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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: July 2011

18 - Church and state: the problem of authority

from IV - Secularity, reform and modernity
This chapter sketches out four historical and conceptual moments in the nineteenth-century attempt by West European thinkers to reimagine the tensions, reciprocal relations and boundaries between state and church as objectifications of inner relations within the historically structured, inwardly differentiated totality of human existence. During the Restoration period, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and G. W F. Hegel constructed ambitious, complex theoretical syntheses which both transformed romantic visions of personal, communal and ontological identity into systematic structures of differentiated totality. Historical narratives of cultural development and historical philosophies played a prominent role in the formulation and presentation of different perspectives on the church-state relation in nineteenth-century thought. Leopold von Ranke's works tended to emphasise the need for a transcendent foundation of ethical life. His histories of the emergence of modern nation states became histories of relations between religious universality and national individuality, between church and state, between transcendent and immanent deities.
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The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Political Thought
  • Online ISBN: 9780511973581
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