Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe, from the French Revolution to the Great War

Michael Burleigh


In this masterful, trendy, and authoritative ebook, Michael Burleigh provides us an epic heritage of the battles over faith in sleek Europe. reading the ways that politics and faith have motivated one another during the last 2 hundred years, he unearths that all through heritage the 2 geographical regions have interacted in advanced and infrequently deadly methods -- simply as they nonetheless do this day. the general impact used to be a frequent bring up in secularism and a demystification of the ability of politics.

With mind-blowing scope, Burleigh encompasses the philosophies of the Enlightenment and the effect of thinkers like Maistre and Bonald and Lamennais, painters like Zoffany and David, the Catholic Emancipation hero O'Connell, in addition to the pseudo-religious points of Marxism. whereas the 19th century observed the alternative of the confessional by way of the liberal kingdom, it additionally observed the start of ideological fanaticisms that might in attaining huge, immense strength within the 20th century. because the nation started to colonize parts of lifestyles the place it formerly hadn't ventured, it laid the principles for either the gentle totalitarianism of the trendy bureaucratic welfare country and the extra sinister police states of Communists and nationwide Socialists. the main violent and repressive of those structures mimicked some of the capabilities of faith. even though liberalism used to be finally restored to the continent in 1945 and 1989, a number of the subject matters that Burleigh highlights right here, particularly the necessity for civic religions, have assumed a negative relevance as Europe reacts to the specter of Al Qaeda.

Earthly Powers is a magisterial background that sheds new gentle at the momentous struggles among church and kingdom, from the French Revolution to the totalitarian pursuits of the 20 th century. Written with wonderful breadth and class, it is a uniquely robust portrait of 1 of the nice tensions in glossy background, one who is still performed out at the global level today.

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