Illusion, Irony, and Tragedy

James Davison Hunter

in To Change the World

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199730803
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199777082 | DOI:
Illusion, Irony, and Tragedy

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Politics has become a “social imaginary” that defines the horizon of understanding and the parameters for action. What is never challenged is the proclivity to think of the Christian faith and its engagements with culture in political terms. For all, the public has been conflated with the political. But the ressentiment that marks the way they operate makes it clear that a crucial part of what motivates politics is a will to dominate. However, for politics to be about more than power, it depends upon a realm that is independent of the political process. The deepest irony is that the Christian faith has the possibility of autonomous institutions and practices that could be a source of ideals and values that could elevate politics to more than a quest for power. Instead, by nurturing its resentments, they become functional Nietzcheans, participating in the very cultural breakdown they so ardently strive to resist.

Keywords: social imaginary; public; negation; democracy vs. state; functional Nietzscheans; politics; politicization; ressentiment

Chapter.  3985 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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