Religion and the Modern State

Religion and the Modern State

Religion and the Modern State

Religion and the Modern State

Excerpt

During the last twenty years modern civilization has been undergoing a series of shocks which has almost destroyed the old complacency and self-confidence that marked the pre-war world. In those days it seemed as though nothing could shake the stability of our civilization, and the average man was content to take it for granted and to concentrate his attention on securing a good place for himself in it, and appropriating as many as possible of the advantages that it had to offer.

To-day the world is on the move again, and no one can tell where it is going or what will happen next: whether our civilization is going to recover its stability or whether it will collapse in ruins. Men can no longer help realizing that something very serious is the matter, and that unless something is done about it, and done quickly, we shall all find ourselves in a desperate plight. And human nature being what it is, it is only natural that people should look for some simple and straightforward remedy for their difficulties, and that they should tend to put the blame on some particular set of individuals—whether it be bankers or Bolsheviks, or nationalist politicians or international financiers. We see the result of that state of mind in Germany to-day; but it is far from being limited to Germany, in fact one may say that it is almost a universal phenomenon, and that it only becomes more accentuated as the situation becomes more serious.

Now I do not wish to deny that the present situation does involve particular responsibilities, and does . . .

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