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Chapter Summary

Counter to modern political wisdom, which often upholds fear as the primary political passion, the popes were politically successful because their Christian spiritual sovereignty, was not based on the power over life and death. Of all relationships, marriage was the most educational, because it was the most intimate, and thus the one where passion could most freely be spent. The theological order that Maistre praised had encouraged relatively transparent communal relations based on linguistic exchange. Having turned history into the measure of politics, it offers a perspective on the past that scholars use in the present to argue politically about the future. The first was that of the ravaging barbarians, lovers of freedom, those trope figures of Enlightenment historiography from Montesquieu to Hume, who founded European politics by making kings reign. The second was Christianity, a religion that promoted free mores by emphasizing the individuals sole moral responsibility before God.

Keywords: Christianity; Hume; Maistre; Montesquieu; popes



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