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The Resource The stillborn God : religion, politics, and the modern West, Mark Lilla

The stillborn God : religion, politics, and the modern West, Mark Lilla

Label
The stillborn God : religion, politics, and the modern West
Title
The stillborn God
Title remainder
religion, politics, and the modern West
Statement of responsibility
Mark Lilla
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Award
New York Times Notable Book, 2007
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ This searching history of western thinking about the relationship between religion and politics was inspired not by 9/11, but by Nazi Germany, where, says University of Chicago professor Lilla (The Reckless Mind ), politics and religion were horrifyingly intertwined. To explain the emergence of Nazism’s political theology, Lilla reaches back to the early modern era, when thinkers like Locke and Hume began to suggest that religion and politics should be separate enterprises. Some theorists, convinced that Christianity bred violence, argued that government must be totally detached from religion. Others, who believed that rightly practiced religion could contribute to modern life, promoted a “liberal theology,” which sought to articulate Christianity and Judaism in the idiom of reason. (Lilla’s reading of liberal Jewish thinker Hermann Cohen is especially arresting.) Liberal theologians, Lilla says, credulously assumed human society was progressive and never dreamed that fanaticism could capture the imaginations of modern people—assumptions that were proven wrong by Hitler. If Lilla castigates liberal theology for its naïveté, he also praises America and Western Europe for simultaneously separating religion from politics, creating space for religion, and staving off “sectarian violence” and “theocracy.” Lilla’s work, which will influence discussions of politics and theology for the next generation, makes clear how remarkable an accomplishment that is. (Sept. 14) --Staff (Reviewed July 9, 2007) (Publishers Weekly, vol 254, issue 27, p49)
  • Noted historian Lilla's (Committee on Social Thought, Univ. of Chicago; The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics ) newest book is according to the back cover "a sobering and thought-provoking work making us question what we thought we knew about religion, politics, and the fate of civilizations." Lilla helps us to take stock and, as he writes in his introduction, "think harder about how we live now and what is required if we wish our experiment to continue." He addresses the strengths and weaknesses of current political thought and the modern institutions we take for granted, and he further distinguishes among the Ethical God, the Bourgeois God, the Redeeming God, and the Stillborn God of our current political thought. This is a fascinating and edifying analytical history of ideas offering many observations, among them, that our world is becoming as fragile as the medieval world—increasingly intolerant, dogmatic, and fearful. For readers who love theology and philosophy as well as such thinkers as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Immanuel Kant, Lilla's reasoned survey of secular and religious politics is a major gift to modern thought. Recommended for academic and public libraries.—Gary P. Gillum, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT --Gary P. Gillum (Reviewed September 1, 2007) (Library Journal, vol 132, issue 14, p140)
  • An elegant and timely investigation of the rise, and fall, and rise, of political theology. Once upon a time, everyone assumed religion and politics went hand in hand. Here, Lilla (Committee on Social Thought/Univ. of Chicago; The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics, 2001, etc.) traces the relatively recent Western divide between the two. Lilla opens by distinguishing three different kinds of political theology—those that imagine God as immanent, remote or transcendent—and by sketching the different ways Judaism and Christianity conceive of God's involvement with the world. He then tours post-medieval Western thought. On one end sits Hobbes (who, with Locke and Hume, untangled religion from statecraft); on the other end sit Kant and Hegel. In between those two poles is the most significant section of the book—Lilla's reading of Rousseau's "The Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar," a section of Emile (and the most sustained treatment Rousseau ever offered of religion). Rousseau was the first to articulate the belief that religion is an expression of man's essential goodness. In wanting to have it both ways—wanting a secular politics shot through with some domesticated sense of piety—Rousseau was, in a sense, undermining the profound break that his forebears had made with religion. The titular stillborn God is Rousseau's step-child: The liberal religion Emile spawned was dealt a paralyzing blow in the mid-20th century, because it ultimately couldn't stand up to the monstrous reemergence of the political theology of Nazi Germany. Lilla offers no tidy answers at the end of the book. Given the purchase political theology has on so many people, even today, Westerners must ask whether they wish the separation between politics and religion to continue. Dense and rewarding. (Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2007)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
211741
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Lilla, Mark
Dewey number
201/.72
Index
index present
LC call number
BL65.P7
LC item number
L55 2007
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Religion and politics
  • Religion and politics
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
religion, politics, and the modern West
Label
The stillborn God : religion, politics, and the modern West, Mark Lilla
Link
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip079/2007002470.html
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages [313]-321) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The crisis -- The great separation -- The ethical God -- The bourgeois God -- The well-ordered house -- The redeeming God -- The stillborn God
Control code
653154
Dimensions
20 cm
Extent
334 pages
Isbn
9781400043675
Lccn
2007002470
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781400043675
  • (OCoLC)80180673
Label
The stillborn God : religion, politics, and the modern West, Mark Lilla
Link
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip079/2007002470.html
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages [313]-321) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The crisis -- The great separation -- The ethical God -- The bourgeois God -- The well-ordered house -- The redeeming God -- The stillborn God
Control code
653154
Dimensions
20 cm
Extent
334 pages
Isbn
9781400043675
Lccn
2007002470
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781400043675
  • (OCoLC)80180673

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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