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Civil Religion. The Controversy between William Warburton and Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Rosanovich, Damián J.

Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte, Bd. 60-61 (2020), Iss. 0: S. 121–139

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Rosanovich, Damián J.


The purpose of this paper is to clarify the controversy between W. Warburton and J. J. Rousseau on civil religion, especially with regard to the relevance of this concept for the political theory of both philosophers. In order to analyze this, we consider (I) the relationshipbetween Church and State in Warburton and the importance of religion for the political order, the significance of a harmonious alliance between Churchand State and the pertinence of Christianity for this association. Furthermore, we explain (II) Rousseau’s categorization of civil religion with regard to thedeficiency of the intellect, the necessity to complement it and the particularcharacter of religion. Finally, we expose (III) the dilemma of the tolerance ofthese theories.


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Civil Religion – The Controversy between William Warburton and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Von Damián J. Rosanovich 121