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Emilio Gentile, an internationally renowned authority on fascism and totalitarianism, argues that politics over the past two centuries has often taken on the features of religion, claiming as its own the prerogative of defining the fundamental purpose and meaning of human life. Secular political entities such as the nation, the state, race, class, and the party became theEmilio Gentile, an internationally renowned authority on fascism and totalitarianism, argues that politics over the past two centuries has often taken on the features of religion, claiming as its own the prerogative of defining the fundamental purpose and meaning of human life. Secular political entities such as the nation, the state, race, class, and the party became the focus of myths, rituals, and commandments and gradually became objects of faith, loyalty, and reverence.Gentile examines this "sacralization of politics," as he defines it, both historically and theoretically, seeking to identify the different ways in which political regimes as diverse as fascism, communism, and liberal democracy have ultimately depended, like religions, on faith, myths, rites, and symbols.Gentile maintains that the sacralization of politics as a modern phenomenon is distinct from the politicization of religion that has arisen from militant religious fundamentalism. Sacralized politics may be democratic, in the form of a civil religion, or it may be totalitarian, in the form of a political religion. Using this conceptual distinction, and moving from America to Europe, and from Africa to Asia, Gentile presents a unique comparative history of civil and political religions from the American and French Revolutions, through nationalism and socialism, democracy and totalitarianism, fascism and communism, up to the present day. It is also a fascinating book for understanding the sacralization of politics after 9/11....

Title : Politics as Religion
Author :
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ISBN : 9780691113937
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 168 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Politics as Religion Reviews

  • AC
    2019-05-21 05:49

    This is not a republication or rewriting of Gentile's study of political liturgy in Itally, but a sustained and general study of the sacralization of politics ("Political Religion") as such - and covers everything from its beginnings in the writings of Rousseau and in the cults (myths, symbols, and liturgies) of the American and French Revolutions, through Mazzini, Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalinism -- with a final chapter on Third World nationalizing socialisms of Kim il Sung, Ceausescu, Mao, Nkrumah (in which he follows a path first opened by Gregor) -- ending back with American political pieties. The book is marred by too much emphasis (in my opinion) on general, theoretical discussions -- but they are generally astute, and the brief discussion of the physiognomy of totalitarian regimes at pp. 46-48 is brilliant and itself worth the price of the book. But the point proven, the book (150 fairly dense pages) could have been halved.