Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
Szakolczai Arpad;
Religion and the Nation
The National State as a Project of Inner-Worldly Eschatology: Eric Voegelin┐s Weberian Genealogy of the ┐Spirit┐ of the Modern State
Optional Fields
University of Konstanz, Germany
This paper argues that the ideas of Eric Voegelin, one of the earliest, most faithful and still most important followers of Max Weber, on the links between religion and the nation-state in modernity, represent a still untapped resource for the study of nations and nationalism; potentially the 'missing classic' of the field. In its first part, by taking up the example of the French Revolution and its three cardinal values, liberty, equality and fraternity, and by analyzing the classic works of Benedict Anderson and Ernest Gellner on nationalism, and their shortcomings, it poses the problem of the reasons why nationalism has become, in contrast to liberalism and socialism, the black sheep of the family of modern political ideologies. It then presents Voegelin┐s contribution, focusing on the concept of intramundane or inner-worldly eschatology. The paper closes by connecting inner-worldly eschatology to the rise of the nation state, in the broader context of activist enthusiasm, world suspicion, and the politics of suffering.
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