Essays on the Philosophical Nexus between Religion and Politics. Volume 1


Emanuel L. Paparella
Barry University, Miami Shore, FL, USA

Series: Religion and Society
BISAC: REL084000

This proposed book consists of 36 chapters written over three years (2014-2017) on the theme of the historical nexus between democracy and religion. It takes a sweeping panoramic cultural and anthropological view on the theme that is in some way connected to the following philosophical conundrums: myth/history, poetical/scientific, political/transcendent, freedom/determinism, ideological/historical, power/justice, law/love, grand narrative/positivistic, hermeneutics, transcendence/immanence, secular/religious, liberal/fascist, freedom/human rights, revelation/positivism, democracy/political corruption, moral compass/power, guilt/honor, democracy/honoring truth, ethical tradition/historical, secular/religious humanism, public/private spirituality and spiritual identity/political identity. All of these subthemes are alluded to in the titles of the chapters and then philosophically explored. The chapters also venture into uncharted territory. From the very beginning, they often challenge taken-for-granted assumptions about history, progress, science, the secular and the sacred. The goal is not so much to solve those perennial conundrums, but to point to their relevancy for getting some effective handle on the varied contemporary existential predicaments in politics, in environmental science and in spirituality. One chapter that will render the core idea of the collection is “Eight Scholars’ Views (Dante, Husserl, Levinas, Dawson, Weiler, Habermas, Eisenstadt and Troeltsch) of the Loss of European Spiritual Identity.” The target audience includes the educated layman of a philosophical bend, but it also includes contemporary trends in ethics, spirituality and politics. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Essay 1. Is There a Place for Public Religious Expression in a Secular Polity?

Essay 2. Free Speech, Historical Accuracy and Anti-Catholic Bias in the Enlightened 21st Century

Essay 3. Revisiting the Issue of the European Union’s Cultural Identity

Essay 4. Do Revolutions Give Rise to Religious Fanaticism?

Essay 5. On Greece, Democracy, Greek-Russian Orthodoxy and Putin

Essay 6. The Medieval Monasteries as Precursors of the Western Cultural Identity

Essay 7. Is the Transcendence of Religion Essential for Proper Cultural Identity?

Essay 8. History as an Instrument of Policy: Are There Two Different Post-World War II European Grand Narratives?

Essay 9. The Spiritual Values of the EU’s Founding Fathers

Essay 10. Is Western Civilization Doomed? A Review Essay

Essay 11. Sundry Reflections on the Politics of Religion

Essay 12. Musings on Nihilism, Atheism, Existentialism, Terrorism and Faith

Essay 13. Selective Grief and Outrage: Ideology, Religion and Political Hypocrisy

Essay 14. The Consequences of Inappropriately Mixing Religion and Politics

Essay 15. Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing? Philosophical Reflections on Atheism and the Interface of Science and Religion

Essay 16. Ruminations on Western Humanism: Secular vs. Religious, or Are They Complementary?

Essay 17. Western Identity and Pagan Mythology

Essay 18. Christianity as Law vs. Christianity as Love

“True to form, my fellow Yale alumnus Dr. Emanuel L. Paparella has once again come out with a brilliant book of essays. This one deals with the thorny but perennial theme of the interface between Religion and Politics, two human phenomena which have had a love-hate relationship from time immemorial within the history of civilizations. Indeed, the nexus religion-politics has constituted a passionate scholarly concern of his for several decades. It appears not only in his Ph.D. dissertation on the Concept of Providence within the philosophy of history of Giambattista Vico, presented in the late 80s at Yale University, but in just about all of his extraordinary books within the field of cultural anthropology. Dr. Paparella has been reflecting long and hard on this thorny subject. This book will delight readers interested in the history and development of civilizations. It is replete with original insights and is nothing short than the distillation of years of reflections on the subject. Those reflections will prove essential to any contemporary attempt at rescuing our troubled Western civilization which Dr. Paparella describes as a civilization in search of its soul.” Dr. Michael Vena, Professor Emeritus, Southern Connecticut State University

“Emanuel L. Paparella has for many years researched the hot theme of the nexus between religion and politics, or religion and democracy. He has done so on a purely theoretical level but also on an historical level, thus exploring a vast field of knowledge. He possesses a consummate ability to relate to each other different cultural traditions from which he is able to derive original points of reflection. The theme of the nexus religion and politics, given our current philosophical confusion on fundamental values, is, in my opinion, central for the construction of a society which remains free and just, as professor Paparella certainly augurs.”Professor Ernesto Paolozzi, University of Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples, Italy

“Dr. Paparella’s choice of subjects is wide and varied, reflecting on problems both old and new, and makes for engaging, thought provoking reading. Though it has been said there is nothing new under the sun, reading Dr. Paparella’s work gives one a new understanding and appreciation for the great philosophers through the ages, and an invigorating direction for the future.” Professor Michael Newman, Broward College, Davie, FL

“Democracy is not a political concept but it is a way of life. It is a fundamental axiom of a healthy society. The conversation between life and democracy is a constant process and includes the nexus between democracy and religion. Professor Paparella’s essays on the nexus between Democracy and Religion, masterfully unveil the truths in this nexus, without avoiding ideological, theoretical or political conflicts. They search in depth, under the surface of contemporary practices and events, for true relationships and communications between religion, democracy and a healthy society.” Thanos Kalamidas, Chief Editor Ovi magazine & Ovi Project

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