Christianity, politics, and secular religions

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“The Church as Ship” by Jacob Gerritsz. Source: Utrecht, Catharijneconvent.

Next Friday (November 20, 4:00 PM CET) we’ll have an interesting online workshop on the relationship between “Christianity, politics, and secular religions” hosted by the University of Public Service. It is a special honor for me that such outstanding scholars and public intellectuals accepted my invitation as William T. Cavanaugh and Patrick Deneen from the US, Phillip Blond from the UK, Hans Otto Seitschek from Germany, and Michal Gierycz from Poland.

A brief description

The current politico-theological debates in the West have deep historical roots. The “rise of the state as a process of secularization” as the German jurist Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde put it, created a public sphere where Christian churches lost much of their political influence, while the sources of individual ethos and social cohesion became increasingly problematic. This challenge was answered by totalitarian regimes by the creation of new “political” religions, while liberal democracies insisted on maintaining religious and ideological neutrality, even if in a highly ambiguous fashion, some of them never abandoning the idea of a “civil religion” of the nation-state. The very proliferation of political, civil, or – more broadly speaking – “secular” religions raises the question whether the traditional conceptualizations of secularization are still valid, or Christianity itself faces a new situation in which Christian churches, Christian democratic parties and political actors need to redefine their relationship to a newly emerging empire. A Christian contribution to the politics of the future seems to depend on giving an appropriate response to this question (and many other related ones) in a both theoretical and practical sense.


1. Hans-Otto Seitschek: Totalitarianisms as political religions in the 20th century: historical and philosophical reflections
2. William T. Cavanaugh: The splendid idolatry of nationalism
3. Tamás Nyirkos: The proliferation of secular religions: theoretical and practical aspects
4. Michal Gierycz: The EPP’s role in anthropological disputes within the EU
5. Patrick J. Deneen: Liberal and Post-Liberal Theology: From One City to Two
6. Phillip Blond: Christianity and Empire – Realizing the Universal

The event is open for everyone interested. For more details, click here.