however, also remember the inte­ gration into the German constitutional system of the Zentrumspartei, which had its own specific character, although it should not be seen as a real Chris­ tian Democrat party, as well as the Ligue Nationale des Travailleurs Chré­ tiens (within the Belgian Catholic Union), which also drew inspiration from Christian Democracy. Most of the parties termed Christian could not be de­ fined as democratic in the full sense of the term and indeed remained deaf to the threats posed by the forces of totalitarianism to democracy. This occurred not only because of a lack of understanding of the phenomenon of Fascism and out of fear of reprisals by their governments of that kind, but also be­ cause of a cultural deficit, given that in essential terms “democracy” was not an innate part of the “DNA” of the traditional Catholic movement. After the Second World War, and already during the period of the Resis­ tance, parties that were really Christian Democrat in character were created in central and eastern Europe. These parties achieved an unexpected success, formed governments in various countries and gave an impetus to European integration, and would be one of the dominant forces of the twentieth cen­ tury in many countries of western Europe.11

The Dialogue Between the Church and Modernity The drawing near of Christian parties to democracy was a slow and nonlinear process that took place within the Catholic movement and the Church itself, which for a long time had a relationship marked by conflict with democracy (marked by its anticlerical origins) on the continent of Europe (as it did with the first expression of Christian Democracy). Thinkers and/or men of action such as M. Sangnier, R. Murri, L. Windthorst, L. Sturzo, and J. Maritain, amongt others, played an essential role in the acquisition by these parties of a democratic approach.12 In the case of Sturzo, the creation of his nonconfessional party was made possible not only by contingent factors but also because Vatican Council I

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The Identity of the Christian Democratic Movement—2 4 3

and later the encyclical Aeterni Patris (1879) had given rise to a revival of Thomism, a development that would allow members of the Christian laity to create their own political area when political conditions proved favorable. In the 1930s and particularly in the 1940s a significant grafting of popularism (especially of the Sturzo variety) onto personalism (especially of the Marit­ ain lineage) took place, one that based democracy on the person and saw it as an expression of the people, which had a strong social dimension. In this way a democracy that drew inspiration from Christianity emerged in which the adjective Christian referred to a special meaning of democracy. It did not involve a political regime that applied the principles of Catholicism at a legis­ lative level but a democracy that, albeit in a pluralistic context, drew inspira­ tion from Christian values—values that were not imposed but flowed from the life of citizens who believed, either individually or organized into parties with a Christian name.13 The nonconfessional character of the state remained in its approach a foundation of the social order. However, there remained an intention to ensure that such a form of democracy would not fall into pure pragmatism and that politics would not be separated from basic values. The aim, therefore, was not to recreate Christendom (as in the Middle Ages), with an institutional relationship between throne (or republic) and altar, and there was not even a (at least declared) political use of religion. Some of the constitutions that were written in the period after the Second World War (the French Constitution of 1946, the Italian Constitution of 1947, and later the Spanish Constitution of 1978), did not even cite God, but they nonetheless incorporated values that drew inspiration from Christianity (the dignity of the person, social pluralism, the rejection of war, etc.).14 As has already been observed, the evolution of these parties was a troubled one that took place within a long dialogue between the Catholic Church and the modern world. The Church certainly influenced the Christian Democrat parties, especially with regard to their interest in social justice, but, at the same time, the Christian Democrat parties exercised an influence on the move­ ment of the Church and the Catholic world in general toward democracy and the nonconfessional character of politics.15 Later, with Vatican Council II (even though the ecclesiastical pressures in an opposite direction at times created by no means negligible tensions), and in particular with the council’s constitution Dignitatis Humanae (the recognition of religious freedom) and Gaudium et Spes (the autonomy of earthly matters), this development would also take place at a theological level. This fostered the movement of parties termed Christian to parties that drew inspiration from Christianity, as some of

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244 —Roberto Papini them came to define themselves (even though the Parti Démocrate Populaire already used the term inspiration in order to avoid the criticisms of those con­ servatives who contested the term Christian Democrat).

The Democratic Theory of the Christian Democrat Parties What was the theory of democracy held by these Christian Democrat par­ ties at the end of this development? In addition, and this question is closely bound up with the first, what was the political meaning of drawing inspira­ tion from Christianity in Christian Democrat thinking? Even taking into ac­ count the large number of differences, in addition to convergences, between these parties, after the First World War and above all else after the Second World War, one can refer to a Christian-democratic theory of democracy that had certain particular characteristics. Some adjectives define this as a person­ alist (anti-individualist) democracy, a people’s democracy (the concept of people is the basis of this idea of democracy and connotes its antibourgeois character), a pluralistic democracy (the importance of “intermediary bodies” and the world of associations in general), and, last but not least, a democracy that drew inspiration from Christianity (Christian values should define it in an original way). What specific contribution did drawing inspiration from Christian­ ity make to Christian-democratic thought? The clearest answer, it seems to me, is that provided by the last thinker of Christian democracy (after him I know of no others), Etienne Borne: “L’origine philosophique de la pensée démocrate chrétienne est de chercher des correspondances théoriques et pra­ tiques entre christianisme e démocratie ; d’où une éthique politique selon laquelle la mutation démocratique des sociétés serait le principe d’un progrès qui mettrait la vie publique en accord avec l’éthique chrétienne de liberté, de justice et de fraternité.”16 Christian principles do not act directly on the political plane, causing a sort of fundamentalist short circuit, but on the cultural plane, working as “énergie historique au travail” (Maritain) in a given historical context and influencing political action through the programs and political practice of parties drawing inspiration from Christianity, which freely interact with the other parties present in the social and political arena in a context of plural­ ism and the enrichment of democratic principles.17 In Christian-democratic

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The Identity of the Christian Democratic Movement—2 4 5

culture such principles take the following form: a distinction (but not a net separation) between the spiritual plane and the temporal plane (render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s) and thus the secular character of politics; a nondeterminist, non-“materialist” in a Marxist sense, and not even totally agnostic conception of history (if history had no mean­ ing, politics would be an adventure, but it is not even predetermined because there is always the risk of freedom); the preeminence of the ethical dimension in politics in relation to every other aspect; respect for human rights and the creed of solidarity (some speak of personalist and communitarian society); pluralism; subsidiarity; the perfectibility of civil society; and the primacy of the common good at a national and international level.18 The constitutions of the period following the Second World War, to whose composition all the political forces then present made a contribution but in which the influ­ ence of the Christian Democrat parties (which, as has been pointed out, at that time were in a majority) was strong, reflected these principles.19 At the same time, these parties influenced the workings of European institutions, especially at the outset.20 This was a set of principles that gave a special physiognomy to democracy, and many of them have since come to form a part of the common heritage of mankind.21 Some of them, paradoxically, also came down through the Enlightenment and the revolutions of 1775 and 1789. In various European countries the moment when constitutions were be­ ing drawn up was an opportunity for debate among the political forces because within the context of the continental European juridical tradition (which attributes a marked importance to constitutions) and, in particular in the context of the postwar period, there was an attempt to write into the text of the constitutions a project for society. However, everyone accepted the principle of the secular character of the state. The debate about the placing of a reference to Judeo-Christian roots in the European Constitu­ tion took place in a context that was different from that of the postwar period. On the one hand, at that time there was no need then as there is now for self-recognition in order to be recognized by other cultures and religions; on the other, there is now also the contemporary challenge of uniting the peoples of Europe (and not only its institutions). The recogni­ tion of a shared drawing on the inspiration provided by religion (on a cul­ tural level prior to a strictly religious one) is an important glue that binds together a shared sense of belonging: it contributes to the cultural identity of the continent.

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246 —Roberto Papini

Luigi Sturzo: A Christian Democrat Leader Three authors in particular influenced the shift from social democracy to po­ litical democracy in the political parties deemed Christian, as well as the full acceptance of the secular character of the State, albeit drawing inspiration from Christianity: Don Luigi Sturzo (1871–1959), the founder of the Ital­ ian People’s Party immediately after the First World War; Jacques Maritain (1882–1973), the metaphysical philosopher who, faced with the great Eu­ ropean upheavals of the 1930s, raised the question of a “Christian politics” and the role of Christians in favor of peace and democracy; and Pius XII (1876–1958) who, in particular through his radio message of 1944, hoped that there would be a democracy that drew inspiration from Christianity in the postwar period, thereby completing a process of movement toward de­ mocracy that had begun with his predecessor Leo XIII.22 The thought and work of Don Sturzo, during his years of exile in London as well, exercised a certain influence not only on the members of the PPI but also on all the parties that belonged to the Secrétariat International des Partis Démocra­ tiques d’Inspiration Chrétienne during the interwar period,23 not to speak of his influence in Latin America.24 The theses of Maritain, first regarding a “new Christendom” (not sacral as before but profane) and then concern­ ing democracy and human rights, achieved a marked echo in the Catholic world, which was divided in relation to these questions.25 His influence on Christian Democrats had already been important since the 1940s, both those Christian Democrats who belonged to European parties and, later, those in the parties of Latin America.26 Pius XII had a major influence on the orienta­ tions and the names of the Christian Democrat parties that were formed after the Second World War.27 Don Sturzo was not only an important political leader: he was also prob­ ably one of the most relevant Christian Democrat thinkers,28 as well as being the preeminent exponent of Christian Democrat internationalism. The de­ velopment of his thought and action is to be located within that difficult shift at the turn of the century that marked the transition from the crisis of the liberal state to the liberal-democratic state. His idea of a social and political democracy developed within the peasant and municipal struggles (an evident connection existed between the struggles of the peasant and those for the au­ tonomy and democratic administration of local authorities) in his own Sicily. For Don Sturzo, the commune was the basis of the civic life of the country, which hitherto had been suffocated by the statist centralization of the liberals

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in power: he thought that popular referendums and proportional represen­ tation were the two cardinal features of correct political administration and popular participation,29 which for its part would have prepared the ground for a new institutional settlement. His idea of democracy had already been outlined in the speech he made at Caltanisetta (1902) to the Sicilian Catholic town councillors who had been called to draw up a municipal program, which, it was intended, would give rise, in the first instance, to a Christian municipal party (on a national level, the papal prohibition on the forming of their own party by Catholics was still in force): political institutions were to be rooted in autonomous local authorities, which in turn would then extend their influence from the grass­ roots to national politics. Three years later, in the famous speech he made at Caltagirone (1905), once again in Sicily, which dealt with “the problems of national life of Italian Catholics,” Sturzo addressed the question of a po­ litical party for Catholics: a nonconfessional democratic party (and thus au­ tonomous in relation to the Church hierarchy) with a program that would not claim the label of Catholic (to avoid evident confusion between religion and politics but also to avoid the consequent enrollment of conservative Catholics) or even the label of Christian Democrat (a term that in the past had slipped from the social level to the religious level with an accompanying dangerous admixture of “modernism”) for which Sturzo had sympathies, but which would draw inspiration from Christianity, that is to say would be animated by those moral and social principles that derive from Christian civilization as a perennial and dynamic shaper of the private and public con­ science.30 As was said at the time of its foundation, Sturzo would later call his political creation the Italian People’s Party (a party that would not seek the political unity of Catholics, as would happen later in the post–Second World War period with the Christian Democracy of De Gasperi in order to create an anti-Communist front). Many of the ideas in the program of the People’s Party were new. As the most eminent historian of Don Sturzo, G. De Rosa, writes: “We could say that he wanted something that was unimaginable at the time: a party of Catholics that was democratic and constitutional, within the framework of orthodoxy, a party that did not tear the conscience of Catholics between obe­ dience to the Holy See (which was opposed to the participation of the faith­ ful in public life) and their full civic duty,” a large mass party “that would be able to integrate the development of the unified State with the participation of the new urban and rural middle classes.”31

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248 —Roberto Papini Sturzo subsequently further clarified his idea of Christian Democracy— which united the concepts of social democracy and political democracy—in an article that was published in an intellectual review of the French Parti Démocrate Populaire.32 It would involve social democracy, not only because it paid attention to social justice but also because it sprang from the requests of a society organized around its intermediary bodies (local authorities and various associations), and in this it was opposed to socialist collectivism, and political democracy, because it was an expression of popular democratic po­ litical institutions and thus opposed to individualistic liberalism.33 The as­ pect of being a people’s democracy was what defined the meaning Sturzo gave to democracy, and this was in opposition to liberal democracy, which at that time was still strongly elitist in character. Sturzo wrote splendid pages on democracy, which were rich in relation to its ethical-political foundations and its political-institutional organization. He may rightly be listed among the theoreticians of contemporary democ­ racy.34 Sturzo can also rightly be placed among the by no means few Catholic politicians who were not intellectually unarmed in the face of the spread of forms of totalitarianism in Europe at a time when dominant Catholic culture was still rooted in an opposition to “modern liberties.” During his years of exile in London and later in the United States of America he waged a lucid campaign against the forms of Fascism that threatened European countries,35 and his acute analysis of totalitarianism is on a level with those formulated by Hannah Arendt or Carl J. Friedrich. The thought of Sturzo is to be placed within the context of the questions raised by the relationship between the state and the Church in the modern era and, in particular, between the Church and democracy.36 Although in the 1930s it was commonplace in the Catholic world to argue in favor of the me­ dieval model of the relationship between the state and the Church, a relation­ ship based upon the primacy of the latter, Sturzo, together with a few others (in particular Maritain with his Humanisme Intégral and Mounier with his Révolution personnaliste et communautaire), advanced a way to go beyond this, opening up the path for the acceptance of pluralism.37 The advent of the liberal state was adjudged in positive terms because, al­ though it was based upon assumptions that could not always be shared, such a state had nonetheless developed certain fundamentally Christian principles, such as respect for the person, and linked them to the approach of freedom. In this context, the ideal for Christians was not the “Catholic state.” Instead, a form of separate but also cooperative regulation of the two powers was

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The Identity of the Christian Democratic Movement—2 49

proposed. The Church, through the ethical inspiration it provided (and not because of its authority), would offer a contribution to the strengthening of civil society and the state. Later, Sturzo would write Politique et morale (1938). In this work he ad­ dressed the questions of the foundations of the democratic state, the link between civil society and the state, the distinction between authority and power, the relationship between the state and rights and between politics and morality, and he would also, lastly, criticize the “absurd dogma” of the sovereignty of the state. Sturzo rejected the myth of the corporative state that was so widespread within the Catholicism of the 1930s, in opposition to the democratic state. Such corporativism was seen as the solution to the social and political crisis of the liberal states. For Sturzo, Fascism was unacceptable to the Christian conscience because it tended to identify morality with power and not to rec­ ognize its autonomy in relation to ethical ends. In order to combat Fascism, in Sturzo’s view, it was necessary to unite a representative system with the Christian conscience. Only if democracy was informed by the Christian spir­ it, suggested Sturzo, would it be possible to resist totalitarianism. Another fundamental aspect of Sturzo’s political thought is his interna­ tionalist thought. After World War I Sturzo founded the Secrétariat Interna­ tional des Partis Démocratiques d’Inspiration Chrétienne—S.I.P.D.I.C.—the first “International” of political parties termed Christian (together with the French Parti Démocrate Populaire) and the moving spirit of the reconstruc­ tion of Christian Democrat internationalism after the Second World War. It should be stressed that Don Sturzo was one of those European political leaders (who were often the prisoners of nationalistic visions) who was most open to the international dimension of politics. Indeed, he wrote that one should look to “foreign policy for the key to domestic policy and economic policy.”38 After World War II, the S.I.P.D.I.C. became the Christian Demo­ crat International.

Jacques Maritain: A Christian Philosopher of Democracy The approach of Jacques Maritain to the subject of this chapter followed a register that was different from that employed by Sturzo: the first approach involved political philosophy and the philosophy of culture, the second was

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250 —Roberto Papini historical-sociological in character. Maritain developed his thought on the subject in various works that marked a progressive encounter with democ­ racy. This began in particular after the purifying break with the Action Fran­ çaise (in 1926), with which Maritain had been close during an earlier period of his life. In Religion and Culture of 1930, Maritain addressed the question of the re­ lationship between religion and civilization, a subject that included the nexus between Christianity and democracy and the theological-political dimen­ sion.39 This small volume stressed the centrality of religions—in this case of Christianity—in cultures, an approach that was objectively opposed to that of the position of the Enlightenment. For Maritain, Christianity transcended each and every culture and civilization, but could promote them and con­ tribute to their development. In his Régime temporel et de la liberté of 1933,40 Maritain referred to “personalist and communitarian” democracy (commu­ nity was essential to human beings), which assumed the existence of plural­ ism (as respect for people’s consciences). In his Integral Humanism of 1936,41 Maritain developed the concept of a “new Christendom” (the adjective new defined it as profane and no longer sacral, as was the case in the medieval pe­ riod), which described a form of civilization vivified by Christianity in poli­ tics, in law, in social life, and in family life. As a result, the city has a pluralistic structure based on tolerance and friendship and not on a shared profession of faith. The Christian acts within it en chrétien (engaging only himself) and not en tant que chrétien (engaging the Church), thereby avoiding a confusion of levels and respecting the autonomy of politics. Maritain’s brief work Christianity and Democracy of 1943 is dedicated to the nexus between the democratic ideal and the Christian fostering of that ideal, a subject that had been long absent from modernity. Faced with the crisis of bourgeois democracies, which had not been able to establish authentic social and political democracy, Maritain stated that “the tragedy of modern democ­ racies lies in the fact that they have not yet been able to establish democracy.”42 Maritain’s entire energy was dedicated to finding the basis for a real democra­ cy and, following on from Bergson (“la démocratie est d’essence évangélique, et elle a pour moteur l’amour”),43 Maritain stated that “la poussée démocra­ tique a surgi dans l’histoire humaine comme une manifestation temporelle de l’inspiration évangélique.”44 For Maritain, man was not democratic naturaliter, and citizens had to be educated in the democratic ideal and its values. In his Le crépuscule de la civilisation, a paper given in 1939,45 Maritain once again dedicated a section to the relationship between Christianity and democ­

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racy. He took as a starting point the pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops of the United States of America of October 1938 (in reply to a letter the pope sent to them), which launched an appeal to American Catholics to commit themselves to “Christian democracy,” as well as a speech given by President Roosevelt in 1939 (in which he declared that democracy and respect for the human person had their truest foundation in religion), in order to state that the concept of democracy should be explored beyond the failed individualist and Rousseau-inspired concept of democracy. In his Man and the State of 1951 there is an evident maturing of the dem­ ocratic culture of Maritain,46 something that had been brought about by his experiences in America. In this work he develops certain fundamental concepts: the person comes before the state, and the state is not “sover­ eign”; it is only an “instrumental organ” of the political body (thus Mari­ tain goes beyond the traditional idea of the state and opens up a path to a world political system); society (or the political body) does not arise out of a contract but because of reason and the social propensity of man; and “every free and just society” incorporates values that it must promote and defend, albeit within a system of ideological pluralism. This is a civil belief in freedom, a “democratic charter” that integrates a series of “practical con­ vergences” (essentially, respect for human rights) that are recognized by the political body, even if their “theoretical justifications” can diverge.47 Marit­ ain believes in the positive influence of Christian inspiration on democratic life and in democratic civil faith, in particular with regard to the justifica­ tion of human rights, which the state in itself cannot justify,48 and is thus opposed to a democracy that is purely a matter of procedures.49 For Mari­ tain, democracy needs strong beliefs and (as in the case of Don Sturzo) strong roots in the people. In Maritain’s view, the state should not be confessional but should rec­ ognize a pluralism of faiths. With regard to the Catholic Church, it is in the political body but it is not of the political body. This is because the political body is a lay and secular society whereas the Church is of a supernatural or­ der. In Maritain’s view, relations between Church and state must be marked by cooperation for the good of man and not by indifference. Maritain is seen as the philosopher of democracy,50 and he was seen as such in the context of his opposition to Franco and his regime, to every form of totalitarianism, and his support for the Resistance during the Second World War. If the most enlightened part of the Catholic world (and in particular the Christian Democrat part) kept to democratic positions and rejected the siren

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252 —Roberto Papini voices (from the right represented by Mussolini, Franco, and Salazar) of or­ der and (from the left) of revolutionary transformations, the merit for this is in part attributable to Jacques Maritain. As Marcel Prélot, the historian of political ideas and one of the first ideo­ logues of the Parti Démocrate Populaire and later the Mouvement Répub­ licain Populaire, said, Maritain’s Man and the State should be seen “as one of the highest expressions of Christian Democrat thought of the twentieth century.”51 Thus Maritain, who had never adhered to any Christian Demo­ crat party, was consecrated as one of the principal thinkers of the Christian Democrat movement, except in Germany, where, for various reasons, the political thought of Maritain did not secure a major audience.52

Pius XII and the Choice in Favor of Democracy The papacy’s stance in favor of democracy matured during the interwar pe­ riod (with regard to precedents, one may refer to certain favorable positions adopted by Benedict XV). The major change, however, took place between 1941 and 1942, on the eve of the defeat of Nazism and Fascism, when there was need to think about the “new Christian order” that had to be brought into being. Such a look to the future was specific to the magisterium of Pius XII, with his strong emphasis on projects and epoch-making developments. The European and world crisis, in his view, was not only the result of Fascist attempts to secure hegemony but could also be seen as an example of old nationalist “disorder,” which did not have lasting moral and juridical bases. It was thus necessary to find a “new settlement” based on a general retrieval of the universality of rights in relations between states and, within them, based on the foundations of principles he had expounded since his Christmas message of 1941, which sought, indeed, to express a clear break with the past. In the same outlook of deep renewal, in his radio message of 1944 against the standardization of so­ ciety of the totalitarian regimes, Pius XII acknowledged that democracy was the “system of government most compatible with the dignity and freedom of citizens,” the bearer of values that conformed to natural law and were fully in harmony with Christianity.53 This speech was a development of the radio message of 1942 in which the pope had emphasized the “dignity and rights of the human person” as the foundation of the social order. This message went beyond the doctrine of Leo XIII, of indifference as to specific forms of

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government,54 and recognized the values of a form of democracy that drew inspiration from Christianity,55 a democracy that was drained of its individu­ alistic and contractual ideological foundations. In addition, the pope invited lay Catholics to take part in politics.56 In a speech given to the tribunal of the Sacred Rota, the pope further explored the subject of the origins of civil power by developing a parallel between democracy based on “the people, the original holder of civil power that comes from God” and the power of the Church, which comes “from a positive act of God, from an expression of the will of Christ.”57 Maritain, who was at that time the French ambassador to the Holy See, immediately recognized the importance of this stance and observed: Sans doute Pie XII n’a-t-il pas donné à ce discours de circonstance l’ampleur d’un vaste discours doctrinal. Cependant, entre tous les textes qui traitent du même sujet, celui-ci est sans contredit l’un des plus remarquables, sinon par la nouveauté absolue de la doctrine, du moins par la clarté de la pensée et la vigueur des assertions. . . . Rarement aussi le magistère ecclésiastique a exprimé en formules d’une telle netteté le principe qui justifie toutes les doctrines démocratiques: le pouvoir procède du peuple qui est le déposi­ taire “primordial,” “originaire” et qui est la source d’où il dérive dans les organes de l’État.58

Pius XII’s choice in favor of democracy and the rights of the person re­ ceived a rather positive reception from the Christian Democrat parties that had come into being during the resistance to Nazism in western and central Europe,59 parties that, in those years, had decidedly chosen in favor of de­ mocracy. Because of the support of the Church as well, these parties obtained unexpected electoral successes in those countries of western Europe, where they had a significant presence in the years immediately following the Second World War. Indeed, almost all the first governments in France, Italy, Hol­ land, Luxembourg, and Belgium and the “free” part of Germany were led by Christian Democrats (in alliance with political parties of different orienta­ tions). These governments promoted the moral and material reconstruction of their countries. The “Little Europe” created by these six countries and promoted above all else by Christian Democrats witnessed the first commis­ sion (the first “community” government) made up exclusively of Christian Democrat “commissioners.” It was then that reference was made to “Vatican Europe” by political groupings that were opposed to the process of Euro­ pean integration.60 Although Adenauer, Schumann, and De Gasperi were

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254 —Roberto Papini important Catholic figures, their religion did not present a problem either to the laicity of the state or to democracy.

A Democratic Party That Draws Inspiration from Islam? In our societies, not only in the United States of America but in Europe as well, the question of the ethical foundations of democracy is being raised with increasing insistence. The appeal to values is frequent: for the contents of law to be accepted, an approach based on reason is insufficient. This is because more can be found in the ideas of justice and solidarity. In Western culture there are two major axes that often intersect: secular rationality and Christian religion. The Enlightenment emphasized the con­ tribution of reason. Today the great potential of religions’ truths is being reassessed. Indeed, the religions have also allowed the transmission and sus­ taining of sensitivity to values such as justice, responsibility, autonomy, for­ giveness, and liberation.61 But, in addition to receiving support from Chris­ tian principles, can democracy gain it from other religions? Can democracy be appreciated and promoted by personalist principles present, for example, in Islam?62 The question not only applies to Muslim countries but also to Europe, which, indeed, is becoming more Muslim (because of demographic reasons as well). It is certainly the case that the relationship with democracy is more difficult for religions such as Islam (although one should speak about Islam in the plural and take into account that contemporary Islam is increas­ ingly less a political, cultural, and economic single world), a religion that has not always fully addressed modernity and thus does not always accept the autonomy of politics and the secular character of the state. However, some of its principles can contribute to the development of what is defined as “social capital” (the recognition of human dignity, trust, fairness), which is indispensable for all human coexistence, for economic progress, and for the strengthening of democracy.63 Democrats who draw inspiration from Christianity have always fought against forms of fundamentalism on the left and the right,64 and, albeit with insufficient development of their social theory (a gap partially filled by the social teaching of the Catholic and Protestant Churches), their awareness of the secular character of politics has avoided a short circuit between a read­ ing of the Holy Texts (the Bible) and social practice. In the case of Islam we are faced with a complex situation. During the last (at least) years of the

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twentieth century, and above all beginning with the revolution promoted by Khomeini in Iran, there has been an evident revival of Islam, and this applies to its fundamentalist expressions as well. This constitutes a phenom­ enon of growing importance. Forms of fundamentalism, which are often an anchor to grasp when faced with a life that is increasingly incomprehensible, do not express only faith in the inspiration provided by a specific holy book, and thus in its truth, but also absolute belief in one’s ability to understand its contents and to apply them to society without any form of cultural me­ diation.65 This phenomenon is not confined today to Islam alone but also involves other confessions, for example Hinduism, as well as the Christian world (perhaps less in the Catholic world because of the mediation of eccle­ sial rules and norms), which has fundamentalist features, both in the new North American conservative Christianity and in the Catholicism opposed to the Second Vatican Council of Europe. In addition, certain forms of Jewish radicalism are also present on the scene.66 The events of September 11, 2001, emphasized, in common perceptions, the role of cultures and religions in our globalized world, forcing people to reconsider the theories on secularization and the “eclipse of the sacred.”67 Hence a reconsideration,68 a reassessment of their social role, and this to the point of positing a “public function” for religions because of their contribu­ tion to the generation and promotion of the values of civil and political soci­ ety.69 However, this pluralistic function of religions can only be carried out when the nonconfessional character of the state is fully accepted in a demo­ cratic context. Given that, hitherto, in many Muslim countries the demo­ cratic support required for the unity of a modern consciousness is lacking, the people (in the case of elites, the question is more complex) are returning to their religious consciousness as a factor that works for unity and at times for resistance. This does not, however, exclude a priori a possible role for a political party that draws inspiration from religion (and is of a nonconfes­ sional character), not in defense of a specific religion, nor, obviously enough, with aspirations to hegemony, but as a democratic vehicle for values at that increasingly present pluralistic round table—contemporary society.70

notes 1. No Christian Democratic party was created in Great Britain during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries because the conditions did not exist for such a development:

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256 —Roberto Papini there was no persecution of the Christian churches that were outside the framework of the churches of state and there was no need to defend democracy. However, there were groups and figures that looked favourably on Christian Democracy: cf. J. Keating, “The British Experience: Christian Democracy Without a Party,” in D. Hanley, ed., Christian Democracy in Europe. A Comparative Perspective (New York: Continuum, 1994), p. 168. 2. It is well known that Christian Democracy did not develop in Orthodox coun­ tries such as Rumania, Bulgaria, or those in the south of Yugoslavia. One of the es­ sential reasons for this is “that the Orthodox Church accepts being subordinated to the temporal power: the Head of State is automatically head of the Church, which would tend to make Christian Democracy the single governing party, perhaps tolerat­ ing other parties, but giving them a minor role. From this way of thinking and seeing things logically derives the principle of the leading party of the Communist Party, which is the party of the Head of State and the head of religion. Although the rivalry between Rome and Byzantium in the Mediterranean basin is no longer apparent in Western Europe, it has always been present in the East. It forms the frontier between the peoples of Latin civilisation and the Byzantine peoples, which are, indeed, very different today, just as they have been in the past. This line separates Central Europe from Eastern Europe.” K. Sieniewicz (former secretary of the Polish Christian Labour Party), “Les Démocrates Chrétiens d’Europe centrale,” in H. Portelli and T. Jansen, eds., La Démocratie Chrétienne force internationale (Paris: Université de Nanterre, 1986), p. 243. 3. In Brazil, despite the attempts of the famous intellectual Tristan de Athayde, and later of the governor of São Paolo, F. Montoro, Christian Democracy was unable to put down roots. Among the various reasons for this we should recall the lack of sup­ port from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and, more recently, the development of liberation theology, which was not favorable to the cause of Christian Democracy. 4. Cf. R. Papini, The Christian Democrat International (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1997); M. Gehler, W. Kaiser, and H. Wohnout, eds., Christian Democracy in Twentieth-Century Europe (Vienna: Böhlan, 2001); R. E. M. Irving, The Christian Democratic Parties of Western Europe (London: Allen and Unwin, 1979); E. Lamberts, ed., Christian Democracy in the European Union, 1945–1995 (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1997); S. Van Hecke and E. Gerard, Christian Democratic Parties in Europe Since the End of the Cold War (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2004); T. Bu­ chanan and M. Convay, eds., Political Catholicism in Europe, 1918–1965 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996). 5. Michael Fogarthy, Christian Democracy in Western Europe. 1820–1953 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1957), p. 461. Subsequently, other political scientists sought to define the essential character of Christian Democrat parties: cf. S. N. Kaly­ vas, The Rise of Christian Democracy in Europe (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996), p. 24, who lays emphasis on their spirit of mediation and moderation (without en­ tirely explaining the origin of this); and K. Van Kersbergen, “The Distinctiveness of Christian Democracy,” in D. Hanley, ed., Christian Democracy in Europe: A Comparative Perspective (London: Pinter, 1994), p. 33, who, after stating that Christian Democ­

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racy is not a “substitute” for Conservatism or a “duplication” of Social Democracy, engages in a detailed study of its “policy of mediating between interests” (p. 2). 6. Hans Maier states that “le concept de ‘Démocratie chrétienne’ a pris une dimen­ sion européenne après 1891, lorsque, dans le sillage de l’encyclique Rerum Novarum, se constituèrent dans de nombreux pays des cercles d’études et des mouvements sociopolitiques.” Hans Maier, L’Église et la démocratie: Une histoire de l’Europe politique (Paris: Centurion, 1992), p. 295; English edition: Revolution and the Church: The Early History of Christian Democracy, 1978–1901 (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 1969). 7. Important exponents of liberal Catholicism were Lamennais, Maret, Lacordaire, Montalembert, O’Connell, Ketteler, and Manzoni. 8. “Of course it is not possible to apply this typology in a mechanical way because each of these political formations, at different periods, took the form of more than one type and could evolve over time or fuse with other parties. However, this typol­ ogy helps us to understand more effectively the variety of types involved and the dif­ ficulties encountered in defining them.” Roberto Papini, Il coraggio della democrazia: Sturzo e l’internazionale popolare tra le due guerre (Rome: Studium, 1995), pp. 51–52. J.-M. Mayeur, Des Partis catholiques à la Démocratie chrétienne: XIXe—XXe siècle (Paris: Colin, 1980), pp. 149–50, has a typology that is partly different. 9. In some countries (Poland, Catalonia, the Basque country, and others) there is also a “national question,” a problem of cultural and political identity in the face of the threat posed by bordering countries or the central state. 10. Sturzo avoided calling his party “Christian Democrat” in order to distance him­ self from previous polemic and controversies and in order to avoid the interdiction of Leo XIII, expressed by this pope in his encyclical Graves de Communi (1901), which prohibited Christian Democracy from moving from the social field to the political arena. This papal interdiction was probably a response to strategic calculations—to avoid taking the side of one form of government rather than another, a question of major debate, especially in France—but also a result of the wish to distinguish religion from a political movement, in this case Christian Democracy. 11. P. Chenaux dates the existence of parties that were really Christian Democrat from the end of the Second World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall: cf. “L’Église catholique et la démocratie chrétienne en Europe, 1925–1965,” in Gehler, Kaiser, and Wohnout, Christian Democracy in Twentieth-Century Europe, p. 165. 12. Hans Maier writes that in the history of modern democracy “l’émergence d’une forme particulière de la démocratie à partir d’une inspiration chrétienne (qui s’affronte au type d’État jacobin) reste encore, malgré les travaux préliminaires de Rhoden, Gur­ ian, Roger, Hours, Biton, Var, Isard et Fogarthy, dans l’expectative d’une évocation synthéthique.” Maier, L’Église et la démocratie, pp. 63–64. 13. On the theological-political relationship between the Catholic Church and a “Christian party” in its various forms, cf. G. Baget Bozzo, Il partito cristiano al potere (Florence: Vallecchi, 1974), 1:9–43. 14. Maritain had a critical attitude, for example, toward the politische theologie of C. Schmitt; cf. “Humanisme intégral,” in Jacques Maritain, Oeuvres complètes (Fribourg [CH] and Paris: Universitaires and Saint-Paul, 1984), 6:406.

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258 —Roberto Papini 15. “L’un des apports principaux de la Démocratie Chrétienne à l’histoire politique a été la réconciliation des catholiques avec la démocratie. Celle-ci est au coeur de la Démocratie Chrétienne, c’est ce qui la distingue fondamentalement du catholicisme social.” J.-D. Durand, L’Europe de la Démocratie Chrétienne (Paris: Complexe, 1995), p. 133. 16. E. Borne, “Éthiques politiques des Églises,” in R. Rémond, ed., Forces religieuses et attitudes politiques dans la France depuis 1945 (Paris: Colin, 1965), p. 14. 17. In an attempt to define “public reason” and its relationship to religion, John Rawls, The Law of Peoples with “the Idea of Public Reason Revisited” (Cambridge: Har­ vard University Press, 1999), asks himself “How is it possible for those holding reli­ gious doctrines, some based on religious authority, for example, the Church or the Bible, to hold at the same time a reasonable political conception that supports a rea­ sonable constitutional democratic regime? Can these doctrines still be compatible for the right reasons with a liberal political conception? . . . How is it possible for citizens of faith to be wholehearted members of a democratic society who endorse society’s intrinsic political ideals and values and do not simply acquiesce in the balance of po­ litical and social forces?” (p. 149). The value of the objection made by Rawls should not be understated and should also be applied to political parties that are bearers of religious values and operate within the secular terrain of politics. The problem is to see first and foremost whether these values are in opposition to democratic principles, then if the programs of these parties have clearly undertaken to respect the demo­ cratic-constitutional system in which they operate. In that case, “We may think of the reasonable comprehensive doctrines that support society’s reasonable political con­ ceptions as those conceptions’ vital social basis, giving them enduring strength and vigor” (p. 153). 18. “Underlying Christian Democracy are three sets of relationships: first, between Christian values and the secular nature of politics; second, between these values and democracy; and third, between these values and the social teachings of the church­ es—Catholic and, since the end of World War II, also Protestant. The relationship between Christian inspiration and secular politics was soon settled by Christian Dem­ ocrats as a distinction between levels—the political and the religious. Politics have their own autonomy, which is not, however, absolutely independent from ethical and religious values, for the purpose of politics is to serve humankind.” Roberto Papini, “Christian Democracy,” in J. M. Shafritz, ed., International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration (Boulder: Westview, 1998), 1:388. 19. Cf. Roberto Papini, “Introduction à une théorie des Constitutions d’inspiration personnaliste,” Notes et Documents de l’Institut International Jacques Maritain (7/1984). 20. Cf. G. Martini, “I trattati comunitari e la giurisprudenza della Corte di Lus­ semburgo,” in Roberto Papini, ed., L’apporto del personalismo alla costruzione dell’Europa (Milan: Massimo, 1981), pp. 185–205; and F. Teitgen, “La Convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo,” ibid., pp. 206–14. 21. The programs of these parties reflected these principles and the statutes of the Christian Democrat International; Article 1 reads as follows: “The CDI is made up of Christian Democrat parties, regional and international organisations and move­

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ments that adhere to it and whose purpose is to ensure the development in individual countries and the world of politics that draw inspiration from the values of Christian humanism of freedom, peace and social justice, based upon respect for the dignity of every person, on independence, self-determination and the solidarity of all peoples.” 22. The role of Paul VI in the “legitimation” of Christian Democracy should also be recognized. 23. Cf. Papini, Il coraggio della democrazia; A. Handschmidt, “Eine christlich-de­ mokratische ‘Internationale’ zwischen den Weltkriegen Das ‘Secrétariat International des Partis Démocratiques d’Inspiration Chrétienne’ in Paris,” in W. Becker and R. Morsey, eds., Christliche Demokratie in Europa (Cologne: Bölau, 1988), p. 154. 24. On the influence of Don Sturzo and the PPI in Latin America see Papini, Il coraggio della democrazia, pp. 97–98. 25. Maritain had already been a sign of contradiction in the world because of his stances in relation to the Spanish Civil War: see the “Préface” to the book by A. Men­ dizábal, Aux origines d’une tragédie: La politique espagnole de 1923 à 1936, in Maritain, Oeuvres complètes, 6:1215–1255. 26. Cf. Roberto Papini, Jacques Maritain e la società contemporanea (Milan: Mas­ simo, 1978). The judgment of a Soviet author translated into Hungarian in 1949, the year of the dissolution of Christian Democracy in that country, is of interest. The Christian parties were seen as “the most important instruments of the reactionary movement of the time and Maritain was accused of engaging through his philosophy in reactionary propaganda”: I. German, A harcos egyhaz filozofiaja (The philosophy of the militant church) (Budapest: Szikra, 1949), quoted by C. Andras, “Maritain en Hongrie,” in B. Hubert, ed., Jacques Maritain en Europe: La réception de sa pensée (Par­ is: Beauchesne, 1996), p. 259. 27. Christian Democracy (heir of the Italian People’s Party), Christliche De­ mokratische Union (heir of Zentrum Partei), Hungarian Christian Democrat People’s Party (Christian Social Party), Christian Democrat Party (Christian Democrat Party), Slovene Christian Democrat People’s Party (People’s Party), and Czechoslovak Chris­ tian Democrat People’s Party (People’s Party). The other parties of Christian inspi­ ration that did not adopt the term Christian Democrat were the Christlich Soziale Union of Bavaria (People’s Party of Bavaria), the Social Christian Party of Luxemburg (previously the Party of the Right), the Belgian Christian Social Party (previously the Belgian Catholic Union, which included the National League of Christian Workers), the Dutch Catholic Party (previously the Party of the Roman Catholic State), the Swiss Conservative People’s Party, the Basque Nationalist Party, and the Democratic Union of Catalonia. The Latin American democratic parties of Christian inspiration that were created subsequently adopted in varying ways the name of Christian Demo­ crats or Social Christians. 28. M. Vaussard writes that Sturzo was “le seul penseur démocrate chrétien qui ait paru en Occident depuis le début de ce siècle.” M. Vaussard, Histoire de la Démocratie Chrétienne (Paris: Seuil, 1956), p. 244. For the lineage of democratic Catholicism see G. Campanini, Cristianesimo e Democrazia: Studi sul pensiero politico cattolico del ’900 (Brescia: Morcelliana, 1980).

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260 —Roberto Papini 29. G. De Rosa, Sturzo (Turin: U.T.E.T., 1977), p. 108. 30. Reference should also be made to “The Appeal to the Free and the Strong” of January 18, 1919 (date of the creation of the PPI), his speech to the congress of the People’s Party given in Venice in 1921, his speech in Florence in 1922 on “The Crisis and the Renewal of the State,” and the speech given in Turin on April 22, 1923. 31. De Rosa, Sturzo, pp. 140–41. 32. Christian Democracy has two meanings: “First of all it means a popular gov­ ernment that draws inspiration from Christian principles, in opposition to the Rous­ seauan and anti-clerical meaning of modern democracy; secondly it means a Christian social movement, in opposition to socialism.” Luigi Sturzo, “Popularisme,” Politique, August 15, 1928, now in L. Brunelli, ed., L. Sturzo Scritti storico-politici (Rome: Cinque Lune, 1984), p. 31. 33. Don Sturzo’s idea of popular democracy perfectly matched his idea of a peo­ ple’s party that drew inspiration from Christianity, and this conception, in turn, grew progressively within social Catholicism and political Catholicism (which, in the Ital­ ian case, matured within the municipal experience). 34. V. M. D’Addio, “Luigi Sturzo nella storia del pensiero politico contemporaneo,” in G. De Rosa, ed., Luigi Sturzo e la democrazia europea (Bari: Laterza, 1990), p. 309. 35. P. Vignaux writes: “Les relations que Don Sturzo devait à son expérience, à sa culture, à sa personnalité, l’ont situé dans l’exil à l’articulation de l’antifascisme italien et de la prise de conscience du problème international des fascismes par les catholiques des pays libres.” P. Vignaux, Manuel de Irujo (Paris: Beauchesne, 1986), p.13. 36. Luigi Sturzo, Église et État (Paris: Éditions Internationales, 1937), English edi­ tion: Church and the State (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1939). 37. On the relationship between church and state in the thinking of Sturzo, see, in particular, A. Acerbi, Chiesa e democrazia: Da Leone XIII al Vaticano II (Milan: Vita e Pensiero, 1991), pp. 85–145; and C. Vasale, “Stato e Chiesa nel pensiero politico stur­ ziano,” Sociologia (maggio-dicembre 1986). 38. Luigi Sturzo, Popolarismo e fascismo (Bologna: Zanichelli, 1956 [1924]), p. 37. 39. Maritain, Oeuvres complètes (1983), 4:193–255. 40. Ibid. (1982), 5:319–515. 41. Ibid. (1984), 6:291–634. 42. Ibid., 6:713. 43. Quotation from “Deux sources de la morale et de la religion,” ibid., 7:740. 44. Ibid., 7:721–22. 45. Ibid., 7:9–49. 46. Ibid. (1990), 9:471–736. 47. Paul Valadier SJ likens the position of the recent Rawls (Political Liberalism, 1993) to that of Maritain. Beginning with the search for the stability of democratic so­ cieties, Rawls comes to posit the existence of common ethics at the base of public life: citizens have outlooks that “include” visions of the world that are in large measure consistent and able to intersect on certain shared principles (essentially human rights) through an “overlapping consensus.” “Are there are not great similarities between the proposals of J. Rawls on agreement through intersection and the proposal of Maritain

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for a democratic charter containing a creed of freedom, but which distinguishes ‘prac­ tical points of convergence’ on the one hand from ‘theoretical justifications’ on the other?” (L’Uomo e lo Stato, chapter 5): Paul Valadier, “Democrazia di cittadini senza ‘sé’?” in Antonio Pavan, ed., Dire persona: Luoghi critici e saggi di applicazione di un’idea (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2003), pp. 309–10. 48. The thesis of “civil religion” as a legitimation of democratic political power is based upon ethical and juridical values that were established at the same time as the development of specific national political communities. One is dealing with their secularized version of Christian origins, today connected to the political culture that is expressed in “faith” in liberal democratic principles; cf. R. N. Bellah, “Civil Religion in America,” Daedalus 96, no. 1 (1967), pp. 1–21. 49. Maritain was criticised by H. Kelsen (at that time an exile in the United States of America), who argued that the relationship between democracy and Christianity was incompatible and thought that democracy was only compatible with philosophi­ cal relativism: “Foundations of Democracy.” Ethics 66 (1955–56): 1–14. Maritain replied to this on more than one occasions: see in particular Jacques Maritain, Western Civilization and Religious Faith, in Oeuvres complètes, 9:1012 ff. 50. Cf. Paul Valadier, “Maritain, philosophe de la démocratie,” Études 4 (October 2003): 339–50. 51. Marcel Prélot, “Préface” to the second edition of L’Homme et l’État (Paris: PUF, 1965), p. v. In reality, the relationship between Maritain and Christian Democrat par­ ties was not always idyllic, even though many of them made explicit reference to his thought. Indeed, he was not very tender toward them, defining them as “combinai­ sons d’intérêts électoraux.” Jacques Maritain, Le paysan de la Garonne, in Oeuvres complètes (1966), 12:697–698. His Integral Humanism and Christianity and Democracy had already had a strong impact on various Christian Democrat parties. Of interest here is Prélot’s likening of the thought of Don Sturzo to that of Maritain: cf. “Don Sturzo e Maritain,” in AA. VV., Il problema del potere politico (Brescia: Morcelliana, 1964). 52. Cf. H. Hürten, “Der Einfluss Jacques Maritain auf das politische Denken in Deutschland,” Jahrbuch für Christliche Socialwissenschaften 26 (Münster,1985): 25–39; P. Chenaux, “L’influence de Maritain en Allemagne,” in Hubert, Jacques Maritain en Europe, pp. 87–111; K. Huber, “Jacques Maritain et la culture allemande,” Notes et Documents de l’Institut International Jacques Maritain, no. 57–58 (2000). 53. Cf. A. Riccardi, “La Chiesa di Pio XII, educatrice di uomini e di popoli, tra certezza e crisi,” in L. Pazzaglia, ed., Chiesa e progetto educativo nell’Italia del secondo dopoguerra (Brescia: La Scuola, 1988), pp. 9 and 55; see also A. Riccardi, ed., Pio XII (Rome: Laterza, 1984); P. Chenaux, Pie XII, Diplomate et pasteur (Paris: Cerf, 2003), p. 309, stresses the role of P. G. Gundlach SJ and P. Cordovani OP in the drawing up of the radio message and its consonance with Thomist teaching on the state and the common good. I would add the name of Msgr. Montini, then at the Secretariat of State and an admirer and friend of Maritain, who published Christianisme e démocratie (New York: Maison Française, 1943). 54. “Making flexible use of scholastic philosophy, on the practical level he [Leo XIII] accepted the political institutions of the sovereignty of the people while rejecting

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262 —Roberto Papini the principles that inspired them. The relaunching of Thomism from the First Vati­ can Council onward, in fact, fostered a somewhat autonomous and therefore secular interpretation of politics and the formulation of a theory of indifference to the forms of government might take—with the consequence that even a liberal system could be acceptable”: Roberto Papini, “Christianity and Democracy in Global Context,” in John Witte Jr., ed., Christianity and Democracy in Europe: The Christian Democratic Movement (Boulder: Westview, 1993), p. 51. 55. P. Pavan, La democrazia e le sue ragioni (Roma: Studium, 1958), argues that the adherence of Pius XII was more to the values of democracy (dignity of the person, freedom, equality, etc.) than to the regime itself, even though Pius XII had greater consideration for democratic forms of government. G. Saraceni, Chiesa e comunità politica (Milan: Giuffré, 1983), p. 144, on the other hand, argues that the declaration of the pope did not imply an authoritative recognition of the democratic form of gov­ ernment as being more consonant with the dignity of man. 56. John Courtney Murray, quoted by Maier, L’Église et la démocratie, p. 247, char­ acterized relations between the state and the Catholic Church from Leo XII on in the following terms: “That history and experience have brought the Church to ever more perfect respect for the autonomy of the State (as a form of respect for an es­ sential element in the ‘whole man’), and consequently to ever more purely spiritual assertions of her power in the temporal order. Moreover, in proportion as these as­ sertions of a power have become more spiritual, they have been more universal and searching, reaching all the institutions of human life, to conform them in their idea and operation to the exigencies of the Christian conscience.” John Courtney Murray, “Contemporary Orientations of Catholic Thought on Church and State in the Light of History,” Theological Studies 10 (1949): 177–234. 57. “Dispaccio n. 112” of October 10, 1945, quoted in Olivier de la Brosse, “La mis­ sion romaine de J. Maritain,” in Olivier de la Brosse, ed., La France et le Saint-Siège: De Napoléon à Charles de Gaulle (Rome: Centre Saint-Louis de France, 1995), p. 238. 58. Maritain went on: “Ces affirmations, jointes au rejet de l’autoritarisme, impli­ quent la condamnation des doctrines plus ou moins apparentées à la conception du pouvoir du droit divin. . . . Si l’on rapproche le discours du Pape de ses autres allocu­ tions récentes, on peut dire que l’expression de la pensée de l’Église a fait sur les dif­ férents points traités par le Pape un progrès remarquable.” Ibid., p. 240. Only with the constitution Dignitatis humanae would there be a full acceptance of the nonconfessional character of the state. The role, among others, of John Courtney Murray, and the Amer­ ican experience filtered by him theologically in the drawing up of the document, was important; see J. L. Martinez, “Consenso público” y moral social: Las relaciones entre catolicismo y liberalismo en la obra de John Courtney Murray, s.j. (Madrid: Comillas, 2002). 59. At the end of the Second World War, in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland, the Christian Democrat parties were tolerated for a few years, and this despite the presence of the Red Army. 60. Cf. P. Chenaux, Une Europe vaticane: Entre le Plan Marshall et les traités de Rome (Brussels: Ciaco, 1990). The leader of the French Socialist Party, Guy Mollet, was the first to use the term.

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61. It is certainly the case that modernity and religion do not fit naturally together. De Tocqueville in La Démocratie en Amérique had already raised “la question encore aujourd’hui irrésolue du rapport de la modernité à la religion . . . court pour ainsi dire obsessionnellement.” A. Antoine, L’Impensé de la démocratie: Tocqueville, la citoyenneté et la religion (Paris: Fayard, 2003), p. 14. The American and French exceptionnalités concerning the relations between religion and civil society (and politics) are well iden­ tified in this work by Antoine (ibid., pp. 133–34). 62. “Le droit révélé par le Coran ou la Sunnah ou déduit de leurs principes a pour objet de sauvegarder les préceptes de la nature, dont l’homme raisonnable et civilisé est le centre.” S. Ben Achour-Derouiche, “États non sécularisés, laïcité et droits des femmes,” Revue Tunisienne de Droit 1 (1993): 168; cf. also Tariq Ramadan, Les Musulmans dans la laïcité: responsabilités et droits des Musulmans dans les sociétés occidentales (Lyon: Tawhid, 1998). This last author does not hesitate to speak of “Muslim humanism.” In the same direction, cf. Mohammed Arkoun, Humanisme et Islam (Paris: Vrin, 2005). 63. D. Hollenbach, The Common Good and Christian Ethics (Cambridge: Cam­ bridge University Press, 2002). These two authors well illustrate how the Catholic tradition of the common good is connected to the good life of Aristotle (and then of Thomas Aquinas), which today, however, should be reinterpreted in a society that is more complex than the polis, in which cultures and religions with different visions of the good life are to be found, religions and cultures, however, called to contrib­ ute, through dialogue, to the construction of pluralistic society. The neutrality of the liberal state toward the common good, in this author’s view, is unable to address the problems (and especially social problems) of contemporary society. 64. One need only recall the confrontation between Action Française and the Par­ ti Démocrate Populaire during the 1920s or between the Latin American Christian Democrat parties with the most radical forms of liberation theology in the 1960s and 1970s. 65. S. N. Eisenstadt, Fundamentalism, Sectarism and Revolution: The Jacobin Dimension of Modernity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 67. In the view of Martin E. Marthy and R. Scott Appleby, forms of fundamentalism do not preach a return to a golden age—they aim for a religious renewal strongly directed towards the future, adopting as well forms of behaviour and institutions specific to modernity in order to combat it (a typical example is the acceptance of the State): see Martin E. Marthy and R. Scott Appleby, “Introduction,” in Martin E. Marthy and R. Scott Appleby, eds., The Fundamentalist Project, vol. 3: Fundamentalism and the State (Chi­ cago: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1993), pp. 3–4. 66. Cf. G. Kepel, La revanche de Dieu: Chrétiens, juifs et musulmans à la reconquête du monde (Paris: Seuil, 1991). 67. For previous exponents of this thesis see P. Berger, A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and Rediscovery of the Supernatural (New York: Doubleday, 1969); and P. Beyer, Religion and Globalization (London: Sage, 1994). 68. John Paul II had been a prophet of this with his interreligious meeting held in Assisi in 1986. The constant activity of this pope to safeguard peace and avoid a “con­ flict of civilisations” should be emphasized.

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264 —Roberto Papini 69. J. Casanova, Public Religions in the Modern World (Chicago: University of Chi­ cago Press, 1994). 70. The reference to French Christian Democracy (Mouvement Républicain Pop­ ulaire) is a reference to a democratic party open not only to Catholics but also to Protestants, Jews, and Muslims (a large grouping in France). O. Roy writes: “Quelles sont alors les perspectives politiques de l’islamisme ? En fait, elles dépendent large­ ment du cadre politique de chaque pays. La tendance lourde de l’islamisme centriste est, selon nous, l’intégration dans le jeu politique sur un mode plus proche de la démocratie chrétienne que du Parti communiste français des années 1950, même si l’islamisme a pour vocation de conserver sa “fonction tribunicienne.” Si on laisse le jeu parlementaire fonctionner, les islamistes en quête d’alliance électorale et de pou­ voir, mais limités dans leur action par les institutions, l’armée et ce qui se développe comme “société civile,” doivent composer, intégrer des catégories plus hétérogènes d’acteurs politiques, jouer sur le nationalisme plutôt que sur l’oumma musulmane.” L’Islam mondialisé (Paris: Seuil, 2002). It is interesting how the Turkish party, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, refers to themselves as “Muslim Democrats” (an echo of Europe’s right-of-center Christian Democrats).

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chapter eleven

Concluding Thoughts John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen

W

hy must we today raise the question of the global viability of the Enlightenment? Why today, in a world whose political contours have changed in a way the intellectual founders of the Enlight­ enment, over three hundred years ago in western Europe, could hardly have imagined? Why today, when the hot spots of religious sectarian strife are so far removed from those founders historically, geographically, and culturally? Why, when the sensitivity to Western “cultural imperialism” is high—both within and without the West? Why, when the credibility of the Enlightenment’s aspi­ ration to establishing universal, rational political principles is at its lowest ebb? Good questions, to which we offer a straightforward answer: the evident successful quelling of religious sectarian strife in the West, a success in which Enlightenment ideas plausibly played a central role, and the evident need for the quelling of such strife in parts of the world less profoundly affected by those ideas. Given the West’s own history of religious warfare and persecu­ tion, this achievement is not only amazing, it may also allow one to hope that some similar achievement might be effected where it is now urgently needed. Not, to be sure, a cut-and-paste application of Locke, Spinoza et al., whose approaches were very much molded to their own time and place; but perhaps an approach in their spirit and somehow under their guidance.

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266 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen It is fair to say that the contributors to this volume are not, as a group, at­ tracted to such a possibility. It is true that our authors are unanimous in their support of toleration and ending religious persecution and violence. They are unanimous, in other words, in their support of a fundamental—perhaps the most fundamental—aim of the Enlightenment. But we also see in these chap­ ters a pervasive and profound dissatisfaction with the Enlightenment. This dis­ satisfaction takes various shapes, but it is unmistakable. Elshtain, for example, takes aim at the Enlightenment’s promotion of the autonomous individual, conceived essentially as “economic man.” Pangle traces the crisis of faith in En­ lightenment principles to the spiritually thin way of life rooted in its distinctive and contestable form of rationalism. Galston, Papini, Witte, Hashmi, Sache­ dina, and Novak, too, are, in various ways, critical of the narrowly rationalistic secularism of the Enlightenment tradition. Although our authors vary mark­ edly in their sympathy for the Enlightenment approach to religion, all identify a similar defect in or limitation to that approach. And, notably, this defect or limitation is not brought out simply in relation to non-Western societies and re­ ligions. It affects the attractiveness of the Enlightenment within the West itself. We have, then, two ways of conceiving of the Enlightenment’s approach to religion. First is the promotion of universal toleration among believers and religious groups of all stripes and the right of religious freedom or free­ dom of conscience respected by the state. Second is the establishment of the social, moral, and political authority of reason, which transcends particular faiths and societal biases and demotes or privatizes religious faith, thus po­ litically taming religion or, at least, separating it decisively from the political arena. We find a consensus among our authors in support of the first and grave misgivings about the second. Can the first and the second be separated? The consensus among Enlight­ enment thinkers was that they could not: Universal toleration depends, they supposed, on universal principles, which in turn depend on reason as op­ posed to the dogmas of a particular faith or revelation. A number of our au­ thors may counter that, in the first place, Enlightenment rationalism’s claim to universalism is a boast or a sham. The worldview it promoted has not swept the field, as it may once have hoped, and is now revealed to be as particular and narrow as it accused others of being. Second, a number of our authors look to ground the principles of toleration and religious rights not on a secular rationalism but on a robust religious faith. Indeed, only where these principles are thus grounded would they gain real durability. The En­ lightenment underestimated how deeply rooted religion is.

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Concluding Thoughts—2 67

Accordingly, Galston sets the agenda of uncovering “internal resources” of the religious traditions for the support of these principles. Principles the Enlightenment sought to ground in an essentially secular and universal rea­ son would instead be grounded within particular faiths, thereby avoiding the narrow and spiritually thin rationalism that our authors find a crucial defect of the Enlightenment approach. Elshtain contends that such grounding is not simply a plausible alternative or supplement to the Enlightenment’s ap­ proach but is fundamentally superior, since a full conception of rights de­ pends on a notion of inherent human dignity, which the doctrine of creation can provide more satisfactorily than can the notion of human autonomy. Witte presents the Enlightenment’s political teaching as derivative of Puritan theology, thereby suggesting a theological underpinning for principles that are too readily identified with secular rationalism and pointing to possible parallels in other faith traditions. Novak, Papini, Hashmi, and Sachedina, in quite diverse ways, look to “internal resources” that would serve as alterna­ tives to Enlightenment rationalism. It is worth noting that Hashmi and No­ vak point to the recovery of an earlier notion of rationalism that might serve as an alternative to the capital E enlightenment version. And yet, in Mehta’s chapter, we see Indian courts determining the sub­ stance of Hindu religion, apparently with a view to the agenda of the secular state rather than in a spirit of Hindu devotion. The courts too sought “inter­ nal resources” for an agenda that was set externally. In this respect, the pro­ cedure of the Indian courts reminds one of the Enlightenment philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, who not only granted the sovereign sole authority over religious practice for strictly political ends, but went to great lengths in Leviathan to cherry-pick and distort Scripture in an attempt to make Christian­ ity appear supportive of his political philosophy. Other Enlightenment phi­ losophers, such as Baruch Spinoza and Pierre Bayle, offered “enlightened” interpretations of the Bible to support their philosophies, thus seeking out “internal resources” in an effort that many, from contemporary times to the present, have suspected of being rooted more in pragmatism than in piety. Accordingly, many orthodox believers have looked on the requirements of liberal democracy and the Enlightenment’s political agenda as part of an alien and hostile infiltration and subversion of religion. For example, Pope Pius IX (r. 1846–78) in his encyclical Quanta Cura (1864) condemned liberty of conscience and other liberal “errors,” attributing them to “wicked men” who have “striven by their deceptive opinions and most pernicious writings to raze the foundations of the Catholic religion and of civil society.”1 As we

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268 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen noted in chapter 1, Sayyid Qutb, the Egyptian dissident who has inspired much of today’s Sunni Islamism, was preoccupied with purifying Islam from all alien influences, including those that would like to set the agenda for Mus­ lims. Ironically, one of the clearest statements of the alleged contradiction is from Stanley Fish, himself apparently a religious skeptic, arguing that the or­ thodox cannot coherently be essentially tolerant. “To put the matter baldly,” Fish writes, “a person of religious conviction should not want to enter the marketplace of ideas but to shut it down, at least insofar as it presumes to de­ termine matters that he believes to have been determined by God and faith. The religious person should not seek an accommodation with liberalism; he should seek to rout it from the field, to extirpate it, root and branch.”2 This strange collection of bedfellows seems to have a point when religious defenders of toleration appear themselves to be normative pluralists, or per­ sons who regard as a good thing the persistence in society of a diversity of views on transcendence, morality, and the like. Normative pluralists do not wish to convert outsiders to their religion, even by social pressure or per­ suasion. Their telos is not a society of true believers (religious or secularist) but one of multiple faiths—so long as each faith likewise adopts normative pluralism. Efforts at conversion must be limited to one’s own family. Evan­ gelism or proselytism—and it is significant that many people now think of these terms as synonymous—is not only bad for the religion that loses mem­ bers, but for society as a whole. If the alternative to intolerance is normative pluralism, orthodox adherents to religions with universalistic claims must refuse the bargain. The orthodox need to be persuaded that they can simulta­ neously abandon intolerance and maintain their faith’s historic propositions. In this volume three narratives of an embrace of tolerance emerge: a modus vivendi or armistice among religions, short of a peace treaty; a restoration of a religion’s original beliefs and practices; and a development or unfolding of a religion’s beliefs and practices over time. The modus vivendi is a sort of strategic retreat by the devout in the face of the futility of continued combat. The religion does not abandon its plan to take over society and its institutions, but circumstances are presently such that God wants the faithful to tolerate other religions so as not to provoke them into a religious war that, at present, would be counterproductive. Thus the devout may seek a bargain with other faiths under which all tolerate all others. Such arrangements were common during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe: Catho­ lics and Protestants in the Holy Roman Empire, France, or elsewhere would

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Concluding Thoughts—2 6 9

find themselves sharing a foe and agree to stop persecuting one another and make common cause. Until the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, these arrange­ ments did not outlive the common enemy that spawned them. More generally, orthodox believers may seek a modus vivendi when the immediate alternatives appear unacceptable. The devout who find themselves outnumbered often make this pragmatic move. As David Novak notes, Jew­ ish toleration of other religions was in part a product of centuries of life as a vulnerable minority. A similar claim could be made for various Christian Dissenters, who had suffered under the established church in England and settled in North America, or for American Catholics, who were likewise a minority for most of American history and were among the first Americans to advocate general toleration. The faithful may retain their distinctive truth claims, and indeed their aspirations to convert individuals and capture secular institutions, while agreeing to play by the rules of a liberal society, in particu­ lar to renounce private or public coercion of belief or practice. Thus a modus vivendi need no more entail a betrayal of orthodoxy than the Russian retreats in 1812 and 1941 against western invaders entailed a betrayal of Russia. A suc­ cessful retreat can enable a belligerent to live to fight another day. Of course, tolerance as a temporary expedient will not satisfy those who oppose intolerance out of principle. A modus vivendi leaves the devout free to work for conditions under which they may resume coercion. Something like that seems to be the fate of Lebanon in the current era. But, in practice, what is normal can eventually become normative: those who become toler­ ant out of expedience may come to like toleration and find themselves prac­ ticing it out of principle.3 This leads to the second and third narratives by which orthodox believers may embrace religious toleration while remaining orthodox. The second nar­ rative is one of restoration. Believers become convinced that their religion’s leaders or institutions have strayed from true doctrine. John Witte’s narra­ tive on the currents in American Puritanism suggests this sort of path, and indeed it was the general narrative of Protestantism from Martin Luther on: the established Church has abandoned the primitive faith and we are going to restore it. By no means were all early Protestants tolerant of Catholics or of one another, but many—most obviously the Anabaptists—did teach that among the corruptions of the extant Church was an unholy marriage between Church and State. The histories of most religions have been punctuated by irruptions of reform and revival in which something like this argument has been made. The faithful may then argue that God has allowed or used the

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270 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen profane world to punish the faithful so as to purify them of such corruptions. What appears to an outsider a change in a religion under external pressure is, to the believer, a divinely instigated restoration. Sohail Hashmi’s chapter shows that Muslims today are bidding to do a similar thing within Islam: to demonstrate that the toleration practiced within medieval Islam was correct, its abandonment a deviation that must be corrected without regard to ques­ tions of outside pressure. The third narrative, of development, is open to those believers for whom current institutions and leaders must not be declared corrupt. Believers can maintain that what appear changes in their religion’s doctrines—such as a new acceptance of religious toleration—are rightly understood as developments of doctrine. This approach is exemplified by the Victorian churchman John Henry Newman in his account of the development of Christian doc­ trine. Newman, a leader of the Catholic or “Tractarian” party in the Church of England, was at pains to demonstrate to his Evangelical and Liberal coreli­ gionists that what appeared Catholic changes to Christian doctrine were not only consistent with primitive Christianity but made explicit what had been implicit all along and hence were developments rather than corruption of religion. This was the case notwithstanding that some of these developments were, historically speaking, the result of contingency. For this sort of narrative to convince the orthodox, it must provide cri­ teria for distinguishing genuine developments from corruptions. Newman borrows a telling example from his contemporary Henry Hart Milman. Milman argues that the (alleged) dream of the Labarum, in which the Ro­ man Emperor Constantine saw the Greek abbreviation for Christ and heard a voice saying In hoc signo vinces (“in this sign shall you conquer”) “could not really have taken place . . . because it is counter to the original type of Christianity.” Writes Milman: “For the first time, the meek and peaceful Jesus became a God of battle, and the Cross, the holy sign of Christian Redemp­ tion, a banner of bloody strife. . . . This was the first advance to the military Christianity of the middle ages, a modification of the pure religion of the Gospel . . . directly opposed to its genuine principles.” More generally, New­ man adduces seven “notes” that distinguish a genuine development in reli­ gion from a corruption: “To guarantee its own substantial unity [over time], [a religion] must be seen to be one in type, one in its system of principles, one in its unitive power towards externals, one in its logical consecutiveness, one in the witness of its early phases to its later, one in the protection which

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Concluding Thoughts—2 7 1

its later extend to its earlier, and one in its union of vigour with continuance, that is, in its tenacity.” Newman’s argument has been highly persuasive to countless Christians, Catholic and otherwise, since its publication in 1845. Owing in part to this very argument, Newman is often called the “Father of the Second Vatican Council,” which, along with the rise of Christian Democracy analyzed by Ro­ berto Papini, definitively identified the Catholic Church with religious tol­ eration while seeking to maintain that Church’s fidelity to its historic faith. What appear, then, to outsiders as externally induced changes can be un­ derstood by the faithful themselves as legitimate compromises, restorations, or developments. Such is not to say, of course, that all orthodox believers will agree that these narratives are valid. Pope Innocent X greeted the modus vivendi of the Peace of Westphalia with the bull Zel Domus, declaring the treaties “null, void, invalid, iniquitous, unjust, damnable, reprobate, inane, empty of meaning and effect for all time.”4 The Anabaptist restoration nar­ rative of tolerance as a primitive Christian principle was repudiated by other Protestants as well as Catholics. And Newman’s arguments about doctrinal development have been rejected by Protestants, who sought a restoration instead, and by other Catholics who suspected Newman of offering a liberal Trojan Horse.5 Thus far we have abstracted from the contents of various religions, and it may be the case that one religion is constitutionally more resistant to tol­ eration or other liberal democratic principles than another. William Galston suggests that religions founded on divine law with universal aspirations are less susceptible (though perhaps not impervious) to these sorts of reform.6 Abdulaziz Sachedina suggests that Islam confronts special challenges, say­ ing that “the sociopolitical realities that make the religious and the political inseparable in Muslim societies, with consequences for the exercise of basic freedoms of expression and religion, call for serious rethinking regarding the precondition set by the theoreticians of liberal democracy for the establish­ ment of democratic governance in the Muslim world.”7 As Roberto Papini’s essay reminds us, however, religions once thought by both adherent and enemy to be constitutionally intolerant can become tolerant. Yet once we abandon the Enlightenment foundation of universal or transreligious human reason, is it too much to hope that all religions prove, on their own terms, es­ sentially amenable to liberal democracy?8 On what transreligious foundation could such a transreligious hope be founded?

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272 —John M. Owen IV and J. Judd Owen Finally, we must consider whether the chief spur to religious militancy today may be, not intrareligious conflict, but an encroaching secularism with what is perceived to be its accompanying moral decline, which may be felt a more fundamental assault than what originates from another religion. The causality is tangled and impossible to trace precisely. But militancy among Christians, Muslims, and Jews, at least, is often provoked by the corrosion of traditional institutions such as family and clergy. This corrosion is propelled by both state-building efforts and by economic openness or “globalization.” State builders such as the Arab socialists, Kemal Atatürk, and Jawaharlal Nehru deliberately weakened and co-opted religious institutions for the sake of uniting and centralizing traditional society. Since the 1980s most coun­ tries have felt compelled to open their societies to more foreign influences in the name of national competitiveness. Orthodox believers may react to these changes by going on the offensive and becoming militant. The militants of­ ten succeed in gaining converts owing to the disruptions of state building and globalization and the rapid population growth associated with these.9 If inroads of secularism into traditionalist territory are in part responsible for the upsurge in religious intolerance, then at least the more radical, secular forms of the Enlightenment are not only likely to fail but to provoke further militancy. Exporting the ideas of Diderot or Dawkins, or the institutions im­ plied by their ideas, may aggravate rather than solve the problem. However that may be, it is a mistake to suppose that the apparently end­ less string of triumphs of modernity means that even the most basic ques­ tions regarding religious politics are settled, either in fact or in theory. In the mid-1990s, Stephen L. Carter, a critic of the secular liberal approach to religion in America, recounts the story of a comment he received at a lecture: “We already had the Enlightenment,” said a member of the audience, “and religion lost.”10 How quickly such confidence seems dated.

notes 1. http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P9QUANTA.HTM. 2. Stanley Fish, “Why We Can’t All Just Get Along,” First Things 60 (February 1996): 18–26. For an analysis of Fish’s critique in relation to the Enlightenment, see J. Judd Owen, “Church and State in Stanley Fish’s Antiliberalism,” American Political Science Review 93 (December 1999): 911–24. 3. Cf. Alexis de Tocqueville’s description of American Catholics, whom he found to be “the most republican and democratic class there is in the United States,” de­

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Concluding Thoughts—2 7 3

spite the fact that their beliefs do not naturally incline them in that direction, since “Catholicism is like an absolute monarchy.” The democratic character of American Catholics has “hidden causes”: “Most Catholics are poor, and they need all citizens to govern in order to come to government themselves. Catholics are in the minority, and they need all rights to be respected to be assured of the free exercise of theirs. These two causes drive them even without their knowing it toward the political doctrines they would perhaps adopt with less eagerness if they were wealthy and predominant.” Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), pp. 275–76. 4. See Daniel Philpott, “The Challenge of September 11 to Secularism in Interna­ tional Relations,” World Politics 55, no. 1 (2002): 66–95, 74. 5. Newman was to convert to Roman Catholicism as his Essay was published—a move few would associate with liberalism. But see, e.g., Frank Turner, John Henry Newman: The Challenge to Evangelical Religion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), which portrays Newman as an anti-Evangelical Liberal. 6. Debates over the Iraqi constitution nearly foundered over the question of the status of divine law, whether Shari‘a is “the” source of Iraqi law, or merely “a” source. 7. P. 196. 8. Or perhaps liberal democracy will take very different shape, depending on the dominant religion. The question, then, may not merely be one of how flexible a given religion is with regard to democratic principles, but is also one of how flexible demo­ cratic principles themselves are. When the Iraqi and Afghan constitutions declare Is­ lam to be the official religion of the nation, have they for that reason passed out of the liberal democratic sphere? 9. See Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), esp. pp. 72–75 and 95–101. 10. Stephen L. Carter, The Culture of Disbelief (New York: Basic Books, 1993), p. 213.

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contributors

William Galston is the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is author of Kant and the Problem of History (1975); Liberal Purposes (1991); Liberal Pluralism (2002); and The Practice of Liberal Pluralism (2004). He was deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy during the first Clinton administration and executive director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal. Jean Bethke Elshtain is Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Po­litical Ethics in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. Her most recent books include Democracy on Trial (1995); Augustine and the Limits of Politics (1998); Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy (2002), and Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World (2003). Thomas L. Pangle is Joe Long Professor of Democratic Stuådies in the Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin. His most recent books are The Ennobling of Democracy: The Challenge of the Postmodern Age (1992); The Learning of Liberty: The Educational Ideas of the American Founders (coauthored with Lorraine Smith Pangle, 1993); Justice Among Nations: On the Moral Basis of Power and Peace, with Peter J. Ahrensdorf (1999); and Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham (2003). He is the theory editor of the

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276 —Contributors Encyclopedia of Democracy, 4 vols. (1995). Professor Pangle has also taught at Yale and the University of Toronto. David Novak holds the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Stu­ dies as professor of the study of religion and professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto. The most recent of his twelve books are Covenantal Rights: A Study in Jewish Political Theory (2000); Talking with Christians: Some Musings of a Jewish Theologian (2005); and The Jewish Social Contract: An Essay in Political Theology (2005). He has edited four books and is the author of over two hundred articles in scholarly and intellectual journals. Professor Novak has also taught at the University of Virginia. John Witte Jr. is the Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law, Alonzo L. McDonald Distinguished Service Professor, and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. A specialist in legal history, marriage law, and religious liberty, he has published 180 articles, 11 journal symposia, and 23 books—including recently The Reformation of Rights: Law, Religion, and Human Rights in Early Modern Calvinism (2007); Christianity and Law: An Introduction (2008); The Sins of the Fathers: The Law and Theology of Illegitimacy Reconsidered (2009); and Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment (3d ed., 2010). Pratap Bhanu Mehta is president of the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi. He is author of The Burden of Democracy (2003) as well as articles in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Democracy, Pacific Affairs, and Political Theory. He is coeditor of Public Institutions in India: Performance and Design (2005). He has been professor of law and governance at Jawaharlal Nehru Uni­ versity and a visiting professor of government at Harvard University. Adbulaziz Sachedina is professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia. He is the author of several books on Islam, including Islamic Messianism (1981); The Just Ruler in Shi’ite Islam (1998); and The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism (2000). He receieved his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto after studies at Aligarh Muslim University in India and Ferdowsi University of Mashad in Iran. Sohail Hashmi is associate professor of international relations at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. He is editor of State Sovereignty: Change and Persistence in International Relations (1997) and Islamic Political Ethics: Civil Society, Pluralism, and Conflict (2002) and coeditor of Boundaries and

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Contributors—2 7 7

Justice: Diverse Ethical Perspectives (2001) and of Ethics and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Religious and Secular Perspectives (2004). Roberto Papini is secretary-general of the Jacques Maritain Institute and professor of politics at LUMSA University in Rome. He is author of many books on Christianity and public life; among those translated into English are The Christian Democrat International (1996) and Living in the Global Society (coauthored with Antonia Pavan and Stefano Zamagni, 1997). Editors John M. Owen is associate professor of Politics and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. He is author of Liberal Peace, Liberal War (1997) and The Clash of Ideas in World Politics (2010), as well as articles in International Organization, Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Perspectives on Politics, and several edited volumes. J. Judd Owen is associate professor of political science and a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. He is au­ thor of Religion and the Demise of Liberal Rationalism (2001), as well as articles in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Polity, and Perspectives on Politics. He is currently completing a book on the Enlightenment’s project to transform religion.

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index

Abraham and covenant relationship, 141–42

al-Haq, Maulana Ihtisham, 235–36 Ali, Ayaan Hirsi, 5

Action Française, 250, 263n64

al-Zarqawi, Abu Mus’ab, 4

Adam: in Puritan thought, 142–43; in

amana, 198–200, 212

Qur‘an, 30, 200–3, 211–12, 214–15 Adams, John, 18, 29, 156, 170n36; on authority in government, 80–81;

Amrika allati Ra’aytu (Qutb), 13 anthropology, see theological anthropology of John Paul II

Dissertation on the Canon and the

anticoercion principle, 41, 55n1

Feudal Law, 140; on freedom

antipluralism, see pluralism

of religion in Massachusetts

Aquinas, Thomas, see Thomas

Constitution, 145; and Puritan

Aquinas, Saint

covenantal theory, 140–41; and

Aristotle, 75, 126, 137n32

social covenant, 149–50

Arjomand, Said, 223

Aeterni Patris (Leo XIII), 243

Ash’ari school, 31, 228

Afghanistan, 25, 233, 236

Ashkenazim, 118

Against the Seditious Spirit (Luther), 22

Aslan, Reza, 52

Agama texts, 180

assertion test of a religious practice,

Age of Consent Act, 184–85 al Gatta, Kashef, 53

Owen15006_dual.indb 279

176–77 Atatürk, Mustafa Kemal, 13, 53, 272

12/9/10 2:51 PM

280 —Index atheism, 19, 60, 94, 96, 161

Borne, Etienne, 244

Atta, Mohammed, 11–12, 14; see

Breaking the Spell (Dennett), 7

also September 11, 2001 terrorist

British East India Company, 184

attacks; terrorists

Bush, George, Sr., 8

Augsburg. see Peace of Augsburg

Bush, George W., 8–10, 25

authority: as foundation of state,

Bush doctrine, 9–10

77–81; Catholic Church and public, 46–47; in Christianity, 120; church and state, 60–63, 120–24;

Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, 54

in creation narrative of Islam, 198–

Calvinism, 121, 151, 152

200; in Hinduism, 174–75, 186–89;

canon law, 117

of Indian courts to interpret

capitalism, 87, 93

Hinduism, 176, 180, 182–83; in

Carter, Stephen L., 272

Islam, 53–54, 209–12, 214, 218, 229;

Catholic Church, 27, 31, 43, 77,

in Judaism, 48–51, 120–24, 131–35;

256n3, 271, 272n3; and Christian

in Puritan society, 146, 151–58;

Democracy, 241–44; Jacques

relationship between political and

Maritain’s democracy ideas and,

religious, 12, 18–19, 38–41, 183–86,

249–52; Luigi Sturzo’s democracy

209–12; separation of political and

ideas and, 246–49; Pius XII’s

religious in India, 186–87; and

democracy ideas and, 252–54; and

Spinoza, 249

pluralism, 44–48 Catholicism, 55, 60, 61; see also

Bacon, Francis, 17

Catholic Church

Bayle, Pierre, 19, 40, 267

Centesimus Annus (John Paul II), 70

Benedict XVI (pope), 77–78, 194–95,

Cesari, Jocelyne, 55

211 Berlin, Isaiah, 81–84; Two Concepts of Liberty, 81–82 Berman, Paul, 13

Chaterjee, Partha, 185 checks and balances in Puritan government, 156–59 Christian Democracy party

Bible, 21, 29, 75, 86–87, 143–44

development in individual

Bill for Establishing Religious

countries, 255n1, 256nn2, 3,

Freedom, 18, 80 bin Laden, Osama, 3, 4, 10, 26 Blair, Tony, 9 Book of Covenant Liberty, see Bible

264n70 Christian Democrat International, 246, 249, 258n21 Christian Democrat movement, 240–

Book of the Covenant, see Bible

55; definition of, 240; democracy

Book of the Generall Lawes and Liberties

theory, 244–46; development and

of New Plymouth (1658), 153

Owen15006_dual.indb 280

relationship with Catholic Church,

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Index—2 8 1

241–44; and Jacques Maritain,

constitutionalism, 37, 40–41, 47, 222

249–52; and Luigi Sturzo, 246–49;

constitutionalism and Islam, 221–38;

and Pius X, 252–54 Christian Identity movement, 6, 24, 32n9 Christianity: as civic religion, 61; and

history of, 222–26; in modern times, 230–36; relevation in Islamic law, 226–30 Cotton, John, 144, 158

justice, 68; as official state religion,

Council of Guardians, 234–35

120–22; and pluralism, 117; Qutb’s

courts and religion in India, 176–83, 267

critique of, 13; transition to religion

covenant, 29, 201, 208; see also church

of reason, 78, 80–81; see also natural law Christianity and Democracy (Maritain), 250 church and state: boundaries between,

covenant; political covenant; social covenant; specific covenant types covenant liberty, 144 covenant of grace, 141, 143–44, 146 covenant of salvation, 144

174–75; checks on authority of, 156–

covenant of works, 141–43, 146–47

59; linkage in Islam, 208; in Puritan

Covenant Register; see Bible

society, 154–56; see also separation of

creation narrative in the Qur‘an, 198–

church and state

204, 213; and human responsibility

church covenant, 146, 151–52

as defined by the Trust, 198–202;

Cicero, The Republic, 223

tension between specific and

civic religion, 61

universal ethics, 203–4

civil law, 3, 50, 53, 166, 223–24 civil religion, 124, 165

Daniel Latifi v. Union of India, 191

Code of Personal Status, 53

de Tocqueville, Alexis, 219n2, 263n61,

coercion, 40–41, 55n1

272n3

coexistence model, 38

Decalogue, 152

colonialism in India and effect on

Declaration of Human Rights, see

Hindu law, 183–86 Commission on Marriage and Family Laws, 235 Commissioner of Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras v. Sri Lakshmindra Tirtha Swamiar, see Shrirur Math case common law, 165–67 communism, 7–8, 92–95, 128 community, 205–9, 212–13, 250 Constantianism, 111

Owen15006_dual.indb 281

Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam; Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights Declaration of Independence (American), 19, 80 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, 165, 241 Declaration on Religious Liberty, 46, 243, 262n58

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282 —Index democracy, 219n2; al-Zarqawi’s views of, 4; and human dignity, 70; in

Expediency Council in Iran, 234–35 extremism, see fundamentalism

Islamic societies, 217–19; reactions of Muslims to living in a, 55;

Falwell, Jerry, 6, 23

Sachedina’s definition of, 197

fascism, 8, 32, 242, 248–49, 252

democratic peace theory, 10

Federal Shari‘a Court, 236

Dennett, Daniel, Breaking the Spell, 7

Feldman, Noah, 54

Derrett, J. Duncan M., 178, 182

First Treatise on Government (Locke),

Dewey, John, 81, 83, 105n47

224

dhi dhikr, 201

First Vatican Council, 242

Dignitatis Humanae (Second Vatican

Fish, Stanley, 268

Council), 46, 243, 262n58

Fogarthy, Michael, 240

dignity, 65, 67, 70, 73, 203–4

Frankfurt School, 22, 24

Dissertation on the Canon and the

freedom: in Bush doctrine, 8–10;

Feudal Law (Adams), 140 divine law, 16, 31, 116, 222–24; see also shari‘a doctrine of election, 121–22 Durgah Committee, Ajmer v. Syed Hussain Ali, 177 Dworkin, Ronald, 181

and faith, 47; and human dignity, 65–67, 69–70; limits on individual, 82; and spiritual authority, 62; see also specific freedoms Freedom House survey of free states, 231–33 freedom of conscience, 47, 60 freedom of expression, 46

East India Company; see British East India Company

freedom of religion, 18, 219, 266: in Christian political theory, 74–76,

El Fadl, Khaled Abou, 53

99n1, 251; Locke’s arguments for,

Elshtain, Jean Bethke, 27–28, 266–67

88; in national constitutions, 145;

Erdogan, Recep Tayyip, 9, 264n70

and pluralism, 46; state regulation

Essays on the Law of Nature (Locke),

of, 175–77, 179–81

161

freedom of speech, 99n2

essential practices test, 177–78, 192n6

freedom of thought, 18, 99n2, 122

eternal law, see divine law

freedom ratings of Muslim states,

Ethical Monotheism, 113 ethics in the Qur‘an, 204–6 European Union (EU), 9 Evangelium Vitae (John Paul II), 65–66 Eve, 30, 202–3, see also Adam excarnation, 64

Owen15006_dual.indb 282

232–33 The French Revolution as It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement (Wordsworth), 3, 16, 18, 19, 24 Friedman, Thomas, 4, 22, 25 Fukuyama, Francis, 7–8, 220n2 Fuller, C. J., 181

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Index—2 8 3

fundamentalism, 6, 44, 55, 254–55, 263n65

Hooker, Thomas, 148, 158 human dignity, 65, 67, 70, 73, 203–4 human law; see civil law

Gajendragadkar, P. B., 177, 180, 182

human rights: as grounded in biblical

Galanter, Marc, 175

revelation, 76; as historical, 81; vs.

Galston, William, 26–27, 266–67, 271

natural rights, 81; and religion,

Gaudium et Spes (Second Vatican

162–68; universality of, 68–73; see

Council), 243 Gelasian doctrine, 62

also specific human rights declarations Huxley, Julian, 57–58, 63, 64, 67

Gelasius I (pope), 62 Gerondi, Nissim, 49, 56n8

imperialism, 12–13, 20–21, 25, 70, 226

globalization, 67, 272

incarnation, 41, 64–65

Greenawalt, Kent, 174

In the Shade of the Qur‘an (Qutb), 13

Gutmann, Amy, 175

India, 5, 15; see also courts and religion

Habermas, Jürgen, 77, 83

Indian Constitution, 189, 192n2

Hakura, Fadi, 9

Indian court cases: Daniel Latifi

in India; Indian Constitution

ha-Meiri, Menahem, 114

v. Union of India, 191; Durgah

Hashmi, Sohail, 31, 266, 267, 270

Committee, Ajmer v. Syed Hussain

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 22,

Ali, 177; Seshammal v. State of Tamil

89, 92; Philosophy of Right, 92 Hegelian philosophy, 92, 94, 105n46 Hehir, Bryan, 46

Nadu, 180; Shrirur Math, 176–77, 179; Sri Venkatarama Devaru v. State of Mysore, 179

Herzog, Isaac Halevi, 50, 56n8

Innocent X (pope), Zel Domus, 271

hijackers, see terrorists

instinctive vs. instrumental violence,

Hindu religious texts, 184

44 instrumental-rationality thesis, 11

Hindu View of Life (Radhakrishnan), 187 Hindu/Muslim relations in India, 189–92 Hinduism, 174–92, 255; and Islam, 189–92; legal reform in, 184–86;

Integral Humanism (Maritain), 248, 250, 261n51 International Herald Tribune article by Thomas Friedman, 4 Iran: engagement with

role of courts in, 176–83; see also

constitutionalism, 233–36, 255; and

Indian court cases

modernity, 35n58; and religious

Hobbes, Thomas, 61, 174, 176, 267; Leviathan, 267; and Spinoza, 87, 120, 124 holy war, 3–4, 195

Owen15006_dual.indb 283

democracy, 217–18; and Western imperialism, 23, 35n58 Iraq, 232, 236: engagement with democracy, 4, 8–9, 25, 70; and

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284 —Index religion as basis for law, 53, 273nn6,

Juergensmeyer, Mark, 11, 26

8; and Western imperialism, 20; see

just war, 68–73

also Bush doctrine

justice, 68, 88, 123–24, 128, 207–8

irrationality thesis, 10–11 Ishmael of Modena, 50 Islam: and democracy, 195–98, 254–

Kant, Immanuel, 41, 89, 113, 138n42; relationship between religion and

55; and Hinduism, 189–92; and

morality, 138n42; on religion and

pluralism, 37, 43, 47, 51–55, 117;

Enlightenment, 17–19; Religion

response to modernity, 26; and

Within the Bounds of Reason Alone,

state, 215–19; and violence, 51–55, 195

10

Islamic enlightenment, 4–5, 23, 26

karam, 203–4; see also human dignity

Islamic jurisprudence, schools of, 227

Kelsen, H., 261n49

Italian People’s Party (PPI), 241–42,

Kepel, Gilles: The Revenge of God: The

246, 247 ius civile, see civil law ius gentium, see common law ius naturale, see natural law

Resurgence of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism in the Modern World, 7 Khaldun, Ibn, 227, 299; Muqaddima, 227 Khan, Mirza Abu Talib, 229–30:

jahili/jahiliyyah, 12–14

Masir-i Talibi, 230

James, William, 105n47

Khomeini (ayatollah), 98, 234, 255

Jefferson, Thomas, 18, 80, 81, 160

kingship, 48–49, 127, 129, 186

Jellinek, Georg, 162

Koran, see Qur‘an

Jewish political emancipation, 109–11 Jewish-Christian relations, 117

Laborem Exercens (John Paul II), 65

Jewish-Muslim relations, 116

language, 59, 79, 126

Jews, 6, 14, 113–19, 133–35

law, 76, 165–66; in Judaism, 114–17;

John Paul II (pope), 263n6; Centesimus Annus, 70; on dignity of human person, 65–67, 69–70; Evangelium Vitae, 65–66; funeral of as counterexample to sovereign individual theory, 57–58, 63; Laborem Exercens, 65; Veritatis Splendor, 66 John XXIII (pope), 46, 47 Judaism: as official state religion, 120–22; political and religious liberty and, 113–17; and secular government, 48–51

Owen15006_dual.indb 284

and religion in India, 175–78, 184; see also civil law; common law; divine law; moral law; natural law Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts (1648), 153–54 Le crépuscule de la civilisation (Maritain), 250 Leo XIII (pope), 46, 246, 252, 257n10: Aeterni Patris, 243; Rerum Novarum, 241 A Letter Concerning Toleration (Locke), 29, 60, 160–61, 225

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Index—2 8 5

Leviathan (Hobbes), 267 liberal constitutionalism; see constitutionalism liberal democracy, 25, 84–86, 196–97, 222, 248 liberalism, 20, 27, 37, 45–46, 83, 88–92,

Maritain, Jacques, 244, 246, 248; Christianity and Democracy, 250; Christianity and democracy theories, 249–52, 260n47, 261nn49, 51; on foundations of human rights, 173n91; Integral Humanism,

95, 105n47, 137n24, 165, 168, 220n5,

248, 250, 261n51; Le crépuscule de la

241, 248, 260n47, 268, 273n5

civilisation, 250; Man and the State,

liberal monism, see monism, liberal

251–52; as philosopher of Christian

liberal pluralism, see pluralism, liberal

Democracy, 246, 259n26; on Pius

liberal rationalism, see rationalism

XII’s stance on democracy, 253,

liberal republicanism, 86, 91

262n58; Régime temporel et de la

liberal tolerance, 83

liberté, 250; Religion and Culture,

libertarianism, 141, 166, 167

250; on religious foundations of

liberté, egalité, et fraternité (liberty,

human rights, 163, 173n91; on the

equality, and fraternity), 165, 167

Universal Declaration of Human

liberty, see freedom

Rights, 78–79

Lincoln, Bruce, 11–12

Marx, Karl, 17, 92

Locke, John, 29, 60–61, 87, 88, 224–25;

Marxism and Marxists, 84, 92–95, 245

Essays on the Law of Nature, 161;

Masir-i Talibi (Khan), 230

First Treatise on Government, 224;

Massachusetts Constitution of 1780,

A Letter Concerning Toleration, 29,

141, 145, 149–50

60, 160–61, 225; The Reasonableness

Maturidi school, 228

of Christianity, 104n35, 161; Second Treatise on Government, 224; on

Mehta, Pratap, 30, 267 Milman, Henry Hart, 270

separation of church and state,

Mishneh Torah (Maimonides), 49

160–61; Thoughts on Education, 161

modernity, 3–7, 13, 25, 62, 67, 133–35

Lukács, Georg, 105n47 Luther, Martin, 21–22; Against the Seditious Spirit, 22

monism, 27–28, 31, 45; liberal, 59–63; and protection of human rights, 72–73 Montesquieuean liberalism, 88–89

McVeigh, Timothy, 6

moral authority, 133–34

Madison, James, 40

moral law, 116, 127, 155

Maier, Hans, 257nn6, 12

morality, 112–16, 124, 211

Maimonides, Moses, 49, 111; Mishneh

Muqaddima (Khaldun), 227

Torah, 49 Majlis, 234–35; see also Iran Man and the State (Maritain), 251–52

Owen15006_dual.indb 285

Murray, John Courtney, 27, 47, 62–63, 262nn56 Muslims, 55, 189–92

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286 —Index Mu’tazili school, 31, 227–28, 237

Papini, Roberto, 31–32, 266, 267, 271 Peace of Augsburg, 62, 68

Na’ini, Muhammad (shaykh), 234

Peace of Westphalia, 62, 68, 269, 271

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein, 42

philosophers, 128–29

National Assembly of Pakistan, 236

philosophy, 59, 122, 125–27

natural law, 100n4; basis of in Islam,

philosophy of history, 91

Christianity and Judaism, 130;

Philosophy of Right (Hegel), 92

and constitutionalism, 223–24;

Pius IX (pope), 45, 267; Quanta Cura,

and human rights, 166–67; Jewish interpretation of, 114–16; in Puritan thought, 146; universality of in Christian thought, 77–78

45, 267; Syllabus of Errors, 45 Pius XI (pope), 241; Quadragesimo Anno, 45, 241 Pius XII (pope), 246, 252–54, 262n55

natural law theorists, 130

Plato, 126, 128

natural rights, 76, 80, 81, 83

pluralism: acceptance of, 42–43; and

natural science, 17

Catholicism, 44–48, 62, 248, 250;

natural theology, 41

cultural and political, 116–17; and

nature, 90

Hinduism, 183, 187, 189–92; and

Nehru, Jawaharlal, 15, 272

Islam, 51–55, 195–98; and Judaism,

Netherlands, 118–19, 122

48–51; liberal, 41; Maritain on, 250–

new world order, 7–8

51; and Puritanism, 140–41, 144–

New York Times columnist Thomas

46, 160; relationship with political

Friedman, 4

and religious authority, 37–42;

Newman, John Henry, 270–71, 273n5

and religion, 129, 162, 164, 268;

Nietzsche, Friedrich, 28, 79, 94–99;

and religious totalitarianism, 4;

Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 95–98 9/11 terrorist attacks, see September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks

Rousseau on, 61; see also tolerance political authority, see authority political covenant, 152–54

noble nature doctrine, 203–6

political emancipation of Jews, 109–11

nonviolence, 21–22; see also violence

political officials and their role, 152–54

Novak, David, 28–29, 266, 267, 269

political principles, 77–78

Nuri, Fadlullah (shaykh), 234

Politique et morale (Sturzo), 249 post-9/11 world, 5–8

Oakes, Urian, 155

Power, Samantha, 72

O’Brien, David, 45–46

PPI, see Italian People’s Party

Owen, John (Puritan theologian), 21

Prélot, Marcel, 252 private religion, 125, 185

Pakistan, 233–36

Protestantism, 22

Pangle, Thomas, 28, 266

public religion, 60, 125, 185

Owen15006_dual.indb 286

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Index—2 8 7

public repentence, 212–13 Puritans, 21, 140–68; authority

Rawls, John, 24, 27, 120; on ethics in public life, 260n47; and

of church and state, 156–59;

monism, 59; on public reason and

communal life of, 148–49;

relationship to religion, 258n17;

government in, 152–54; influence

state of nature foundation, 76;

on development of American

theory of justice, 20, 101n9

constitutionalism, 159–60; nonviolence philosophy, 21;

The Reasonableness of Christianity (Locke), 104n35, 161

relationship of church and state,

Reconstruction theology, 15

154–56; as source of Enlightenment

reform: of Hinduism by Hindus, 186–

ideas, 160–61; see also church

88; Indian opposition to British,

covenant; political covenant; social

185; in Islam, 209–15; by Muslims

covenant; specific covenant types

in India, 186; of shari‘a, 230, 233–36 Régime temporel et de la liberté

Qasim, Abd al-Karim, 53

(Maritain), 250

Quadragesimo Anno (Pius XI), 45, 241

Religion and Culture (Maritain), 250

Quanta Cura (Pius IX), 45, 267

religion and culture in Islamic

Qur‘an: adherence to law in India,

societies, 215–19

184; quotations from, 11–12,

religion and politics, 220n6

199, 201–15 passim; support for

Religion Within the Bounds of Reason

pluralism in, 52; universal and

Alone (Kant), 10

communitarian ethics in, 204–5; see

religious authority, see authority

also creation narrative in the Qur‘an

religious coercion, see coercion

Qutb, Sayyid, 26; Amrika allati Ra’aytu, 13; and secularization, 12–14, 44, 268; on separation of church and state, 18–19; In the Shade of the Qur‘an, 13

religious democracy in Islam, 217, 219 religious freedom, see freedom of religion religious liberty, see freedom of religion religious pluralism, see pluralism

Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli, 187; Hindu View of Life, 187 radical Enlightenment, 39, 47, 111

religious terrorists, see terrorists religious tolerance, see tolerance, religious

radical Islam, 5–7

religious violence, see violence

radical right, 24

representative government critique by

Rashi (rabbi), 115

Rousseau, 89

rationalism, 78–79, 91

The Republic (Cicero), 223

Ratzinger, Joseph, see Benedict XVI

republicanism, 161; see also liberal

(pope)

Owen15006_dual.indb 287

republicanism

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288 —Index Rerum Novarum (Leo XIII), 241

for, 111; and loss of self, 73; as

The Revenge of God: The Resurgence of

model for political system, 206;

Islam, Christianity, and Judaism in the Modern World (Kepel), 7

religious opposition to, 18, 23 Sefardim, 117–18

ritual, 124, 132, 149–50, 213

self, 63, 64, 65–73

Robertson, Pat, 6, 23

separation of church and state, 18,

Roman Catholic Church, see Catholic Church Rorty, Richard: on Dewey, 103n25;

207; and authority in India, 186–87; benefit to religion of, 19; in Islamic societies, 215–19; in Jewish

on Hegel, 105n46; identification of

thought, 110–11; John Locke on,

truth with power, 79–80, 101n15;

88, 160–61; in Puritan society, 154–

and liberal democracy, 20–21, 24,

56; violence engendered by, 61

83–84; on secularism, 105n47 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 61, 63–64, 89–91; The Second Discourse, 90; The Social Contract, 61, 89–90 Rudolph, Eric, 6

separation of religion and culture in Islamic societies, 215–19 September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, 3–5, 23, 39, 219n2, 255; see also post9/11 world; terrorists Seshammal v. State of Tamil Nadu, 180

Sachedina, Abdulaziz, 30, 31, 266, 267, 271 Samuel (Biblical kingmaker), 48

1780 Massachusetts Constitution, see Massachusetts Constitution shari‘a: development of as majority

Saraceni, G., 262n55

group, 52; and family law in Iraq,

Satsang case, 178–79

53; goal of Osama bin Laden

Satsangis, 178–80

for, 3; reform of, 229–30; Sayyid

Schaeuble, Wolfgang, 4

Qutb on, 12; status of Jews and

The Second Discourse (Rousseau), 90

Christians under, 116

Second Treatise on Government (Locke), 224 Second Vatican Council, 46, 47, 271; Dignitatis Humanae, 46, 243, 262n58; Gaudium et Spes, 243 Secrétariat International des Partis

Shari’ati, Ali, 98 shastras, 184 Shastri Yagnapurashdasji v. Muldas Bhundardas Vaishya, see Satsang case Shmuel, 49–50 Shrirur Math case, 176–77, 179

Démocratiques d’Inspiration

sifa madaniyya, 218

Chrétienne (SIPDIC), 246, 249,

Sikh acts of religious violence, 15

258n21

sin, 11, 142–43, 156–57

secular law, 49–50 secularism: and Islam, 13–14, 19, 210; and Judaism, 131–35; justification

Owen15006_dual.indb 288

SIPDIC, see Secrétariat International des Partis Démocratiques d’Inspiration Chrétienne

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Index—2 8 9

social contract, 75, 128

257n10, 260n32; and Italian

The Social Contract (Rousseau), 61,

People’s Party, 241–43; Politique et

89–90 social covenant, 146–51, 154, 159; as means of attaining ideal community, 149–51; and natural

morale, 249 Summa Theologiae (Aquinas), 75, 223–24 Supreme Court of India, 176–178,

law and liberty, 147–49; public

183, 189, 191, 192n6; see also Indian

manifestation of, 148–49; rituals of,

court cases

149–50; voluntary and consensual

SwamiNarayan, 179–80

nature of, 148 Socrates, 127–29

Talmud, 115

soulcraft, 60

Taylor, Charles, 64

sovereign individual, 57, 63; see also self

Temple Entry Act, 178–79

sovereign self; see self

Ten Commandments, 152

Spain, 117–19

terrorists, 23; as martyrs, 11–12; and

Spinner-Halev, Jeff, 55n1 Spinoza, Baruch, 28–29, 267; concept

modernity, 3, 26; of September 11, 2001 attack, 3–4, 11, 14

of freedom, 99n2; critique of, 127–

theocracy, 38, 40

29; definition of joy, 104n36; on

theological anthropology of John Paul

divine revelation, 137n30; overview,

II, 65–70

111–13; political philosophy of, 118–

theory of peace, 10

22; on public vs. private religion,

Thomas Aquinas, Saint, 75–76, 100n4,

123–26; purpose of religion, 137n32;

223–24; Summa Theologiae, 75,

on religious freedom in a liberal

223–24

democracy, 85–89, 99n1; Tractatus

Thoughts on Education (Locke), 161

Politicus, 128; Tractatus Theologico-

Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Nietzsche),

Politicus, 120–23, 125, 128 Spinoza, Benedict, see Spinoza, Baruch Sri Venkatarama Devaru v. State of Mysore, 179 state, 128, 155; see also separation of church and state state of nature, 74–76, 90–91, 159, 202 statescraft, 60

95–98 Tibi, Bassam, 5, 26, 35n56 Tierney, Brian, 100n4, 224 tolerance: liberal, 83; religious, 9, 25– 26, 268–71; of religions by the state, 60, 125, 134–35; see also pluralism Torah law, 49, 51, 52 totalitarianism, 4, 127, 251; see also fascism

Stoics, 76, 115, 223

Tractatus Politicus (Spinoza), 128

Sturzo, Luigi: and Christian

Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (Spinoza),

Democracy movement, 246–49,

Owen15006_dual.indb 289

120–23, 125, 128

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290 —Index Treaty of Westphalia, see Peace of Westphalia the Trust, 198–200, 212

Vatican II, see Second Vatican Council Veritatis Splendor (John Paul II), 66 violence: causes of, 10–16, 214;

Turkey, 9, 13, 221, 232, 237

defensive vs. offensive, 43–44;

Two Concepts of Liberty (Berlin), 81–82

and democratic peace theory, 8–11;

two swords metaphor, 27–28, 62

Enlightenment as reducing agent

two-way accommodation metaphor,

for, 16, 21–25; examples of, 14–15;

175, 178

Galston’s hypothesis regarding, 37– 42, 43; human tendency towards

U.S. See United States of America

in Qur‘an, 212; instrumental vs.

U.S. Commission on International

instinctive, 44; within Islam, 54,

Religious Freedom survey, 230–33 United States of America, 3–4, 53;

195; within Judaism, 51; modern use of, 3–7; prevention of, 61; see

Catholic community in, 47; reason

also just war; September 11, 2001

and law in, 76, 80; religious

terrorist attacks; terrorists

fundamentalism in, 6; Sayyid Qutb’s observations regarding,

Warraq, Ibn, 4–5

13; terrorist acts within, 6, 15;

Weber, Max, 87, 225

toleration of religious diversity,

Webster, Noah, 102n18

110, 135, 269; see also Bush doctrine;

Western imperialism; see imperialism

Puritans

Westphalia; see Peace of Westphalia

United States Supreme Court, 41

Willard, Samuel, 144, 154, 157

Universal Declaration of Human

Williams, Elisha, 144

Rights, 69, 79, 102n20, 165

Winthrop, John, 146–48, 155, 158

Universal Islamic Declaration of

Witte, John, Jr., 29–30, 266, 267

Human Rights, 54 universalism, 8, 20, 42–43, 68, 78, 205

Wordsworth, William: The French Revolution as It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement, 3, 16, 18, 19, 24

Vasak, Karl, 165 Vatican I, 242

Owen15006_dual.indb 290

Zel Domus (Innocent X), 271

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Owen15006_dual.indb 291

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Owen15006_dual.indb 292

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