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Religion, Privacy and the Rise of the Modern State 1

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Abstract This article discusses the role of the category Religion in the modern state formation. The liberal private/public religion/state rhetoric plays a central part in the “rise” of the modern state. The binary oppositions of this rhetoric are crucial to the creation of a very unique type of society, which serves as the basis for the formation of the modern state. With reference to Russell McCutcheon, this essay examines this process, drawing on examples from early modern political philosophy (e.g., Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau), before explicitly tackling the question of the role of religion by addressing two German (Fischer and Böckenförde) authors in particular.

Affiliations: 1: Department of the Study of Religions, Appelstraße 11a Leibniz University Hannover 30167 Hannover Germany


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