Modernity without Restraint: The Political Religions, the New Science of Politics, and Science, Politics, and Gnosticism

By Manfred Henningsen; Eric Voegelin | Go to book overview

6
The End of Modernity

1

Hobbes had discerned the lack of a theologia civilis as the source of difficulties that plagued the state of England in the Puritan crisis. The various groups engaged in the civil war were so heaven-bent on having the public order represent the right variety of transcendent truth that the existential order of society was in danger of floundering in the melee. It certainly was an occasion to rediscover the discovery of Plato that a society must exist as an ordered cosmion, as a representative of cosmic order, before it can indulge in the luxury of also representing a truth of the soul. To represent the truth of the soul in the Christian sense is the function of the church, not of civil society. If a plurality of churches and sects starts fighting for control of the public order, and none of them is strong enough to gain an unequivocal victory, the logical result can only be that, by the existential authority of the public representative, the whole lot will be relegated to the position of private associations within the society. This problem of existence was touched on several occasions in these lectures; it now requires a summary elucidation before the Hobbesian idea of man can be presented and evaluated. The analysis will suitably start from the points that have already been secured.

Christianity had left in its wake the vacuum of a de-divinized natural sphere of political existence. In the concrete situation of the late Roman Empire and the early Western political foundations, this vacuum did not become a major source of troubles as long as the myth of the empire was not seriously disturbed by the consolidation of national realms and as long as the church was the predominant civilizing factor in the evolution of Western society, so that Christianity in fact could function as a civil theology. As soon,

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Modernity without Restraint: The Political Religions, the New Science of Politics, and Science, Politics, and Gnosticism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Editor's Introduction 1
  • The Political Religions 19
  • Contents 21
  • Preface 23
  • 1 - The Problem 27
  • 2 - Akhenaton 34
  • 3 - Hierarchy 42
  • 4 - The Leviathan 53
  • 5 - The Inner-Worldly Community 59
  • 7 - Epilogue 70
  • A Note on Sources 72
  • The New Science of Politics - An Introduction 75
  • Contents 77
  • Foreword 79
  • Acknowledgements 81
  • Contents 83
  • Introduction 88
  • 1 - Representation and Existence 109
  • 2 - Representation and Truth 129
  • 3 - The Struggle for Representation in the Roman Empire 149
  • 4 - Gnosticism the Nature of Modernity 175
  • 5 - Gnostic Revolution the Puritan Case 196
  • 6 - The End of Modernity 220
  • Science, Politics, and Gnosticism - Two Essays 243
  • Contents 245
  • Preface to the American Edition 247
  • Part I - Science, Politics, and Gnosticism 249
  • 1 - Introduction 251
  • 2 - Science, Politics, and Gnosticism 257
  • 3 - The Murder of God 278
  • 4 - Note on Hegel's “philosophy of World History” 290
  • Part II - Ersatz Religion the Gnostic Mass Movements of Our Time 293
  • Ersatz Religion 295
  • Index 315
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