Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche


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Each is convinced that it is on the sid. Critically examining Christianity's oldest and deepest ideological roots, regardless of our own religious convictions or convictions about religion Drury compels us to reflect on our beliefs for the subtle ways they unwittingly implicate us in the violence we thought we had opposed. Required reading for religious and anti-religious thinkers, moralists and anti-moralists, for truth seekers and critics of truth, for idealists and realists of all persuasions. A fine scholarly work, yet written with a clarity that makes it accessible to audiences outside the academic community.

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Add to Basket. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the politics of the Twenty-first century, we find two equally arrogant and self-righteous civilizations confronting one another. Each is convinced that it is on the side of God, truth and justice, while its enemy is allied with Satan, wickedness and barbarism.

The language of diplomacy and compromise has been replaced by the language of jihad or the struggle against the cosmic forces of evil. Life is radicalized; and all choices are polarized. Politics properly understood is eclipsed. Drury urges us to transcend the Biblical view of the world. Instead, she argues in favour of a genuinely liberal, secular and pluralistic understanding of politics. Seller Inventory AAV More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Palgrave Macmillan, New Book.

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Shipped from UK. Established seller since Seller Inventory LQ Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory X. Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Religion is necessary to provide political society with moral order and stability. Of course, this is a highly questionable claim. History makes it abundantly clear that religion has been a most destabilizing force in politics—a source of conflict, strife, and endless wars.

But neoconservatives dogmatically accept the view of religion as a panacea for everything that ails America. Using religion as a political tool has two equally unsavory consequences. First, when religious beliefs become the guide for public policy, the social virtues of tolerance, freedom, and plurality are undermined, if they are not extinguished altogether.

The Yaron Brook Show: What is Killing Western Civilization?

Second, the use of religion as a political tool encourages the cultivation of an elite of liars and frauds who exempt themselves from the rules they apply to the rest of humanity. And this is a recipe for tyranny, not freedom or democracy. There have always been those who deluded themselves into thinking that they were akin to gods who are entitled to rule over ordinary mortals. But no one has described this mentality more brilliantly than Dostoevsky, when he created the figure of the Grand Inquisitor.

In his short story of the same title, Dostoevsky imagined that Jesus has returned to face a decadent and corrupt Church. As head of the Church, the Grand Inquisitor condemns Jesus to death, but not before having a long and interesting conversation with the condemned man. Jesus naively clings to the belief that what man needs above all else is freedom from the oppressive yoke of the Mosaic law, so that he can choose between good and evil freely according to the dictates of his conscience.

But we shall keep the secret, and for their happiness we shall allure them with the reward of heaven and eternity. Undeniably, there are strong similarities. Like the Grand Inquisitor, Strauss thought that society must be governed by a pious elite George Bush the second and the Christian fundamentalists who support him fit this role perfectly. Like the Grand Inquisitor, Strauss thought of religion as a pious fraud something that would alarm the Christian fundamentalists who are allied with the neoconservatives.

All the similarities between Strauss and the Grand Inquisitor notwithstanding, the Straussian position surpasses the Grand Inquisitor in its delusional elitism as well as in its misanthropy. This shows that while one need not be a religious thinker to be misanthropic, religion is an excellent vehicle for implementing misanthropic policies in public life.

The Grand Inquisitor presents his ruling elite as suffering under the burden of truth for the sake of humanity. So, despite his rejection of Christ, the Grand Inquisitor is modeled on the Christian conception of a suffering God who bears the burden for humanity. In contrast, Strauss represents his ruling elite as pagan gods who are full of laughter. Instead of being grim and mournful like the Grand Inquisitor, they are intoxicated, erotic, and gay.

And they are certainly not too concerned about the happiness of mere mortals. They have little pity or compassion for them. On the contrary, the pain, suffering, and tragedies of the mortals provide them with entertainment. The Trojan wars and similar tragic atrocities were festivals for the gods, intended for their pleasure and amusement.

Shadia Drury

Nietzsche thought that only when suffering is witnessed by gods did it become meaningful and heroic. Soaring high, Strauss discovered that there are no gods to witness human suffering; and finding the job vacant, he recruited his acolytes. Strauss thought that the best way for ordinary human beings to raise themselves above the beasts is to be utterly devoted to their nation and willing to sacrifice their lives for it.

He recommended a rabid nationalism and a militant society modelled on Sparta. He thought that this was the best hope for a nation to be secure against her external enemies as well as the internal threat of decadence, sloth, and pleasure. A policy of perpetual war against a threatening enemy is the best way to ward off political decay.

And if the enemy cannot be found, then it must be invented. For example, Saddam Hussein was an insignificant tyrant in a faraway land without the military power to threaten America. But the neoconservatives who control the White House managed to inflate the threat to gargantuan proportions and launched the nation into a needless war. And, like Strauss, they think of war as an antidote to moral decadence and depravity.

And this should make us wonder if they purposely launched the nation into a needless war because they were convinced of the salutary effects of war as such. There is a strong asceticism at the heart of the neoconservative ideology that explains why it appeals to the Christian Right. Neoconservatism dovetails nicely with the views that humanity is too wicked to be free; too much pleasure is sinful; and suffering is good because it makes man cry out to God for redemption.

With the neoconservatives and the Christian Right in power, Americans can forget about the pursuit of happiness and look forward to perpetual war, death, and catastrophe. And in the midst of all the human carnage and calamity that such policies are bound to bring, the Olympian laughter of the Straussian gods will be heard by those who have ears to hear it. In short, the Straussian elite makes the Grand Inquisitor look compassionate and humane in comparison.

The fact that so many of the most powerful men in America are self-proclaimed disciples of Leo Strauss is rather troublesome. Shulsky was responsible for finding intelligence that would help to make the case for war in Iraq. We know now that the intelligence was false and misleading.

Another important Straussian close to the Bush administration is William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and chairman of the Project for the New American Century , in which the neoconservative foreign policy is clearly outlined. For Strauss as for Machiavelli, only the constant threat of a common enemy could save a people from becoming soft, pampered, and depraved.

Strauss would have admired the ingenuity of a color code intended to inform Americans of the looming threats and present dangers, which in turn makes them more than willing to trade their liberty for a modicum of security.

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Paul Wolfowitz , deputy secretary of defense and assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney, is also a self-proclaimed follower of Strauss. And what better solution is there to secular liberal sloth than a war effort? New York: Library of Liberal Arts, I am very suspicious of this interpretation of the message of Jesus. Deutsch and Walter Nicgorski, eds. New York: Jewish Publication Society, , p. Pangle, ed.

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Chicago: University of Chicago Press, , pp. Gary J. Schmitt and Abram N. Deutsch and John A. Murley eds. Drury is Canada Research Chair in Social Justice at the University of Regina, where she is professor of philosophy and political science. Print English Selections.

Why did Trump strike Syria? Relationship With Egypt. Turkey in Transition? Lion's Den :: Daniel Pipes Blog. Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries. The Arabs had a country. The Islamic State is attaining its key goal, and U. While the Muslim Brotherhood gets all the ink, the Salafists go on a rampage. Egypt, I like your style. The warning bells are ringing.

To the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. A test for the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt beyond Mubarak.


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    Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche
    Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche
    Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche
    Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche
    Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche
    Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche
    Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche
    Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche
    Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics and the Western Psyche

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