GOD, MAN AND POLITICS: THE POLITICAL
PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY
OF JACQUES MARITAIN
HWA YOL JUNG
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
lra Yol Jung
The author would like to express his deep gratitude to
Professor Manning J. Dauer, the chairman of his doctoral supervisory
committee, for his discerning guidance and warm personal encouragement
without which this dissertation would have been impossible. He is also
grateful for the assistance in the beginning of this dissertation given
by Professor Alfred Diamant, who is now teaching at Haverford College,
Pennsylvania. He is deeply indebted to his doctoral committee members:
Professors Oscar Svarlien, Ernest R. Bartley, Frederick H. Hartmann,
Arnold J. Heidenheimer of the Department of Political Science and
Professor George R. Bartlett of the Department of Philosophy.
The author is grateful to his wife who has read and typed a part
of this dissertation. Finally, this dissertation is a token expression
of the author's appreciation for the teachers and friends who have given
him their moral support and financial aid since his arrival in this
country in 1954.
TABLE W CONTENTS
ACKMOWLEDGUNHTS ..... . .... ......... ii
INTRODUCTION . . ..... . ...... 2
SECTION I. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICAL
I. TI STATE OF POLITICAL PHILOPHY .. . . . 5
II. GOb AMD POLITICS . . . . . . . . 34
III. TM POLITICS OF CHRISTIAN THlLOGY . . . . . 56
IV. DgIOC1ACT AND CRISTIAN TO~LOGY . . . . . 97
SICTION II. TM ISM AMB JACQWS MARITAIN
V. TH DMCELOfWMT W6 TMISM( . . .. . . . 115
VI. TH MATrME OF TUIS4 . . . . . . .. 134
VII. TI~ISM AND JACQIS MARITAIN . . . . . 150
VIII. TI PHIIDSOPICAL REVOLTS W JACQWS MAINTAIN . . 181
SECTION III. TM FOmBATION OF JACQWS MARITAIM'S
IX. TH) PHILOSOPHICAL AND TOBLOGICAL FOWBTIOW OF
MAINTAIN'S POLITICAL PRILO9SOPR . . . . .. 228
X. TE SPECULATIVE ORDR . . . . . ... .. 248
XI. TR PRACTICAL ORDIR . . . . . . . . 272
SECTION IV. THE POLITICAL PHILfOOFHY OF
XII. MARITAIN'S PHILOSPITY OF CULTURE ANW SOCIETY:
A THIOCEMTRIC HMANI SM . . . . . *. 0 296
XIII. HAN: PESONALITY AND IWIVIDUALITY . . . 347
XIV. TH MATURE OF POLITICAL SOCIETY . . . . . 365
Natural Law and Wumn Rights . . ...... 369
The Common Good . . . . .. 403
Maritain's Philosophy of International Relatieas.. 412
The Relation of Church and State
. . . . . 422
XV. MARITAIN'S PSERSALIST PHILOS IPR OF
SECTION V. ceOsCLUSI
XVI. COWCLe . . .
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPY . .
I. DIAGRAM F THE ORERS .
1. DIAGRAM OF TM SCIENCES .
III. TM1 DIVISION OF PMILOINPT .
BIOGRAPHICAL SKECH . . .
DIOCRACt . ..
* 0 0 0
* 0 *
; ; 0 ; ; 567
S; . 568
S. . . 569
. . . 570
My teachings are very easy to understand and very
easy to practice,
But no one can understand them and no one can
In my words there is a principle.
In the affairs of men there is a system.
Because they know not these,
They also know me not.
Since there are few that know me,
Therefore I am distinguished.
Therefore the Sage wears a coarse cloth on top
And carries jade within his bosom.
-- Lao Tzu
In the beginning was Methodology. This is the spirit that more
or less represents the present state of political science. Arnold
Brecht aptly cements that the twentieth century is the century of
methodology in the social sciences. The primary concern of political
scientists with methodology is related to "the decline of political phi-
losophy" in the contemporary world.
The decline of political philosophy implies the fact that we are
no longer concerned with the question of a good political life. The
exclusion of the question of a good political life from the "cognitive"
research of political science is due to the idea that a value theory has
no place in political sciencee (science in the sense of the natural sciences
like physics and chemistry). Thus, the cognitive theory of political
science is tantamount to the denial of the idea that a good political life
is worth seeking.
A sound political philosophy is one which can legitimately search
for a good political life as once did the classical philosophers, Plato
and Aristotle. The question of a good political life implies a value
system. Therefore, in political science, the search for a good and
better political life bee~mes a perennial question. It is the most
pressing quest for the political philosopher and the political scientist
to provide a system for political man and political society in order that
the life of mankind as a collection of moral agents may be worth living.
The political philosophies of Christian theologians provide us
with value system which are derived froa their theological concepts and
dispositions. In contemporary political science, the investigation of
their political ideas and philosophies has been unduly neglected. As
the main title of this essay indicates, a trinity of "Ged, Man and Politics"
suggests a possibility for what we might call "political theology."
Political theology, from a political point of view, is that part of
political philosophy whose principles are derived ultimately from what
Jacques Maritain is a Catholic theologian and philosopher. It
is hoped that an examination of his political philosophy and theology
will be a small contribution to the systematic analysis of political
theology. As it will be shown, his political philosophy is deeply rooted
in his Thomistic metaphysics and theology. Therefore, what he says on
a metaphysical and theological level is closely related to his cultural
and political views. As William Ernest Hocking has once said, there is
no settled truth. Philosophy, conceived as perennial quest for truth,
opens the door to the examination of the political philosophy and theology
of Jacques Maritain.
POLITICAL PNILOPHY AnB POLITICAL THEOLOGY
TH1 STATE OF POLITICAL PHILOOOPNH
The contemporary scene finds "the science of politics"1 pre-
occupied and hopelessly entangled in a labyrinth of heated and un-
resolved controversies over methodological problems or what is ironically
called a "methodology of methodology."2 Professor Arnold Brecht aptly
describes the state of political science when he says that the twentieth
century '. . has become the methodological century in the social
The voluminous literature concerning the affairs of politics and
the study of politics emphasizes the scientista" and the "scientific-ness"
which characterize the modern Zeitgeist, somewhat belatedly fulfilling
the prophetic understanding of Auguste Comte. The outcome of this would
1"The science of politics" here refers to a cognitivist definition
of scieoee. See, for example, Hans Kelsen, "Science and Politics,"
American Political Science Review, XLY (September, 1951), pp. 641-61.
2Arnold A. egew, "Comment on Smith and Apter: or, Whatever
Happened to the Great Issues?" American Political Science Review, LI
(September, 1957), p. 765.
political Theory: The Foundations of Twentieth-Century
Political Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959), p. 5.
4Bernard Crick, a British political scientist, deplores the
scientific orientation of American political science in his American
Science of Politics: Its Origins and Conditions (Berkeley and Los
Angeles: University of California Press, 1959).
Auguste Coate's sociologist is based upon his categorization of
the three stages of the intellectual development of the West: theological,
seen self-evident, if not self-defeating. Such a preoccupation would
lead to methodological solipsism, hence to the poverty of creative,
constructive political philosophy upon which rests not only the foundation
of a political society, but also the guidance and direction of the
science of politics. Despite the mple evidence that scientifically-
minded political scientists have attempted to -epley Ockham's razor to
sever the whisker of philosophy from the science of politics, Professor
Carl J. Friedrich has concisely illustrated the indispensable correlation
between philosophy and the science of politics.5 And John Plamenatz of
Oxford University firmly believes that political philosophy cannot be,
and is not, dead.6
Unfortunately, the extreme emphasis on methedelegy and the attempt
at scientific method as a means of studying "the objective society"7 has
metaphysical and scientific. The theological and the metaphysical stages
are the things of the past; the scientific stage is distinctively a
modern phenomenon. See a concise exposition of Auguste Comte in Harry
Elmer Barnee, 'The Social and Political Philosophy of Auguste Coete:
Positivist Utopia and the Religion of Humanity," An Introduction to the
History of Sociology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948),
The immediate influence of objectivity in the social sciences is
a more recent event. The sociology of Mx Weber has a decisive influence
on formulating the objective mood of contemporary social science. See
his Methodology of the Soctal Sciencq, tr. and ed. Edward A. Shils and
Henry A. Finch (Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1949).
5See his "Political Philoeephy and the Seienee of Politics,"
Approaches to the Study of Politics, ed. Roland Young (Evanston:
Northwestern University Press, 1958), pp. 172-88; Leo Strauss, What.
Is Political Philosophy? And Other Itudies (Glencee, Ill.: Free Press,
1959); John Plamenatz, "The See of Political Theory," Political Studies,
VIII (February, 1960), pp. 37-47.
7This phrase is taken from Everett Knight, he Objective Society
(New York: George Braziller, 1960).
only a false claim to be truly in the spirit of the Enlightenment. As
the reputed historian of ideas Carl L. Backer show, the "climates of
opinion" in the Enlightenmeat were full of the "didactic impulse" and
"messianic enterprise" which were expressed in the key symbols of
"bienf#jpace" and '"hpanit.~"8 Such a didactic impulse is anything but
the scientific spirit of our age.
This essay is concerned with the relationship between God and
politics. More specifically, it is concerned with the Christian politi-
cal philosophy and theology of Jacques Maritain. From a political point
of view, political theology is not a part of theology which is essentially
a systematic inquiry into the "ultimate reality." Instead, political the-
ology is primarily political and secondarily theological: it is a part
of politics which has a theological foundation. Political theelegy, in
short, is a part of the whole corpus of politics.
Politics may be divided into "the practice of politics" and "the
theory of politics."9 Since the former is the art of politics, it is
8The Heavenly City of the gizhteenth-Century Philosophers
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1932). Also see Ernst Cassirer,
The Philosophy of the Eaulihterunat, tr. Fritz C. A. etelln and James
P. Pettegrove (Boston: Beaeen Press, 1961); Alfred Cobban, In Search
of Bmanity: The 1ole of the Enlijhtensnt in NMdern Mistpry (Oev
York: George Braziller, 1960); Charles Frank2l, The Faith of tesiop
(New York: King's Crwvn Press, 1948).
Jedith N. Shklar, who seemed somewhat nostalgic about the
"Aufklaruu," has written *se of the most stimulating works of politi-
cal theory in recent years. She traces the reasons for "the decline
of political faith" in the rise of romanticism, fatalistic Christianity,
existentialism, and the decline of liberalism and socialism. Unfertu-
nately, she does not diousss the possible implications of scientist and
scientific relativism on the decline of political faith. After Impia:
The Wecline of Political Faith (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
9George Catlin, "Political Theory: What Is It?" ?elitical
science Quarterly, LXXII (March, 1957), p. 2 and "The Function of
Political Science," Western Political Quarterly, IX (December, 1956),
p. 817. See his earlier expositions on the method of politics in
beyond the scope of this essay. The latter, when it is defined in a
loose manner, is "political science.". Carl J. Friedrich states;
Modern political science is largely a critical examination of
comon-sense notions concerning the working ofpolitical
institutions and procedures. Three axiomatic truths
regarding the nature of power lies at its foundation: namely,
that power ordinarily presupposes a group of human beings who
can share objectives, interests, values, in other words, a
cemmnity; second, therefore-power presupposes objectives,
interests, values, ends, which these human beings can share,
fight over, or exchange; third, that all power situations
contain both consent (shared objectives) and coaetraint
(contested objectives). . Mdern political science ..
is concerned with the instruments or techniques of political
action in term of the objectives they are supposed to serve.10
As John N. Hallowell states, ethics or moral philosophy is the rational
understanding of the nature of "the good" and, in politics, man "seeks
the implementation of that good in social life; and to assist in the
implementation of that good is . .the major function of political
However, there is no consensus among political scientists regard-
ing what "political science" is and ought to be. In contrast to what
Hallowell defined above, oans Kelsen explains: "Scienee is a function
of cognition; its aim is not to govern but to explain. . the scien-
tist must not presuppose any value . . he has to restrict himself
The Sciqnqe _gd Method of Polities (Mew Serk: Alfred A. Knopf, 1927)
and A Study of the Principles of P~tUJ (New York: Maerillan, 1930).
10As quoted in Vernon Van Byke, ,elitical Scieace: A Philo-
sophical Analysis (Stanird: Stanford university Pres, 1960), p. 132
from Carl J. Friedrich, Cotstitutt9naL GovQrnrmnt nd Dmocracy (Boston:
Little, Brown, 1941), pp. 593-94.
11Min Currents in Modern Politicol Th ught (New York: Henry
Holt, 1950), p. 1.
to an explanation and a description of his object without judging it
as good or bad . ." Therefore, "The principle of objectivity applies
to social science as well as to natural science, and in particular to
so-called political science." For Kelsen, who is expressing the repre-
sentative opinion of what we may call the "scientific school" in the
social sciences, the ascertainment of fact is the goal of scientific
research whether that scientific research deals with the natural sciences
or with the social sciences.. For him, the only valid method of political
science is the canon of "scientific aethed."12
What we may call the "pure theory of political science" of Hans
Kelsen is derived from an over-emphasis of the term "science" at the
expense of what is truly "political" and the purpose of polities. As the
ancient philosopher Aristotle thought, the purpose of politics is to
guide a,good political life. Thus, ethical consideration is primary to
the study of politics. The factual findings in political science must
serve the ends of a good political life. In this sense, political phi-
losophy logically precedes political science, that is to say, the former
is an end whereas the latter is but a means.
In recent years, the term "political philosophy" is used inter-
changeably with that of "political theory." As Harry Eckstein says, "What
we called 'political philosophy'is generally called 'political theory' in
the department of political science."13 George Sabine uses the term
120p. cit., p. 641.
13"Political Theory sad the Study of Politics: A Report of
a Conference," Merican Political Science Review, L (June, 1956), p. 476.
George Catlin uses the term "political theory" to include political
science and political philosophy. See his "Political Theory: What Is
It?" and "The Function of Political Science." George Sabine uses the
term "political theory" in the inclusive sense as Catlin does. Sabine
courses of action are morally obligatory, an expression of choice or
preference growing from an attitude of desire, or fear, or confidence
toward what the present holds and what the future may bring forth."15
Political philosophy is concerned with what ought to be or
ought to be done. It is primarily normative and prescriptive and thus
goes beyond the boundary of what is factual. David Easton speaks of a
"value theory," and Thomas P. Jenkin calls it "prescriptive political
theory." Thus what we need in political philosophy is a value system.
Essential to a political philosopher is an ability to make value judgments:
that is to say, he has to make the correct assessment of facts, discrimate
and evaluate them in order to prescribe certain preferable action for a
good political life. Thus, political philosophy is essentially evaluative.
No one better expresses the valuative nature of political philosophy than
Leo Strauss when he writes:
The meaning of political philosophy and its meaningful character
are as evident today as they have been since the time when
political philosophy first made its appearance in Athens. All
political action aims at either preservation or change. When
desiring to preserve, we wish to prevent a change to the worse;
something better. All political action is, then, guided by
some thought of better or worse. But thought of better or
worse implies thought of the good. The awareness of the good
which guides all our aetions, has the character of opinion: it
is no longer questioned but, on reflection, it proves to be
questionable. The very fact that we can question it, directs
us towards such a thought of the good as is no longer question-
able -- towards a thought which is no longer opinion but know-
ledge. All political action has then in itself a directedness
towards knowledge of the good: of the good life, or the good
society. For the good society is the complete political good.
In short, "political philosophy," according to Leo Strauss, "is the
attempt truly to know both the nature of political things and the right,
15Ibid., p. 11.
"political theory" in the most comprehensive manner when he says: "A
political theory . covers three kinds of factors: it includes
factual statements about the posture of affairs that gave rise to it;
it contains statements of what may be roughly called a causal nature,
to the effect that one kind of thing is more likely to happen, or may be
more easily brought about, than another; and it contains statements that
something ought to happen or is the right and desirable thing to have
happen." In short, a political theory is "faetual, causal, and valu-
It goes without saying that the factual, causal and valuational
aspects of political theory are intricately related. They are three
different but integral parts of the thing called politics. Political
philosophy, in particular, is concerned with what is valuational. That
is to say, "there are elements of valuation: an estimation of importance,
not in the sense of what is likely to happen, but of what ought to happen,
the discrimination of a better from a worse way, the conviction that some
includes in political theory the factual, the causal and the valuational.
"What Is a Political Theory?" Journal of Politics, I (February, 1939),
pp. 1-16. Lee Strauss uses "political philosophy" in the sense of
classical political philosophy, which the author has adopted. "What
Is Political Philoeophy?" Journal of Politics, XIX (August, 1957), pp. 343-
68. John Planenatz uses political theory and political philosophy inter-
changeably. "The fse of Political Theory." Harold V. Lasswell and
Abraham Ka~lan use political theory to include political science and
political philosophy when they say: "Political philosophy includes not
only doctrine, but also logical analysis of both doctrine and science;
the tern polittcal theory may be used as a comprehensive designation
for all these types of sentences." Power and Society: A Framework for
Political iulItry (Mew Haven: Yale University Press, 1950), p. xi. It
seem, however, that the seat comprehensive distinction of political
theory is made by Jersy Heuptaan in The Llepas of Politics (Parkville,
Mo.: Park College Press, 1957). He distinguishes between political
science, political policy, political theory and political philosophy
14'What Is a Political Theory?" pp. 5-6.
or the good, political order."16
Political philosophy is intimately related to philosophy. As
a matter of fact, many political philosophers would consider political
philosophy as a branch of philosophy. Leo Strauss says, "political phi-
losophy is a branch of philosophy."17 For George Catlin, "Political
Philosophy is merely a part of the seamless robe of Philosophy."81 For
the reason that political philosophy is closely related to philosophy,
especially moral philosophy or ethics, we must begin with the nature of
The term "philosophy" has many meanings and connotations.19 Karl
Jaspers writes: 'What philosophy is and how much it is worth are matters
of controversy. One may expect it to yield extraordinary revelations or
one may view it with indifference as a thinking in the void. One may
look upon it with awe as the meaningful endeavour of exceptional man or
despise it as the superfluous brooding of dreamers. One may take the
attitude that it is the concern of all men, and hence must be basically
16"What Is Political Philosophy?" pp. 343, 345.
17Ibid., p. 343.
18"Political Theory: What Is It?" p. 23.
19William Ernest Mocking defines a man's philosophy as "the sum
of his beliefs." Philosophy as a science is defined as "the examination
of belief," Types of Philosophy (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,
1929), pp. 3-4. Paul Tillich, a theologian, defines philosophy as "the
attempt to answer the mest general questiens.about the nature of reality
and human existence. ." And "philosophy tries to find the universal
categories in which being is experienced." fyntics of Faith (New York:
Harper and Brothers, 1957), pp. 90-94. Philosophy is also defined as
"the science of sciences" that concerns "the criticism and systema-
tization or organization of all knowledge, drawn from empirical science,
rational learning, comon experience, or whatever." Philosophy includes
metaphysicss, or ontology and epistemology, logic, ethics, aesthetics,
etc." Degobert D. Runes (ed.), The Dictionary of Phileoephy (INw York:
Philosophical Library, n. d.), p. 235. Another dictionary defines
simple and intelligible, or one may think of it as hopelessly difficult.
And indeed, what goes by the name of philosophy provides examples to
warrant all these conflicting judgments." Thus, if philosophy is anything
at all, it is not something that offers "cempellingly certain and uni-
versally recognized insights." In philosophy "there is no generally
accepted, definitive knowledge."20 As Alfred North Whitehead says, "In
human experience, the philosophic question can receive no final answer.
Human knowledge is a process of approximation."21 Similarly, Karl Jaspers
writes: ". . the essence of philosophy is not the possession of truth
but the search for truth, regardless of how many philosophers may belie
it with their dogmatism, that is, with a body of didactic principles
purporting to be definitive and complete. Philosophy means to be on the
way. Its questions are more essential than its answers, and every answer
becomes a new question."22
philosophy as "a theory of truth, reality, or experience, taken as an
organized whole, and so giving rise to general principles which unite
the various branches or parts of experience into a coherent unity."
James Mark Baldwin (ed.), Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology
(Vol. II; Gloucester, Mass.: Petee Smith, 1957), p. 290. Philosophy
is also defined as the "process and expression of rational reflexion
upon experience." James Hastings (ed.), Incyclopaedia of Religion aed
Ethics (Vol. IX; New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1955), p. 844.
20Karl Jaspers, hay to Wisdom, tr. Ralph Manhein (New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1954), p. 7.
21Science and Philosophy (New York: Philosophical Library,
1948), p. 131.
220p. cit., p. 12. Paul Tillich, referring to the term '"ph.-
losophia perencm ," comments that "only the philosophical question is
perennial, net the answers." Op. cit., p. 94. A. N. Whitehead says
that philosophy asks the simple question: "What is it all about?"
Op. cit., p. 131. Ierbert Feigl also states that philosophy must ask
two questions: "What do you mean?" and "HNw do you know?" "Logical
Etpiricism," Readings in Philosophical Analysis, ed. Herbert Feigl and
Wilfrid Sellars (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1949), p. 5.
Nonetheless, philosophy strives to ask questions about the
whole. "Philosophy," A. N. Whitehead writes, "is an attempt to express
the infinity of the universe in terms of the limitations of language."
As he says again, "philosophy should aim at disclosure beyond explicit
presuppositions."23 Or, as Ludwig Wittgenstein suggested, "whereof one
cannot speak thereof one must be silent"?24
Philosophy contains that element which is concerned with
human action and human things, i. e., moral philosophy. Political
philosophy .is close to, or a part of, moral philosophy. Consequently,
it is not limited to knowledge itself. Knowledge is the pre-condition
for moral judgments and always has moral action in view. Aristotle
called it "a practical philosophy." For George Catlin as well as for
Aristotle, political philosophy is a branch of ethics. "Political
philosophy," John R. Hallowell says, "is most directly and intimately
related to ethics, since the reconciliation of conflicting purposes
can only be brought about by a prior commitment to an objective good
that transcends subjective desire and it is one of the functions of
ethics to determine what that objective good is."25
Political philosophy is a branch of philosophy, which is concerned
with the political: political philosophy may be called a "public philosophy."
If philosophy and politics are conceptually distinct, political philosophy
230p. cit., pp. 21, 130.
24As quoted in Herbert Feigl, "Logical Enpiricism," Readings
in Philosophical Analysis, p. 16.
2p. cit., p. 8.
is a sort of hybrid of the two. Carl J. Friedrich says that political
philosophy is "that branch of philosophy awd political science . by
which the two are linked; it brings the main knowledge, both facts and
generalizations, of political science into philosophy; and it brings the
relevant aspects of philosophy to bear upon this knowledge.'26
In political philosophy, theorizing must be based upon what is
factual. "Theorizing without relevance to fact," William A. Glaser
states, "is a dilettantish hobby rather than a useful contribution; and
fact-finding without theory produces a jumble that either is wholly useless
or is used to justify defective empirical or ethical propeoitione."27
Moreover, if the purpose of political philosophy is to guide a good politi-
cal life, then we must try to bridge a chasm between political philosophy
sad practical politics. As Leo Strauss writes, classical political phi-
losophy "is characterized by the fact that it was related to political
However, we always find a gap between philosophy or theory and
practice. Kenneth W. Thompson is acutely aware of this gap when he says:
"a perennial problem for Western civilization has always been the re-
lationship between theory and practice."29 The lacuna between reason and
26Q. cit., p. 173.
271"he Types and USes of Political Theory," Social Lesearch,
XXII (Autumn, 1955), p. 291.
8"On Classical Political Philesophy," Social Research, XII
(February, 1945), p. 100.
29Political Re lit agd the Crisis of World Politztcs: P
Merican M proach to foretmsa policy (Prineeten: Princeton University
Press, 1960), p. 62.
experience, theory and practice, thought and action, and the abstract
and the concrete is a problem in the entire area of human knowledge and
action. Mans J. Morgenthau moat aptly points to the crux of this problem
in politics: "Here, in this inescapable tension . between theoretical
and practical knowledge, between the light of political philosophy and
the twilight of political action, is indeed the ultimate dileme. . .30
Nevertheless, we need net consider that philosophy and practice are two
entirely isolated things as does Michael Oekeshett when he says that
"Philosophy is not the enhancement of life, it is the denial of life."31
Political philosophy mst guide a good political life. As John
Plamenatz considers, political philosophy is net primarily concerned with
"explanations of how governments function" but with "systematic thinking
about the purposes of government."32 Therefore, a political philosopher
plays, in a sense, the role of an empire in the games of politics. The
ability of a political philosopher to make value judgments seems indis-
pensable. Furthermore, political philosophy itself is not limited merely
to the linguistic analysis and clarification of political concepts and
ideas as T. D. Weldon conceives it to be.33 Since political philosophy
30Pjleas of Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1958), p. 381.
31eperience and Its lbdgs (Cambridge: University Press, 1933),
320. cit., p. 37.
33See his Vocabulary of Politics (laltimere: Peliean Beeks, 1953).
Peter Winch criticizes Welden from a less radical philosophical point of
view. See The Idea of a social Scieace and Its Reation to Philosophy
(London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958). He agrees with Weldon in
defining philosophy as what he calls the "underlabeurer conception."
sHwever, he distinguishes "philosophy" from "scisece." "Whereas the
scientist," he says, "investigates the nature, caoees and effects of
particular real things and processes, the philosopher is eenceziid with
does not repudiate its dependence on the factual, value judgments necessary
to political philosophy should not be construed as an emotive expression
of personal preferences. They are to be construed as a kind of preference
but a preference which is based on meaning and factual contents.
As Leo Strauss states, it is impossible to study all important
political and social phenomenawithout making value judgments3 4 John
H. Nallowell says that "the refusal to pass an ethical judgment is a kind
of ethical judgment none the less."35 "What," Eric Voegelin.asks, "could
a judgment that resulted in reasoned preference of value over value be
but a value-judgment?"36 J. Roland Pennock considers that "an increased
emphasis on precision and on concrete and verifiable facts" would naturally
create "the tendency to avoid the intangible subject of values, or at
least to avoid analysis in this basic field." Nor can the validity of
value judgments be measured with a mathematical precision. However,
Peanock hastens to add that "this is not to say that we can do without
analysis and without being able to communicate to others the grounds for
the nature of reality as such and in general." He conceives the role of
philosophy to elucidate concepts and the clarification of linguistic
meanings, but "the philosopher's concern is not with correct usage as
such and not all linguistic confusions are equally relevant to philoso-
phy. They are relevant only in so far as the discussion of them is
designed to throw light on the question how far reality is intelligible
and what difference would the fact.that he could have a grasp of reality
make to the life of msn." Thus, he maintains that in considering
concept and thought the philosopher must deal with reality. he rejects
Weldon's conception of philosophy having "a purely negative role" in
promoting the understanding of social life and institutions (pp. 7-15).
34%"hat Is' Political Philosophy?",p.349.
35"Politics and Ethics," American Political Science Review,
XXXVIII (August, 1944), p. 645.
36The New _cience of Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 1952), p. 16.
our judgments."37 Therefore, as Gunnar Myrdal suggests, we can and
should make our value judgments explicit rather than implicit.38
For Jacques Maritain, political philosophy is a moral or
practical philosophy, that is to say, it deals with the ends and norms
of human conduct. It is a practical philosophy as distinct from a
speculative philosophy because it is essentially concerned with the
application of knowledge rather than knowledge for the sake of knowing.
Political philosophy, for Maritain, is distinguished from the
science of.politics. "Political philosophy," he says, "does not claim
to supersede and replace either sociology or political science." In
contrast with the latter, the former is more "abstract" and "less bound
to 'the detail of phenomena'." Political philosophy may be materially
dependent upon political science, but the latter is formally dependent upon
the former. Maritain's position is clearly normative in that for him "should
be" becomes "an incentive to make something be." Political philosophy con-
siders "net only things as they are, but also things as they should be."
For him "devoir etre" is an incentive to action. Political philosophy,
in short, "raises the material scrutinized by sociology and political
science both to a higher degree of intelligibility and to a higher degree
of practicability, because it sees this material in the light and per-
spective of a more profound and more comprehensive, a sapiential knowledge
of Man, which is Ethics and deals with the very ends and norms of human
conduct." As value and fact are closely related, for Maritain, political
37"Political Science and Political Philosophy," American
Political Science Review, XLV (December, 1951), pp. 1082, 1083.
38See his Value in Social Theory, ed. Paul Streeten.(London:
Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958).
philosophy, although it may be distinct from political science, is
interrelated with the factual contents which political science may find.
Furthermore, Maritain believes that political philosophy is
efficacious "because it deals with the terrestrial hopes of the human
community. "39 Therefore the significance of Maritain's political phi-
losophy lies primarily in his offering a moral basis, in the form of his
profound Christian theology, not only for political society but also for
the science of politics. Maritain himself expresses his concern over the
lack of this moral basis in political science when he says that "the facts
of political science taken apart from political philosophy have only a
technical but no 'cultural' value.'40 The political philosophy of Jacques
Maritain is a Christian political philosophy. The word "Christian" is a
theological notion: Maritain's political philosophy as knowledge has its
foundation in Christian theology and his political philosophy as the
practical guide for a good political life is grounded in Christian faith.
Oswald Spengler at the turn of this century boldly predicted the
decline of Western civilization.41 The word "decline" suggests an intel-
lectual atavism.42 And it is a healthy atavism. In the recent literature
39The Social and Political Philosophy of Jacques Maritain, ed.
Joseph W. Evans and Lee R. Ward (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,
1955), pp. xi-xii.
40Charles O'Donnell, The Ideal of a Mew Christendom: The
Cultural and Political Philosophy of Jacques Maritain (Unptblished
Ph. D. dissertation; Cambridge: Rarvard University, 1940), p. 150.
41The Decline of the West, tr. Charles Francis Atkinson (2 vols.;
Mew York: Alfred A. Knepf, 1950).
42Ayn Rand describes the attitudes of modern intellectuals as
follows: "If we look at modern intellectuals, we are confronted with
the grotesque spectacle of such characteristics as militant uncertainty,
crusading cynicism, depgtic agnosticism, boastful self-abasement and
self-righteous depravity -- in an atmosphere of guilt, of panic, of
of political philosophy the idea of "decline" is not absent.43 There
are good reasons why the decline of political philesephy may be justified.
Plato wrote his Republic with the decline of Athenian democracy; Thomas
Hobbes finished his Leviathaw to restore order and unity in the chaotic
days of the Crownellian revolution; and many others have followed and
will follow the footsteps of Plato and 1obbes. "The owl of Minerva does
not take flight until the shades of night are falling"?44 Although we
may not find a Plato or a Hobbes in the modern world, we find a few
scholars who see our need for a Plato or a Nobbes. No one seem to have
ever pictured such a fatal portrait as Michael Oakeshott, when he poeti-
cally wrote: "In political activity . men sail a boundless and
bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchor-
age, neither starting-place nor appointed destination. The enterprise
is to keep afloat on an even keel; the sea is both friend and enemy; and
the seamnship consists in using the resources of a traditional manner
of behaviour in order to make a friend of every hostile occasion."45
despair, of boredom and of all-pervasive evasion." As quoted in the
New York times book Reviev (April 9, 1961), p. 3 from her book, For
the Mew Intellectual (New lerk: Randim House, 1961).
43For example, see: Alfred Cobban, "The Becline of Political
Theory," op. cit., pp. 20-28; David Easton, "The Decline of Modern
Political Theory," Journal of F itics, XIII (February, 1951), pp. 36-
58; Sheldon S. Wolin, "Liberalism and the Decline of Political Phi-
losophy," Politics ad Vision: Coatinuity nd IJaoavatien in Western
Political Thought (Boston: Little, Brewr, 1960), pp. 286-351; Judith
N. Shklar, op. cit.
44T. V. Smith, Powr qnd Cencience (Glemwee, Ill.: Free Press,
1950), p. xii.
45f"Plitical Education," Philoeophy, plitlfs and peciety, ed.
Peter Laslett (New York: MWcmillan, 1956), p. 15.
The intellectual, for Okeshott, can at best engage in "the sweet
delight which lies in the empty kisses of abstraction.'46
A political philosopher may be likened to the captain of a
sailing ship of politics. There are many factors in our society which
deny the role of this captainship. This seems to be a tragic scene of
our era. Despair may not be cherished for its own sake. But, as
Everett Knight says, it is "better than the paradise of complacency"4 7
"Today," Leo Strauss writes, "political philosophy is in a state
of decay and perhaps of putrefaction, if it has not vanished altogether.,"8
Miss Judith N. Shklar made a sweeping analysis of "the decline of politi-
cal faith" after the Rnlighteamint. If the word "decline" implies a high
point at certain historical juncture, her historical point of reference
is the Enlightement. Sheldon S. Wolin, on the other.hand, comes to the
conclusion that "the judgment that political theory is dead is premature."
Moreover, it needs no "artificial respiration." "The task," he says,
"therefore, is not to revive political theory but to rescue it." The
rescue work for him is to restore what is "political" to political phi-
There are several reasons why some political thinkers consider
46perience and Its Modes, p. 356.
470p cit., p. 12.
48What IsfPolitical Philoeophy?" p. 345.
49"Shklar's After Utopia: The Bolcine of Political Faith,"
Matural Law Fr, V (1960), p. 177.
For Wolin, the term "politics" includes: "(a) a form of
activity centering around the quest for competitive advantage between
groups,'individuals, or societies; (b) a ferm of activity conditimoed
by the fact that it oeeurs within a situation of change and relative
scarcity; (c) a form of activity in which the pursuit of advantage
produces consequences of such a magnitude that they affect in a sig-
nificant way the whole society or a substantial portion of it." Politics
and Vision, pp. 10-11.
or primarily ethical. The issue, Wolin thinks, is "substantive; that
is, it concerns the status of politics and the political."55 "The decline
of political categories and the ascendancy of social ones," he states,
"are the distinguishing marks of our contemporary situation where politi-
cal philosophy has been eclipsed by other forms of knowledge."56
Therefore, according to Wolin, when modern social science
explains what is distinctively political in terms of sociology, psychology
and economics it is tantamount to the erosion of distinctively political
phenomena. Wolin urges us to make efforts "to restore the political art
as that art which strives for an integrative form of direction."57 This
was of course what classical political philosophy did for the attainment
of a good political life. For Aristotle, politics was undoubtedly an
integrative force: politics was "the supreme practical science" and
all others were."subordinate and ministerial."58
Leo Strauss deplores the fact that political philosophy and po-
litical science of our time are "cut into pieces which behave as if they
were parts of a worm." Like Wolin, he maintains that "large segments of
what formerly belonged to political philosophy or political science have
become emancipated under the names of economics, sociology, and social
psychology."59 Thus the function of political philosophy seems to be to rescue
the study of politics from this deplorable condition.
55bid., p. 288.
56Ibid., p. 292.
5Ibid., p. 434.
58W. B. Ross, Aristotle (New York: Meridian looks, 1959), p. 183.
59"What Is Political Philosophy?" p. 346.
I __ __
that political philosophy or theory is in the decline. The first reason,
as Sheldon S. Wolin stated, is that the loss of what is political, that
is, the loss of the status of politics, is the decline of political phi-
losophy. The second reason for the decline of political philosophy is
given by Leo Strauss,50 Eric Voegelin,51 and Alfred Cobbaa.52 They all
maintain that the decline of political philosophy is due to the rise of
positivism. The third reason for the degradation of political philosophy
is the prevailing trend of historicismm.!' (The term historicism has
several meanings as explained below on pages 29-30). The forth and last
reason for the downfall of political philosophy (and political science)
is related to the first reason. It is stated by Mans J. Morgenthau and
Benjamin I. Lippincott, for example, who maintain that political philoso-
phy and political science are taken over by philosophers, sociologists,
and theologians.53 We shall new proceed to consider these four reasons
in order in the remainder of this chapter.
To return to the first reason for the decline of political
philosophy Wolin states that the basic task of political philosophy is to
do as Mobbes did: to identify and define what is truly political.54 He
maintains that the recent controversy between political philosophy and
political science misses the whole point if political philosophers and
political scientists believe that the real issue is solely methodological
50"What Is Political Philosophy?" and "On Classical Political
53nmns J. Morgenthau, op. cit., p. 25; Benjamin E. Lippincott,
"Political Theory in the United States," Contemporary Political Science
(Paris: UNMSCO, 1950). Also, see: Jerzy Iuptmann, op. cit., p. 17.
54Politics and Vision, p. 289.
Leo Strauss, in his consideration of the decline of political
philosophy, begins with a historical reference to the classical politi-
cal philosophers: Plato and Aristotle. If the history of Western phi-
losophy, as A. N. Whitehead once said, is merely footnotes to Plato, we
might as well say that the history of Western political philosophy is
footnotes to Aristotle's Politics.60
The second reason, according to Strauss, for the decline of political
philosophy is due to the rise of "science." Scientism (or positivism) in the
modern world has eventually succeeded in destroying the very possibility of
political philosophy.61 When political science is concerned unswervingly
60George Sabine says that political philosophy began in Athens,
and that the most significant political writings were produced in Athens
in the fourth century 3. C. (Plato and Aristotle) and in England between
1640 and 1690 (lobbes and Locke). He further comments that ". .
Aristotle's Politics was probably the most important treatise on the
subject [political theory that was ever written." "What Is a Political
Theory?" pp. 3-4.
61"What Is Political Philosophy?" p. 346.
Thomas I. Cook believes that the positivistic attitude results
in "a mechanistic interpretation" of man. Me maintains that man should
be "valued" rather than "described." He argues that "the social sciences,
if they are to be scientific, mest abandon the misguided and misleading
hope of reducing man and society to a complete pattern of descriptive --
predictive law, must accept the inherent and insuperable limitations of
human existence as a necessary and limiting postulate." In short, the
social sciences are the sciences of values. "The Methods of Political
Science, Chiefly in the United States," Contemporary Political Science,
Ernest Negel, for example, comes to the defense of scientific
philosophy when he says: "The recommendation to use scientific method
is the recommendation of a way for deciding issues of factual validity
and adequacy; it is not the recommendation of an exclusive way in which
the universe may be confronted and experienced." Ipgic without
Metaphysics and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science (Glencoe,
Ill.: Free Press, 1956), p. 382.
with scientist, it becomes preoccupied with methodological questions.
"The tmet striking difference," Strauss writes, "between classical po-
litical philtosphy and present-day political science is that the latter
is no longer acocerned with what wes the guiding question for the former:
the question of the best form of government, or of the best political
life. On the other hand, m&aern political science is greatly pre-
occupied with a type of question that was of much less importance to
classical political philoiphy: questions eoeerning method."62 Thus,
in a sense, political "science" ossified political philosophy altogether.
Strauss maintains that modern positivism is not even whet Auguste
Coste desired it to be. While modern positivism holds that science is
the highest form of knowledge as did Comte, it no longer concerns itself
with "absolute knowledge of the Why" but it has receded into the "relative
knowledge of the New." By insisting that political scienee should be
value-free or ethically neutral, positivism becomes "nihilism."63 Like
Strauss, Eric Voegelin believes that positivism, especially the objectiv-
ism of MNW Weber, has vitiated political science altogether. For Vbegelin
the sin of positivism is its exclusion of value judg ets from political
science. Thus, the restoration of political science is essentially "a
return to the censeioisness of principles" which was completely destroyed
by the positivistic era. Ne urges us to put value judgments "back in
science in the form of the 'legitimate beliefs' which created units of
social order.t64 Leo Strauss insists that "The social scientist is not
62"On Classical Political Philosophy," pp. 100-101.
63"What Is Political Phileeophy?" pp. 346-47.
64i. .it., pp. 2, 3. Vaegelin lists the following three
characteristics of the scientific creed: "(1) the assumption that the
mathematized science of natural phenomena is a model science to which
immune to preferences; his activity is a constant fight against the
preferences he has as a htoin being and a citizen and which threaten to
overcome his scientific detachment." Worst of all, moreover, "The value
judgments which are forbidden to enter through the front door of politi-
cal science, sociology or eceameics, enter these disciplines through the
Alfred Cobban also feels that "political theory" has declined and
he proposes to restore '"oral aad political theory.'66 The decline of
political theory, he says, "may be regarded as a reflection of the feeling
that ethical values have no place in the field of social dynamics and
power politics." For Cobban, the rise and fall of political theory is a
general law of history: political ideas and doctrines grow, change, and
decay. Moreover, political ideas are related to the conditions of
all other sciences ought to conferm; (2) that all realms of being are
accessible to the methods of the sciences of pheamoena; and (3) that all
reality which is not accessible to sciences of phenomena is either
irrelevant or, in the more radical form of the dogma, illusionary."
"The Origins of Scientism," icisil search, XV (b cember, 1948), p. 462.
65"What Is Political Philosophy?" pp. 347, 350.
John H. Hallowell criticizes positivism in the following manner:
"The inadequacy of positivism as the most valid perspective in which to
achieve,a description and understanding of physical and social phenomena
is proven by this fact: that the positivist cannot avoid engaging in the
metaphysical speculation he claims to have dispeneed with." gp. cit.,
p. 321. Julius Rudolph Weinberg also says: "It is now clear that Logical
Positivis cannot eliminate metaphysics without destroying itself, and
that it cannot establish the logical fowudatione of science without
alteration of the principles absolutely essential to its teaching." An
fclllatito of tJlacal fteitlvis (Lenden: lRetledge and Kegan Paul, 1936),
p. 199. fPr.a comprehensive criticism of logical positivism, see C. E. M.
Joad, A Critique of Wopicel osiitivis (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 1950). The effect of logical positivism on ethics, Joad thinks,
is that "the spread of logical positivist emdes of thought may well tend
to the erosion of desirable and to the growth of undesirable beliefs"
(p. 144). Criticism of positivism frem a Catholic point of view is
found in Frederick C. Copleston, G -Frjary P rle-hy: Stu4ies of
Logical Pe itivis and Existentia iM (ladon: Burns and Oates, 1956),
660p. cit., especially pp. 36-58, 229-45.
political life at a given time. "Por political theory to exist," he
writes, "it seem to me, there mvst be an active political life.w67
Alfred Cobban is a child of our age: he is pessimistic. He
believes that "political pessitem is deeper than it has been since
St. Augustine wrote the De Civitate Dei." The decline of political
theory may not be saved, and the same can be said of the decay of present
political life. "Conceivably," he says, "political theory at the present
day may not be undergoing one of its many metamorphoses, passing through
a chrysalis stage before emerging in a new ferm. It may just be oeming
to an end."68
As Hiss Judith N. Shklar nostalgically looks back to the
Enlightenment, Cobban happily returns to the same era in search of
solutions for our age. His "search of humanity" is primarily that of
the. great men of the Enlightenment. He deplores the fact that our century
has neither Bentham nor Burke. Like Sheldon S. Wolin, religious revival
is no answer for the present crisis and for the decline of political
philosophy. While Arnold Toynbee consoles himself with the possible
rise of a religion in the midst of decaying Western civilization, Cobban
thinks, on the other hand, that "the religious approach to political
problem is not without its dangers," although "religious revival M be
a way out." But, for him, religious revival is "not a political way."
It is not the solution simply because "Western civilization is essentially
671bid., pp. 23, 26. However, George Sabine is of the opinion
that ". . when political philosophy is produced in quantities, it is
a sure symptom that society itself is going through a period of stress
and strain." Qp. ct., pp. 2-3. iPossibly,. then, the less political
philosophy there is, the happier society is.
68p. cit., pp. 21, 26.
political, and politics has been its vital centre throughout the modern
period, even though the last great age of fundamental political thinking
was the eighteenth century.'"9 Fer Cebban, the political crisis of our
age is the crisis of civilization itself, since Western civilization is
essentially political. Unlike Leo Strauss who seeks the solution of po-
litical phileeophy from the classical Greek period, Cobban returns to
the Enlightenment: neither Plato nor Aristotle, but eoathea, Burke,
Reosseau, MHetesquieu and Locke are the saviors of the present crisis.
aFwever, like Strauss, Cobban maintains that "politics was essentially
a branch of morals or ethics . the decline of political theory is a
necessary result of the decline of moral philosophy."70
Cobban comes to the same conclusion, as does Strauss, that "the
influence of two modes of thought which have had a fatal effect on (the]
ethical content (of political theory/ . are history and science."
For him, the "autonomy and primacy of ethics" were essential to the
Enlightenment. "The Enlighteament," Cobban explains, 'may sometimes
have mistakenly derived its history and its science from its ethical
ideas; at least it never made the mistake of trying to derive its ethics
from its history and science. This is what its successors have done."71
Cobban believes that the rejection of moral philosophy is the
cause of the decline of political philosophy. He finds a target of
attack in T. B. Weldon's Vcabulary ef fl1ticq. which embodies the spirit
of the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein whose analytic mind has greatly
influenced the present shape of logical empiricism. For Cobban, Te
691bid., p. 27.
70bid., p. 237.
711bid., pp. 237-38.
Vocabulary of Politics is "a declaration of the bankruptcy of political
philosophy." Weldon becomes the protagonist of scientist that alienates
politics from ethics altogether. MHreover, according to Cobban, the
"esoteric jargon" used in modern political science do not help political
philosophy to become a practical science. On the contrary, "a good deal
of what is called political science seems to hii(7 a device, invented by
academic persons, for avoiding that dangerous subject politics, without
achieving science." The political philosopher should be "essentially
concerned with the discussion of what ought to be. His judgments are at
bottom value judgments."72
A. N. Whitehead said that the Enlightenment was "an age of reason
based upon faith" whereas the Middle Ages was "an age of faith based upon
reason."73 Alfred Cobban finds the solution for the decline of modern
society and political philosophy in the rational and ethical contents of
the Inlighteament. lmwever, the Enlightenment itself is not the solution.
Instead, as he sees it, it "can only be a starting-point."74
The third reason for the decline of political philosophy is .the
rise of historicism. Leo Strauss defines historicism as the study which
"considers history as an integral part of political science."75 Re
criticizes historicism because it rejects the question of the good society.
Strauss maintains that in historicisa there is no essential necessity for
raising the question of the good society because it is based on the
72Ibid., pp. 234, 239-40.
73Science and theq Udern World (Mew York: New American Library,
1941), p. 57.
740. cit., p. 244.
75"On Classical Political Philosophy," p. 98. Leo Strauss
distinguishes histericism from positivism. When the former reaches
its full growth, then it may be distinguished from the latter by four
characteristics: "(1) It abandons the distinction between facts and
assumption that the character of society and of human thought is histori-
cally relative.76. For Cobban, historicism is no better than scientist.
History, like science, leaves us in a "drift." The modes of inquiry of
science and history would alienate political thought from ethics. His-
toricism is lacking in the sense of direction and purpose. however, Leo
Strauss distinguishes what is "historical" from what is historicistt."
He may reject what is historicist, but he upholds what is historical. He
explains that "a historical interpretation is one that tries to understand
the philosophy of the past exactly as that philosophy understood itself.
The historicist interpretation is one form of the attempt to understand
the philosophy of the past better, than it understood itself; for it is
based on the assumption, wholly alien to the thought of the classics, that
each philosophy is essentially related to its time -- to the 'spirit' of
its time or to the 'material conditions' of its time, or to both."77 What
Strauss upholds as historical seem to coincide with Etienne Gilsen's
statement that "the ultimate explanation of the history of philosophy has
to be philosophy itself."78
For Dwvid Easton historicism means something essentially
different. listoricisa is an exclusive engagement in the investigation
of a history or analysis of political ideas at the expense of developing
values, because every understanding, however theoretical, implies
specific evaluations. (2) It denies the authoritative character of
modern science, which appears as only one among the many forms of man's
intellectual orientation in the world. (3) It refuses to regard the
historical process as fundamentally progressive, or, more generally
stated, as reasonable. (4) It denies the relevance of the evolutionist
thesis by contending that the evolution of men ot of non-man cannot make
intelligible man's humanity." "What Is Political Philosophy?" p. 355.
76bid., p. 356.
770"n Classical Political Philosophy," p. 99.
78The Unity of Philosophical Experience (New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1937), p. 304.
"some ideas about the desirable course of events" and of "creatively
constructing a valuational frame of reference." Thus Easton says that
historicism diverted "the systematic theory about political behavior
and the operation of political institutions." While Strauss and Cobban
strees the development of political ideas based on moral judgments,
Easton is concerned with a "systematic empirically-oriented theory
about political behavior" which would make possible the discovery of
the "unifermities in human, and in particular, in political behavior
which can be used as a basis for predictions."79
The fourth and last possible reason for the decline of politi-
cal philosophy is closely related to what Sheldon S. Wolin calls "the
sublimation of the political." Having pointed out the intellectual
sterility of political scientists, Has J. Hergenthau remarks that, "It
is not by accident that some of themost important contributions to
contemporary political theory hare been made not by professional politi-
cal scientists but by theologians, philosophers, and sociologists."'
bwever, Mergentheu, unlike Wolin, does not conceive these contributions
as the decline of political philosophy. Instead, he seems to welcome
them. The names of Reinhold Miebuhr, Jaeques Maritain, Rsesell Kirk,
John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, Talcett Parsons, Walter Lippm en, George
79?p. tR., pp. 36, 40, 51.
80D, git., p. 25. Exactly the same point is made by Benjamin
I. Lippincott when he says: "The parado5 is that there has been more
creative work done in political theory by sen outside the professional
field than by these within it." Qp. cit., p. 220. Jerzy Neapcmenn
also says: "'. find eatuine political philosophy nowadays one has to
go to religion (Reinheld Wiebuhr), journalism (Walter Lippmea), phi-
losophy (Rtu.ell Kirk) . ." Op cit., p. 17.
Orwell, John Maynard Keynes, and others indicate that "outsiders" have
made many contributions to political philosophy.81
The decline of political philosophy has meant several things.
As Sheldon S. Wolin has noted, it is essentially the sublimation of
what is political. The restoration of political philosophy is a rescue
work that would make politics an integrative force. However, the decline
of political philosophy seems to be deeply rooted in the rise of positiv-
ism which has been striving to make political science "scientific" in
the sense of the natural sciences. Thus value judgments become not
only "meaningless" but also undesirable. The question of a good politi-
cal life, as Strauss and Cobban have pointed out, has ceased to be a
major concern of the political scientists. Instead, the main question
of political science is the question of methodology to achieve the "scien-
tific" status of political science itself in the image and pattern of the
natural scienceslike physics and chemistry..
The restoration of political philosophy will depend upon the
cooperative efforts to ask the questions concerning the ends and goals
of a good political life in society. A sowud political philosophy,
therefore, becomes the question of creating a good political life and
society based on a value system. Sheldon S. Wolin seems to have rejected
altogether a theological politics or a political philosophy based on
theological notions as "a confused mixture of diluted religious ideas
Lindsay Rogers, for example, mentions Reinhold Niebuhr,
R. G. Collingwood, N. Lenin, Michael Oakeshott, George Orwell and
John Maynard Keynes. Except for Lenin and Oakeshott, they are
"outsiders." "Political Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: An
Appraisal of Its Contribution to the Study of Politics," Approaches
to the Study of Politics, pp. 189-214.
spiced with a dash of market place virtues."82 However, Alfred Cobban
has been suspicious of religious ideas in the resuscitation of a good
political society, but he has net entirely rejected religious ideas.
When political ideas and ideals become stagnant with professional po-
litical philosophers and political scientists, we must inevitably look
for the sources of inspiration from "outsiders." In the contemporary
world, the theologians are an indispensable group of intellectuals who
can provide the genuine sources of inspiration in the regeneration of
political ideas and ideals. Among these theologians, we discover the
Catholic philosopher and theologian, Jaeques Haritain.
This essay is essentially an exposition and interpretation of
the political philosophy and theology of Jacques Maritain. First of all,
we must place Jacques Maritain aiog other emineat Christian thinkers.
Since Maritain is a Thomist, we must examine his political ideas in the
light of Thomism. Moreover, Haritain's political ideas are inseparably
related to his theological and metaphysical system. The theological and
metaphysical system of Jacques Maritain is the foundation of his politi-
cal philoegphy. After his political ideas are expoRuded, this essay will
be ended with a concluding evaluation.
82?elitics ad Vision, p. 288.
GOD AND POLITICS
It was not too long ago that Nietzsche, through Zarathustra,
tried to convince the world that "God is dead," and to build "a new way
for living" in the inculcation of the transvaluation of all values.
Christianity, he thought, was the religion of "the botched and the weak."
Power stood for the source of the good, and everything bad sprang from
weakness. That was the philosophy of Nietssehe. In less than a century,
Christianity and Christian theology have again proved to be the religion
of "power" rather than weakness. The modern world has witnessed the
strength of Christian and Jewish theologians* The names of Reinhold
Niebuhr, Jacques Maritain, Karl Barth, Bail runner, Paul Tillich,
Nicolas Berdyaev and Martin suber have colored the intellectual history
of the twentieth century which belongs to us.
Some political theorists have already implied that the decline
of political philosophy is partially due to the lack of initiatives on
the part of political theorists. The contributions to political phi-
losophy have been made from sectors of theology, philosophy and soci-
ology. As the title of this essay indicates, it is hoped that a step
may be made toward a systematic analysis of what is called "political
theology," "the theology of politics," or "theological
politics."1 Political theology has been in existence since the dawn
of humen civilization, but political theology as a possible subject of
study is a farily recent development. And a systematic analysis of
political theology is almet a wattrodden path. Political theology is
nothing more and nothing less than what Nathaniel Micklem calls "the
theology of politics."2 Political theology is that part of political
philosophy which considers politics from a theological point of view.
Therefore, the term "theological politics"3 is less misleading than
"political theology" simply because in the former the comnntation of
politics is preserved better than in the latter. From a political point
of view, political theology is a department of politics rather than a
part of theology. To say that politics is considered from a theological
point of view is to assert: "All political problems are at bottom
theological.'4 Christianity alone, to be sure, is not the source of po-
litical theology, but it presently occupies a large portion of con-
temporary political theology.
11t is futile to look for any uniform meaning of the terms
"political theology," "social theology," "politische Theeleole" and
"thiolegie politique." The ideas of "political theology" are fre-
quently found in the current literature. For exaple, see: NMthaniel
Micklem, The Theology of plitics (Loedon: Oxford University Press,
1941); Ernst X. Kitorowicz, The Kiig's Two -odies: A Study in
Mediaeval Pslitical Tbhlogy (Princeton: Princeten University Press,
1957); Themas Gilby, between Cma-nity and society: A Iphilosophy and
Theology of the State (London: LoUmens, Oreen, 1953); John A.
lutchison, The Two Cities: 4 Study of God and thmn Politics (Garden
City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1957); Heinrich A. Isemen, The nate iU
Cathelic Thought: A TreKtipe in Politi
Lendon: B. Narder, 1943), pp. 91-122; Judith I. Shklar, 22. cit., pp.
164-217. Jacques Haritain himself uses the term "political theology"
here amd there.
3lninrich A. Romme uses "political theology" or "theological
politics." Op. cit., p. 92.
Nathaniel Mioklem, op. Oit., pp. x, vi, 38.
In the investigation of political theory, theology5 is the field
of study most neglected by the investigators. Professor Charles S.
Hyneman, in his recent volume on the present status of American politi-
cal science, expresses his legitimate concern with the failure to
5Religion must be distinguished from theology. Religion
may be defined as a system of beliefs or "a belief in the con-
servation of values." It includes certain characteristic types of
beliefs, practices, feelings, moods, attitudes, etc. See, for example,
James Hastings (ed.), Encyclopaedig of Religion and ethics, X, pp. 662-
63. Theology may be defined as a systematic exposition of religion and
God or the Supreme Being. Theology is defined as "the science which
deals, according to scientific method, with the facts and phenomena of
religion and culminates in a comprehensive synthesis of philosophy of
religion, which seeks to set forth in a systematic way all that can be
known regarding the objective grounds of religious belief." Ibid.,
XII, p. 293. Another dictionary defines theology as "the system of
theological doctrine developed dogmatically; that is, by a method whose
ultimate appeal is not to reason, but to authority, either that of
Scripture or of Scripture and tradition combined." James Mark Baldwin
(ed.), Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, II, p. 693. Theology is
also defined as "a study of the question of God and the relation of God
to the world of reality." Dagobert D. Runes (ed.), The Dictionary of
Philosophy, p. 317.
This essay is concerned only with Christian political the-
ology although political theology must be all-inclusive of various
types of world religions as far as they are related to some aspects
of politics. e inrich A. Romnn defines the potential meaning of po-
litical theology so that religious experiences, religious sentiments,
or irrational feelings are all excluded. Political theology only
includes religious "doctrine." Op. cit., p. 93.
As we distinguish theology free religion, we can distinguish
theological discourse from religious discourse. Professor Charles W.
Horris describes religious discourse as "prescriptive" and incitivee"
by its use and mode, whereas theological discourse is "critical,"
i. e., appraisivee" and "systemic." Theological discourse, by use, has
the same characteristic as moral discourse: they are appraisive.
Since this essay is concerned with politics, it is worth while comparing
political discourse with theological and religious discourses (and moral
discourse). Political discourse, like religious discourse, is pre-
scriptive. Theological discourse and moral discourse have an
appraisive character. However, we can bridge the gap between the
prescriptive and appraisive aspects in theological, moral, religious
and political discourses. Norris says: the "ought" is something that
is positively appraised. Signs, LmuaBn e and bghqvtor (New York:
George Braziller, 1955), pp. 125, 138-42, 145-48.
examine and evaluate "the significance of religion for politics."6 The
intellectual history of the West and the East reveals the significant
role played by religion in various cultural systems, past and present.
"Christian theology," Dente L. Germino recently remarks, "has,
after long neglect, gradually been reassuming its formerly prominent
place among the intellectual disciplines."7 And some like Eduard
Beiaman have urged the consideration of the "Christian foundations of
the social sciences."8 Heimarn deplores the fact that the social
sciences exclude, by their formative concepts, the Christian dimension
of social life.9 "'od, spirit, and liberty in history," he writes,
"exist in reality but met in the social sciences."10 Therefore, if the
social sciences would be realistic at all, they '"ust be capable of
6The following statement of Hynamen is worth quoting fully:
"Religions appear to be virtually untouched. Certainly no American
political scientist has provided a noteworthy analysis of the idea-
system (or idea-systems) that characterizes religions in general.
Neither has an American political scientist carefully explored the sig-
nificanee for legal government of the belief-system, organizations, and
rituals we call Christianity. .. ." The Study of felitics (Urbana:
University of Illinois Press, 1959), pp. 62-63. MIst regretful is the
absence of any outstanding study of a relationship between polities and
religion similar to these which exist in other fields, such as Max
Weber, The Pftestant Ethic sad the Sirit of Caitalise (New York:
Charles Scribner's Se8s, 1958); R. iH. Tawney, Relition aad the Lise of
Cpttulin (Wew Tork: Harcourt, Brace, 1926); Irnst Treeltech, TMe
ocial_ Tchrian of the Christian Cburche, tr. Olive Wyon (2 vols.;
Newo Frk: Marper and Brothers, 1960); Christopher Beweon, LeUgion
and Culture (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1948). The philosopher Ralph
Barton Perry's ?uritantsm and wenecracy (New York: Vanguard Press, 1944)
may be regarded as an exception.
7"T'w Types of Recent Christian Political Thought," Jpurnyl
9o Politics, XXI (August, 1959), p. 455.
8"Christian Feadatiens of the Social Sciesces," Social basearch,
XXVI (Autmi, 1959), pp. 325-46.
9Ibid., p. 345.
integration into a Christian theology of life and history."11 Moreover,
a true morality is always the fruit of religion. For Meimann, godless
"humanism is often a moving, but always a tragic phenomenon."12
In pointing out the neglect of political theology, it is not
maintained here that political philosophy should be based upon the-
ology or that political theology is the only geed political philosophy.
However, to neglect political theology is to make modern political
theory incomplete and inadequate.13
In an analysis of political theology, a few words of warning
are in order. The political theorist ga political theorist must be
aware of the fact that he is ineompetent to judge the fundamentals of
religious knowledge. As Loren P. Beth warns us, "The political philoso-
pher, g political philosopher, is qualified to construct a theory of
the state, but he is net a theologian and is in no position to judge of
either the existence or the value of religious truth."14 Therefore,
some political theorists, like Arnold Brecht, oome to the conclusion
that the reality or the existence of God must be accepted as either an
assumption or a scientific hypothesis. It is beyond the scope of this
essay to question, as does philosopher Walter Kaufmamn, the existence of
12Ibid., p. 334.
3Arnold Brecht makes exactly the same statement in his Political
Theory, p. 459.
14T"he percan Theory of ChurQc aad State (Gainesville: Uni-
versity of Florida Press, 1958), p. 137.
15Critique of telilgion wd bilobopin (Garden City, N. Y.:
Doubleday, 1961). See especially chapter v, "The God of the
Arnold Brecht is most notable among these in favor of the
"scientific" political theory which, he insists, should accept the
possibility of the existence of God as a hypothesis.16 having pointed
out the fact that religion has played a great role in thegenesis of
Western culture and the religious influence on the rise of modern
democracy, he declares that there is professional reeognition that the.
questions concerning the relation between religion and politics are
'within the scope of political scieaee." "In view of the ipertant role
played by religion in any public affairs," he urges, "political science
must indeed be concerned with religion. To disregard the religious
factor would often mean to distort reality and to base analysis and
conclusions on defective data. Whenever religion enters political
motivations it becomes part of the subject matter of political sciesee."17
Moreover, he points out that religion can be a source of knowledge. He
hastens to add, and rightly so, that ". .. to say that religion as a
Philosophers," which exmaines Plato, St. Theoes Aquinas and Pascal, pp.
137-72. In one passage, he asks the question: "Can one prove God's
existence?" The answer is yes, but "this does net mean that God
exists" (p. 168).
16ne makes what he calls the "scientific" exposition of God's
existence in relation to political scieaee in Political Theery,
especially chapter xiii, "Twentieth-Century Political Science and the
Belief in God," pp. 456-79;,"The Latent Place of God in Twentieth-
Century Political Theory," Th1 Political Philosophy of Irald Brecht,
ed. Morris D. oFrkeseh (new TYrk: Exposition Press, 1954), pp. 148-60.
His theory is reminiscent of the Pascalian wager in the social sciences.
Pascal argued that "either God exists, or he does not exist." Since
neither proposition can be proved, we must weger: "If we wager that God
exists and we are right, we win everything; if we are wrong we lose
nothing. If you passed this up, 'you would be imprudent'." Walter
Kaufmmn, op, Ct., p. 170. Kaufmana himself argues: "They say that
we cannot induce belief merely by representing to ourselves the great
advantage of belief. Uat it is Pascal's IAic that is at fault, not
his psychology" (p. 171).
17politie! TEry, pp. 456, 459.
social phenomena is a relevant factor for political science is not
the same as saying that religion is a prerequisite for the scientist's
own understanding of reality."18
Arnold Brecht proposes to offer a "scientific" analysis of
God's existence and the reality of God. He condemss the modern scien-
tific element which brackets God's existence and reality as inter-
subjectively impossible. He argues that the scientific spirit has tended
to interpret "the bracketed Ged as a rno-existent Ged."19 Me believes
that this attitude tends to avoid the issue. Ikither is this problem
that which the theologians and the philosophers should solve, "because
we are dealing here, not with the meaning of God, but with the meaning
and scope of science and of political science in particular."20
Brecht further rejects the scientific attitude of the "fifty-
fifty balance" of God and no God. "We," he writes, "are confronted with
the near-paradox that God's reality may sae day be scientifically evident,
but that if there be no Ged we shall never know that for certain. In
popular parlance, we may some day know his existence, but we can never
know his non-existence."21 He further argues against the fallacy of
assuming that a student '"ho proposes to open the brackets must first
prove the existence of God."" He points out that this argument is "a
legal principle" rather then "a scientific one." In the legal sense only,
the burden of proof that the defendant is guilty lies oe the shoulders
18%bid., p. 459.
9he Political thiloMsohy of Arnld Irecht, p. 149.
20Ibid., p. 150.
21b.Ld., pp. 150-51.
22_bid., p. 151.
of the prosecutor, but in the scientific sense, he argues, the burden
of proof rests on "both shoulders, not merely on one."23
However, he makes it clear that his position is not a plea
"for a surrender of the negative alternative to the positive one; it
is a plea only for due recognition of both." "After fifty years of
bracketing God," he writes, "we should by now be mature enough
sometimes to remove the brackets and to shift them from the positive to
the negative alternative, therewith acknowledging God's latent place in
twentieth-century political theory; and still to fulfill our specific
function well -- the function of the political scientist to distinguish
severely between mere speculations, hypotheses, assumptions and personal
beliefs, on the one side, and scientifically established data, capable
of intersubjective transmittal, on the other."24 Since the prevailing
attitude of the social scientists has been tending towards the negative
alternative (the non-existence of God), he 'argues for taking the positive
alternative (the existence of God) in the "scientific" research.
.The position of Arnold Brecht may be untenable both to the theo-
logiams and to the scientists. That is to say, it would be tee "scien-
tific" for the theologians; and it would be too "unscientific" for the
scientists. But we must recognize the fact that even from a scientific
point of view we can cogently argue for the positive relationship between
God and politics. Brecht seems to be essentially Kantian in that the
reality of God can be neither proved nor disproved.25 The existence of
God is neither scientifically verifiable nor unverifiable: God's existence
is beyond the ken of scientific verification. In a scientific political
24Ibid., pp. 156-57.
25political Theory, p. 460.
theory, therefore, we must distinguish "religion as a subject matter
of scientific inquiry" from "religion as a source of knowledge."26
"In deciding," Brecht writes, "to limit our scientific work to the
negative alternative alone, and to keep the other 'bracketed,' we have
not eliminated the latter. This is the fundamental situation."27 To
bracket God from political theory does not eliminate hia28 from reality.
The odds are against those who assume the non-existence of God since
"we may some day know God's existence, but we can never know his non-
existence."29 Thus his conclusion is:. a scientific political theory
may as well accept the existence of God as a scientific hypothesis.
This agnostic position -- as John Dewey phrases it, "a
shadow cast.by the eclipse of the supernatural"30 -- is a blasphemy
to the religious mind which unquestionably believes in God and in the
creation of man and nature as the divine work of God. And it is heresy
to the scientifically-minded, who considers the existence of God as a
superstition and who believes in God but says that, since God's ex-
istence cannot be proved by the scientific method, the question of God
is beyond the realm of social and political philosophy. But the plea of
27bid., p. 464.
2Brecht does not capitalize "him" for the reason that, he
explains, "this paper deals with the scientific question of God's reality
and, therefore, should not give the answer surreptitiously in the style
of printing. Capitalization of the tern God is justified even so, in
order to distinguish the idea of one God from ideas of a plurality of
gods." The Political Philosophy of Arnold Brecht, p. 158.
29Political Theory p. 470.
30A Comon Faith (New Naven: Yale University Press, 1934), p. 86.
Arnold Breeht to take the peeitive alternative in the social sciences
is to open the gateway for the scientifically-minded political theorists
to trod once again the forgotten path of political theology.
"Political theories," George Sabine writes, ". . live on two
planes or play a double role. They are theories, or logical entities
belonging to the abstract world of thought, but they are also beliefs,
events in people's minds and factors in their conduct. In this latter
role they are influential (if they are) not beeaee they are true but
because they are believed."31 In this sense the Declaration of Inde-
pendence, for example, is an influential political document, not beeaose
all men are created equal in fact but because it is beli d (to be true)
that all men are created equal. John ewey, while distinguishing "the
religious" freo "religion," evem talks about "the common faith of
mankind."32 In the same setw, religious decaets, doctrines, religious
thinkers (i. e., theologian) are influential in politics (if they relate
their religious thought to politics). The t of political theology is
its link between theology and politics.
It has frequently been pointed out that modern scholarship
suffers from the deplorable condition of compartmentalization. The
compartentalization of the study of politics from religion and theology
is no exception. Joechim Wach oowee to the core of this problem when
One of the met unfortunate aspects of modern scholarship has
been the departmentalisatien of the study of smn. Gre ted,
that men is, at his best, an integral organism of which the
physical, mental, aed spiritual are aspects, we mast deplore
the fact that the inquiry into theee different aspects of his
nature is carried en in widely separated fields of study. But
31"hat Is a Political Theory?" p. 10.
320p. ct., p. 87.
what is much more disturbing is the tendency in some quarters
to deny that each of these domains of human eistenoe, notwith-
standing their interrelationship and interaction, possesses
its own laws. This important fact is neglected or outrightly
denied by determinists in different branches of the study of
Professor John U. Nef, being aware of this oempartuentalliation, calls
it "an aMies of reederq7 scholarship."34 The necessity of studying
'"an's experience as a whele" and the andca of modern scholarship rightly
place hia "in a dilema." "The very separation of scimene from faith,
from ethics and from art, which is so characteristic of our times," he
writes, "is at the roots of the industrialized world in which we live."35
To be sure, this integral study of men's experience as a whole cenfroats
the danger of becoming shallow. Mbne the less, this risk is worth taking,
as does John U. Nef, in contrast to the narrow approach where the whole
men is chopped off into innumerable pioses.36 Thus, the very axiom of
modern scholarship beeemes its myepia.
With this integral approach of the wA91 a s in view, we must
define the scope of political theology itself. By political theology
I mean that part of theoretical politics or political philosophy which
is based upon the theological as the ultiejtj source of politics. The
proposition that "all the political problems are at bottom theological"
is the key notion in political theology or, as Mathaniel Micklem phrased
33The CoMarative Stidy Of leUieog ed. Joseph M. Kitagawa
(Mew York: Columbia University Press, 1958), p. xaw.
34Cultural Foundation e p Industrial CrivtliatjLe (New TYrk:
Harper and Brothers, 1960), p. xi.
35=., p. 4.
36A humanistic view of "the whole man" is well constructed in
Lewis Wimford, The Conduct of Life (Now Tork: Mareeurt, Brace, 1951).
it, "the theology of politics."37 Therefore, as John H. Hallowell
thinks, political theology must assme "beth an intimate and logically
necessary conMction" between theological presuppositions and his po-
litieal philosophy.38 Cranted that there is such a connection, however,
it should be noted at the outset that a logically necessary conwction
between theological presuppositions and political philosophy cannot be
pushed too far. In the study of political theology, we must thus be able
to distinguish historical causelity from lgiael inferpct. In relating
theological concepts and notions with ena's political philosophy, we must
not only casider the theological reasoning of a political philosopher
but also see the ataerlal connection and conclusions of his political phi-
loeophy based upon certain sets of theological notions and presuppositions.
Take the example of original sin. This theological concept alone cannot
determine or deduce a uniform pattern of political philosophy Sang
Christian theologians. Thus, we come to the inevitable conclusions that
material connections are much mere important than logical connections.
There is a significant relation betvwen original sin and the political
philosophy of Reinhold Niebuhr and that of Karl Barth. But their politi-
cal philosophies are markedly far apart from each other. This does not
mean that there is no logical connection at all. An example can be given
37The most comprehensive exposition of a concept in political
theology is given by Irnat N. Kantorowicz in analyzing the.origin of
"T'h King's Two Bedies." Me oencludes that "the KIMN'S TWO ]-ISI is
an offshoot of Christian theological thought and casequently stands
as a landmark of Christian political theology." ap. eit., p. 506.
38NMn CurrIptA n pdern Political Thougt, p. vii.
in the political philosophy of Jacques Maritain and that of Karl Barth.
The consequence of the former from the Thomistic emphasis on reason,
nature and philosophy gives ample room for realistic and positive
thinking in political matters while the consequence of the Barthian
Orthodox emphasis on revelation, grace and theology reaches a negative
attitude or "indifferentism" towards political affairs.
However, the reasoning of Reinhold Niebuhr seems to have an
entirely different practical consequence on politics. The notion of
original sin for Niebuhr carries its weight towards a realistic approach
to politics. Power politics is the inevitable outcome of man's sinful-
ness and selfishness. Thus he accepts power struggle in international
relations as an inevitable reality. His assessment of the reality of
international politics has greatly influenced the American "realist
school" of international politics. George Kennan once said that Niebuhr
is the father of all the American realists.39 Some consider that Niebuhr
is more concerned with Christian ethics than with Christian theology.
Dante L. Germino regards Niebuhr as "a theological gadfly rather than a
theologian.140 In the same sense, Walter M. Horton speaks of the depth
of the "continental theology" in contrast to the Anglo-American
For Judith N. Shklar, political theology "assumes that all po-
litical ideas and institutions ought to be based upon direct revelation
39George Kennan is quoted as having said that Reinhold Niebuhr
is "the father of all of us," that is, of the American realists. Kenneth
W. Thompson, op. cit., p. 17.
400p. cit., p. 477.
41Contemporary Continental Theology (New York: Harper and
Brothers, 1938), p. 217.
and that political truths are a part of general theology.'"2 She could
thus reach the conclusion that political theology is "certainly not the
Christian political theory, par excellence.'43 This definition of
political theology is based on revelationall theology" alone to the
exclusion of natural or rational theology. Revelational theology is
represented by the crisis theology of Karl Barth. It is the Orthodox
Protestant theology as opposed to the "liberal" theology of the
nineteenth century. Revelational theology is less drastically
represented by Emil Brunner and Reinhold Niebuhr.
The revelational theology of Karl Barth and Eail runner is a
return to the theology of the Reformation and, especially for the former,
to the Word of God. It is contrasted with the Thomistic theology as
represented by Jacques Maritain. The supreme emphasis of revelational
theology is found in the notions of revelation, grace and the redemption
of man's sinfulnecs coming directly from God. It emphasizes the total
"other-ness" of God from nature, the world and man. Thus, men's sinful-
ness is redeemable only by the grace of God. Infinite God outdistances
the finite world, nature and man. Revelational theology minimizes the
role of human reaoon, nature and natural law at the expense of what is
supernatural, revelational, and inspired by grace.
Revelatiomal theology, thus defined, is directly opposed to the
rational or natural theology of Thomism. It rejects completely the
Thomistic concepts of apalogia entis (analogy of being), human reason,
natural law, nature. As the Catholic political philosopher Ieinrich A.
420p. cit., p. 169.
43[bid., p. 170.
Rommen points out, the revelational theology "offers scarcely a
possibility for a political philosophy and ethics based en human nature
and reason."44 In this sense, Miss Shklar's definition of political
theology is in complete agreement with Romen when the latter says:
"If . on the basis of this theology revelationall theology7 a po-
litical philosophy and ethics should ever be constructed, it will be
truly a political theology.'k5
Political theology thus narrowly defined in terms of revelational
theology alone excludes the political philosophy.based upon natural the-
ology, e. g., Thomistic theology. Natural theology is as much theology
as revelational theology. Thus we must define political theology in
such a way that it will include political philosophy based upon both
revelational theology end natural theology. Heinrich A. Rommen defines
theology to mean "either natural theology, i. e., God revealing Himself
in His creation to the human rational mind, revealing Himself in the
conscience, or supernatural theology, the doctrine.of God, revealing
Himself positively in Christ and the inspired Sacred Scriptures,
440p. cit., p. 95. He further points out the fact that "St.
Thomas in the questions dealing with political philosophy and ethics
more often quotes Aristotle and Cicero than the Scriptures, whereas
Luther and Calvin must always quote the Scriptures. (Calvin, rejecting
natural law not to the degree that Luther does, chooses to quote the
Decalogue as the substance of natural law rather than any of the ancient
or Stoic philosophers, a fact that must be explained by the Occamist
concept of natural law in Calvin's thought)" (p. 112). The Polish
Catholic thinker Przywara called St. Thomas the "Christian Aristotle."
Walter M. Horton, op. cit., p. 65. However, it seem to be of cardinal
importance to remember that St. Thomas Aquinas was Christian first and
Aristotelian second. According to Etienne Gilson, there was no doubt in
the mind of St. Thomas Aquinas that philosophy was to facilitate men's
knowledge of God, and Aquinas baptized Aristotle. For example, see:
Elements of Christian Philosophy (Garden City, X. T.: Doubleday, 1960),
pp. 5-21. Furthermore, St. Thomas Aquinas' notion of the ideal state was
found in Holy Scripture (p. 274).
450p. cit., p. 95.
interpreted by the infallible doctrinal authority of the divinely
instituted papacy or, as in Protestantism, by divine guidance of the
individual conscience, with or without the assistance of tradition .
and of the consensus of theologians."46
Political theology, therefore, wust include the canon of
Scriptures, the dogmas, the tradition and the writings of theologians
in relation to politics. However, political theology is not directly
concerned with the prSacical consequences of these things. Thus, for
example, the movemets of "Christian Demcracy" in the contemporary
world are irrelevant to political theology. It is essentially the
relationship between theological doctrines (deriving from the notion of
God) and political philosophy. The relation of church and state is a
subject of political theology as far as it is on a theoretical level.
Political theology includes revelational theology and natural
theology as long as they are related to politics; that is to say, when
theologians talk about politics in terms of their theological doctrines
and concepts. Therefore, the Christian political philosophy, if it is
Christian at all, is a political theology par eycelleaee. This does not
mean that all political writings of Christians by their religious
allegiance to Christianity belong to the realm of political theology.
Some political writers who are Christian by faith do not necessarily
expound political theology. When a political philosophy is ultinetely
founded upon the theelegieal, then it becomes a political theology.
Political theology as defined here poses another question when
we take into consideration the Thomistic distinction between "theology"
and "philosophy." "From the standpoint of Catholic theology," Romen
46Ibid., p. 93.
writes, "a specific political theology cannot be held. St. Thomas
bases political philosophy on natural reason and natural law, not on
revelation and supernatural theology.'47 In Themism, theology is clearly
distinguished from philosophy. In philosophy, the role of reason, nature
and natural law has a "genuine" but not absolute autonomy from revelation,
the supernatural and grace. Thus, political "philosophy" is a real
possibility. Political philosophyy" is put in juxtaposition with po-
litical "theology." The Themistic political philosophy is based on
human reason and natural law; "political theology" (defined in terms of
revelational theology) becomes an impossibility. As Erik Peterson says,
"political theology" is a "theological ispossibility."8 "The merit of
'political theology'," Rommen concludes, "lies, then, in certain aspects
of its criticism and not in its positive system, which is inadmissible."'9
Deriving from the distinction between philosophy and theology,
political theology (in the sense of revelational theology) for the
Thomistic thinker is not theoretically feasible. The terms "political"
and "theology" are mutually exclusive. The theology of Karl Barth, for
example, has only the negative connotation for the Thomistic thinker.
This amounts to the denial of "political theology" itself.
However, we are not compelled, for the present purpose, to accept
47bLd., p. 111. In this connection, the Protestant thinker
Walter M. I~rton writes: "I must confess my opinion that Catholic
philosophy is much more interesting and rewarding to study, as a
possible source of light and guidance, than Catholic theology." Op. cit.,
4As quoted in Heinrich A. loman, op. cit., p. 114.
49bd., p. 115.
the strict Themistic distinction between philosophy and theology. Even
a Thomist, like Jacques Maritain, does not separate philosophy from
theology. Although philosophy has a "lgenuie" autonomy in the natural
faculties of the human mind, it is not absolutely aute omoes from the-
ology. On the contrary, philosophy is illuminated by theology. "Thus,"
Remme writes, "a repudiation of political theology does not mean that
theological .upernatural truth is of no corrective and directive
influence in political philosophy or that ecclesiastical authority has
no right to teach in this field.450 Jacques Maritain himself considers
a political theology aa the genuinely political philosophy or political
science although he recognizes political philosophy and political science
as distinct from political theology. Maritainenplains that "these
fields of research such as the history of religion, anthropology, politics,
economics, and the rest, which depend on history or on methods of positive
enquiry for all the observational material they amass, and for their
empirical basis -- are not Gonstituted as completely and genuinely expli-
cative 'sciences' unless integrated with theology. Only a theological
anthropology or a political theology would merit the name of ethical
sciMae or political sagLace strictly speaking."51
Political theology is defined here in such a way as to include
natural thology and reelatiLnal theolory in relation to polities,
especially political phileeophy. We are not compelled to repudiate "po-
litical theology" (in the sease of revelational theology) as in the the-
ology of Karl Barth, despite the strict distinction between theology and
philosophy in Themism. Granted that revelational theology in its extreme
50IWb., p. 116.
1An aR y on Cthistion Pkil~o by, tr. Edward H. Flamery (New
York: Philoeephical Library, 1955), pp. 98-99.
form (i. e., Karl Barth) negates rather than affirms the importance
of politics and political philosophy, this negative political theology
is as important as the positive political theology of Th emis from a
political point of view.52 Political theology is that part of political
philosophy of which the ultimate foundation lies in the theological. The
Thomistic political philosophy is distinguished from theology; neverthe-
less, its ultimate source is Christian theology. Whether Christian the-
ology is based upon either revelational theology or natural theology, it
is a political theology as far as it is related, negatively or positively,
to politics, Political theology is a political philosophy under the
ultimate aegis of the theological. It is based upon the proposition
that all the political problems are at bottgS theological. Therefore,
the political philosophies of Karl Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jacques
Maritain,, Sail Brunner, Paul Tillich and others are political theologies
par excellence. The Christian political philosophy is a political the-
ology in the true sense of the term as it is defined here. J. V. Langmead
Casserley, a Protestant thinker, explains why the Christian political phi-
losophy is a political theology par *ceLylece when he says: "Theo-
logians of all traditions agree in rejecting this alleged priority of
philosophical reflection ever theology and faith."53 Theology is under-
stood as "the study of the content of revelation" and faith, "the ac-
ceptance of revelation." Jacques Maritain's philosophy of democracy, for
example, has its foundation on the pillar of the Gospel. Thus, his
52From a political point of view, the matter of revelational
theology and rational theology has been oepeended in a brief but precise
form by Bente L. Germino in "Two Types of Christian Political Thought."
These two types refer to the "fideists" revelationall theology) and the
"rationalists" (rational theology).
53Th Christian in Phile~9phy (New York: Charles Scribner's
Sons, 1951), p. 186.
democratic philosophy of governments is a part of his political the-
ology in general.
hving defined the seeps of political theology, we must now
state what is net political theology. Jacob Taubes, in examining the
relation between theology and political philosophy, notes that "In the
beginning theology emerged as a problem of political theory. .. .
'theology,' oecurs for the first time in a dialogue between Adeiiantus
and Socrates discussing the place of poetry and literature in the
state."54 Be goes so far to say that, "As there is no theology without
political implications, there is no political theory without theological
presuppositions."55 And he is quite right when he says, "There is, in
fact, no theology that should not be relevant for the order of society.
Even a theology that claim to be apolitical altogether, and coneeives
the divine as the totally foreign, as the totally other to man and world,
may have political implications." Moreover, it is often quoted that even
Proudhon, an atheistic anarchist, said there is theology at the bottom
Political theology is defined here only in terms of theism and
of the recognition of the supernatural. Thus it is useful to distinguish
what is a "religion" from what is "the religious."57 As keinrich A.
Remen suggests, theology would exclude "religious experiences, religious
54"Thoelegy ad Political Theory," edgl _e*earch, XXII
(Spring, 1955), p. 57.
551bid., p. 58. Nathaniel licklew also says: veryy
conceivable political theory rests upon an implicit anthropology, a
theological or anti-theological estimate of man as related to his God,
to his fellows and to eehines." Op, %t., p. xi.
56"Theology and Political Theory," p. 58; Remen, oa. cit., p. 117.
57This isaDeweyan distinction in A C ja raith, pp. 1-28.
sentiments, or irrational feelings."8 It only implies religious
"doctrines" as far as they are related to politics. As many Christian
thinkers believe, Harxism is a form of religion or atheism (pseudo-
religion). Some would consider the Platonic Idea of Good as a theo-
logical concept,59 especially through the influence of neo-Platonism.
However, these types of "theological" or "pseudo-theological" notions
are excluded from the consideration of political theology here. As
Etienne Gilson notes, ". .. if Plato has never said that the Idea of
Good is a god, the reason for it might be that he never thought of it
as of a god. And why, after all, should an Idea be considered as a god?
An Idea is no person; it is not even a soul; at best it is an intelli-
gible cause, much less a person than a thing."60
In sumary, political theology as defined here includes
revelational theology and natural theology in Christianity as far as they
are related to political philoeephy. The extreme form of revelational
theology, i. e., the dialectical theology of Karl Barth has a negative
connotation in political theology. Nonetheless, it is as important as
Thomistic theology from a political point of view. Thus, St. Augustine,
Kierkegaard, Luther and Karl Barth are as important as St. Thomas Aquinas
and Jacques Maritain. In examining the political theology of Jacques
Maritain, we must keep in mind the fact that the Themist, following the
footsteps of St. Thomas Aquinas, makes the distinction between "philoso-
phy" and "theology." Nowever, to say that the political philosophy of
580p. cit., p. 93.
59See Jacob Taubes, op. cit., pp. 57-58.
60God and Philosophy (Mew Iaven: Yale University Press, 1941),
Jacques Maritain is a political theology is not to blur the distinction
between philosophy and theology. All the Thomists, including Jacques
Maritain, recognize the fact that theology elevates philosophy. Politi-
cal theology, thus, is based upon the affirmation that all the political
problems are at bottom theological. The political philosophy of Jacques
Maritain, as well as the political writings of contemporary Christian
theologians, is the proper subject of political theology.
In conclusion, let us restate, with the aid of Paul Tillich,
what political theology or the theology of politics is. For Tillich, the
"theology of culture" (theenemy) is based precisely upon the proposition
that "Religion is the substance of culture and culture the form of
religion."61 Let us substitute politicss" for "culture," then we get the
formula for the "theology of politics" or political theology: Religion
is the substance of politics and politics the form of religion.
61The Protestant ra, tr. James Luther Adams (Chicago:
University of Chieago Press, 1957), p. 57.
THE POLITICS OF CHRISTIAN TBOLOGY
We have defined the scope of political theology as the inter-
dependence and interrelation between theological doctrines and ideas
and political philosophy. Political theology is also defined in such
a way that it should include both revelational theology and natural
theology. From a viewpoint of extreme revelational theology as in Martin
Luther, Soren Kierkegaard, and Karl Barth of our time, theology has only
negative political implications. In revelational theology there is an
unbridgeable chasm between God and man, on the one hand, and between
reason and faith, on the other hand. Since man is sinful, he can be
redeemd only by the grace of God. This attitude creates a kind of total
"indifferentism" towards cultural and political matters. Thus theology
and political philosophy are not exactly friendly twins.
Nevertheless, as we have seen in the previous chapter, there is
an intimate relationship between theology or religion and politics. As
Arnold Brecht has shown, even the scientific method cannot lightly
dismiss the importance of the interrelationship between theology and
politics. If we would look at Jecques Haritain in the light of Christian
theology as a whole, we would be in a better position to understand his
Political theology, the link between theology and politics, is
almost a terra incognit# on the part of political theorists. "The
moral and spiritual anarchy of our age," John H. McLachlan writes, "is
probably due to opinion being muddled and misled, to the continuing
acceptance of archaic conceptions such as the idea that religion has
nothing to do with politics."1 Ernst Troeltsch earlier wrote that
politics, without being integrated with religious and ethical conceptions,
"can do nothing but further the barbarization and mutual destruction of
H. Richard Niebuhr, following the footstep of Ernst Troeltsch,3
regards the relation between the Christian faith and civilization as
"the enduring problem."' Paul Tillich, one of the great Protestant theo-
logians of our time, explicitly states that "the strictly systematic
character of a theology does not need to prevent it from being 'practi-
cal' -- that is to say: applicable to the personal and social problems
of our religious life."5 However, for Tillich "it is theology and not
philosophy which is able to offer an ultimate understanding of culture."6
'1The Present World Predicament," Hibbert Journal, LVIII
(January, 1960), p. 112.
2Christian Thought: Its History and Application, ed. Baron
F. von H~gel (New York: Meridian Books, 1957), p. 173.
3Ernst Troeltsch's The Social Teaching of the Christian
Churches is certainly the most comprehensive study regarding the
relation of Christian religious doctrines to social matters.
4hrist and Culture (Mew York: Harper and Brothers, 1956). The
first chapter is entitled "The Enduring Problem" which is a preliminary
discussion concerning the relation between Christianity and civilization.
5The Shaking of the Foundations (New York: Charles Scribner's
Sons, 1948), p. i.
6Richard Kroner, Culture and Faith (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1951), pp. vii-viii.
Moreover, all cognitive, aesthetic, social, and political matters are
"spiritual concerns." "The history of Christian theology," John
Dillenberger and Claude Welch write, "is always the record of a continuous
conversation, carried on within the church and between the church and the
world in which it lives. Thus the development of theology is always a
dual movement, an expression of the inner life of the community of faith
as it acknowledges the presence of God in Jesus Christ, and at the same
time a partial reflection of the contemporary world."'
Jesus himself was not indifferent to culture. As John Moore
says, "Jesus was not an anarchist, indifferent or opposed to the claims
of political authority; he told his bearers to pay their taxes, to 'render
unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.' But that saying continues,
'and unto God the things that are God's.'" However, the essence of
Christian thinking is that ultimately "Caesar is subject to God and the
things of Caesar must be brought under God's will."9
Richard Kroner makes a philosophical excursion into the relation
between theology and culture while he recognizes the inherent limit of
philosophy which is "determined and also illuminated by faith and the-
ology." The limit of philosophy (in contrast to faith and theology) is
essentially analogous to the proposition that "the human mind and the
divine mind are separated from each other by a chasm which is reflected
by the antagonism between culture and faith." This is the prevailing
7Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith (New York: Harper and
Brothers, 1958), p. 1.
8Protestant Christianity Interpreted through Its Development
(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1954), p. 179.
9"Christian Ethics and Western Thought," The Vitality of the
Christian Tradition, p. 307.
attitude of contemporary Orthodox Protestantism. The crisis theology
of Karl Barth is extremely emphatic about this chasm that Kroner
Unlike Karl Barth, however, Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich and
tail Brunner recognize cultural and historical exigencies although they
all look at san's ethical problems "from the point of view of sacred
theology rather than from a& philosophic viewpoint." Richard Kroner,
critical of the Barthian fideistic position, says that "Karl Barth and
other theologians do not solve the problem of how the secular and the
sacred are related to each other, because they ignore or disregard the
task and the function of philosophic thought." All Christian thinkers,
however, would be in complete agreement in that the ultimate solution for
cultural problems is the Christian faith. "The philosophy of faith,"
Kroner writes, "can show that . the content of Christian faith does
'solve' the ultimate task of culture which culture can never solve." The
Christian faith, for the very reason that it can transcend culture, "is
able to integrate" culture and "to embrace and permeate all its realms."10
Only a few generations ago Ernst Troeltsch came to the deplorable
conclusion that the Christian Church "no longer possessed a fixed and
objective ideal of unity," and "the social philosophy of the Christian
community has also suffered an undeniable disintegration, through its
dependence upon continually changing conditions." The result, according
to him, was obvious: the secular social theory "has far outdistanced
the social philosophy of the Church."1 The same cannot be said of the
10Richard Kromer, op. cit., pp. ix, 7-8, 208, 209.
11The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches, II, p. 991.
K. E. Aubrey deplored the theological lag in cultural problem and
contemporary scene. It ranges from the political organization of
Churches' laymen to the seminars at various universities. The movements
of "Christian Democracy" in Europe range from family and youth organi-
zations to trade unions and political parties.12 They are a part of
continuous efforts to inculcate the Christian principles in politics
and economic affairs through laymen rather than through the Churches.
On the part of the Catholic Church, the new innovations began
with Vincent Joachim Pecci, later Pope Le XIII.13 On the intellectual
level, the encyclical Aeterni Patris (1879) encouraged the study of the
philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas in the Catholic circle. On the practical
level, the encyclical Rerumn ovarum (1891) became the landmark of Cathoic
social and economic thinking which essentially attempted to avoid the
urged Christian theology to "render a new service to culture. . .
[In order to do thisJ theology.must reorientate its work so as to
concentrate upon the cultural problem . .. [The contemporary)
situation demands of theology a new religious world-view, which offers
an interpretation of civilization itself. This theology will be neither
a non-social metaphysical theory nor a non-metaphysical social teaching,
but a re-examination of assumptions of culture in terms of a world-
view." Present Theological Tendencies (New York: Harper and Brothers,
1936), pp. 17-18.
12Michael P. Fogarty defines Christian Democracy as "that
aspect of the ecumenical or catholic movement in modern Christianity
which is concerned with the application of Christian principles in
the areas of political, economic, and social life for which the Christian
laity has independent responsibility." Christian Qmocroey in Western
gurope 1820-1953 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1957), pp. 5, 345.
This book is probably the most comprehensive study of Christian Democra-
cy in Europe. Representing a Reman Catholic point of view, there is
Church and Society: Catholic Social and Political Thought and Movements
1789-1950, ed. Joseph Moody (New York: Arts, 1953). There are numerous
works written country by country. However, some excellent examples are:
Mario Einaudi and Francois Goguel, Christian Demcracy in Italy and
France (Notre Dome: University of Notre bhme Press, 1 52) and Alfred
Diammnt, Austrian Catholics and the First Repubj:c (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1960).
13The nine most important social teachings of Pope Leo XIII is
found in The Church Speaks to the Modern World: The Social Teaching
of Leo XIII, ed. Etienne Gilson (Garden City, N. Y.: Image Books, 1954).
From a Protestant point of view, Winthrop S. Hudson writes Understmading
one extreme of laissez-faire capitalism and the other extreme of secular
or "atheistic" socialism; on social and political matters, we must take cogni-
zance of the encyclicals such as Imnertale Dei (1885), Graves de Comuni
(1901) and, most recently, Pope John XXIII's Hater et Neagster (July, 1961).
From a Protestant point of view, the Ecumenical Mavement (the
World Council of Churches) was an attempt to arrive at doctrinal
unity in Protestantisa.14 There is also the "Christendom" movement in
England* In the university circle in this country, the Lilly Endement
research program in Christianity and politics at Duke Wniversity under
the directorship of John H. Hallowell and the Institute of Ethics and
Politics at Wesleyan University under the direction of Kenneth W.
Underwoed are comparatively recent phensena to integrate Christianity
with political and social matters in university teaching.15
Roman Catholicism: A Guide to Papal Teaching for Protestants (Phila-
delphia: Westminster Press, 1959).
14The Ecmenical Movement or the World Council of Churches began
with the first Assembly held at Asterdam in Holland from August 22 to
September 4, 1948. Ome hundred and forty-seven churches from forty-four
countries were represented by three hundred and fifty-one delegates and
two hundred and thirty-eight alternates. The second Assembly was held
at Ivanston, Illinois, in 1956. It mst be clearly noted that the
Council itself is not a church and cannot define doctrine and policy
of various churches, although the creation of the Council is an
aspiration of a united Christian church. The Council publishes a
quarterly journal called cumenical review whose present editor is
Willem Adolph Visser 'T soft, who wrote The YIeanin of Ecumenical
(Londen: 9CK Press, 1953). See also: John T. MNeeill, modern Christian
Movements (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954) which includes Roman
Catholic novements. From a historical point of view, there is A history
of the Kcunigpl MIvement, ed. Ruth louse and Stephen C. Meill (Phila-
delphia: Westainster Press, 1954); and from a doctrinal point of view,
Walter M. Norten wrote: Christian Theole~y: An Ecumenical NAproach
(MNw York: Harper and Brothers, 1955). From a Catholic point of view,
see: Gustave Weigel, A Catholic Primer on the ciumnical "veent
(Westminster, Nd.: Ifen! Press, 1959); Bernard Leeming, The Chrches
and the Church: A Stsdy ef cumeniwt (Westminster, Md.: Newmn Press,
15The Lilly Indowment program is oriented on a high professional
level that includes conference and publication. Its publication
Along with these new developments, Christian political theology
is a force that should be recognized in the modern theory of politics.
The fundamental supposition of Christian political theology is that all
the political problems and political philosophies are at bottom theo-
logical. Theology is the first principle of Christian political philoso-
phy. The completely systematic analysis of political theology, of course,
must include all the religions of the world, whether they be past or
present, primitive or modern. It must include, for example, Christianity,
Judaism, Islamism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism, and examine their
theological implications and influences on politics. In doing so, politi-
cal theology must learn its lessons from comparative religion, philosophy
of religion, sociology of religion, psychology of religion, and other
includes such works as Kenneth W. Th~ onpot Christian Ethics and the
Dilemma of Foreig Policy and John.Wild, uuman Freedom and sociall
Order (Durham: Duke University Press, 1959). On the other hand, the
program at Wesleyan University is primarily aimed at teaching under-
graduates the relation between Christianity and social problems. For
an exposition of this program, see: James R. Brown, "Inter-
Misiplinary and Inter-Faith Dialogue as an Approach to the Study of
Ethical Problems in Politics," Ethics ayd the Social Sciences, ed. Leo
R. Ward (Motre Dame: University of Metre Dame Press, 1959), pp. 104-16.
16ome examples are: Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane:
The Mature of religion (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1961) and
Patterns in Comparative Religion, tr. Rosemary Sheed (New York: Sheed
and Ward, 1958); Nircea Eliade and Joseph M. Kitagawa (eds.), The
History of Religions: Essays in Wethodology (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1959); Joachim Wach, The Cpr native Study of Religions,
ed. Joseph H. Kitagawa (New York: Columbia Ilniversity Press, 1958),
Types of Religious Experience Christian and Men-Christian (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1951) and peciology of Kligiten (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1944); Hanry Nelson Wieman and Walter M.
Horton, The Growth of Religion (Chicago: Willett, Clark, 1938); John
Milton Yinger, Religion in the Struggle of Power (Brhm: Duke Uni-
versity Press, 1946) and Religiog, Society and the Individual (New York:
Macmillan, 1957); William Ernest Mocking, Living Uelitjn and a World
Faith (New York: Macmillan, 1940); Charles W. )Mrris, Pathe of Life
Christianity is a catholic and universalistic religion in
the modern world. The sphere of its influence has no longer been
limited to the Western hemisphere; it has rapidly spread and taken its
roots even in the Eastern hemisphere.17 "Religion as form of life and
Weltamchbawng," writes Mircea Eliade, "is represented by Christianity."18
Despite the catholicity of Christianity in form and substance, it is
only one form of religion from a comparative point of view. Therefore,
theoretically speaking, Christian political theology is a part, although
a large part, of political theology in general. To complete a systematic
analysis of political theology, we must include all the religions of the
world, be they living or dead.
For the discussion of political theology -- Christianity or
Christian theology and politics in this case -- it is convenient to
divide hmen existence into the two fundamental '"dalities" given by
Paul Tillich: one is the historical order and the other is the eternal
order.19 One is the temporal, the natural, the profane, or the finite
(new York: George Braziller, 1956); F. S. C. Northrop, The NMt:^ of
gast and West (Mew York: Meemillan, 1946); Georg SiuEl, ScLalorg of
Religion, tr. Curt Resenthal (New York: Philosophical Library, 1959);
Alfred North Whitehead, Religion in the Making (New York: Meridian
Books, 1960); William Jmes, The Varieties of Rligious Ifperience (New
York: Mndern Library, 1929); Rudolf Otte, The Idea of the bply, tr.
John W. Harvey (Rew lark: Oxford University Press, 1958); C. G. Jung,
Psychology od RIelzLes: Wet a*d Egst, tr. R. F. C. Mull (New York:
Pantheon, 1958); Erich Pream, Psychcneilyuis and RelVion (Mev Haven:
Yale University Press, 1950); Serdon W. Allport, The Individual *k 14i
Religion (evw Vork: Nacmillan, 1960).
17he meet comprehensive study of the expansion of Christianity
is found in Kemneth Scott Latourette, A history of the expansion of
Christiaity (7 vols.; New York: Warper and Brothers, 1937-1945). A
shorter version is A istpry of Christianity (new York: Harper and
18The Secred & d the Profae, p. 162.
19The Shaking of the Fowndations, p. 18.
world and the other is the spiritual, the supernatural, the sacred, or
the infinite world. Politics refers to the former, whereas religion
refers to the latter. Man can be looked at in the same way: he is
hOmo religious and hbQo historicus, or he is spiritual and temporal.
Thus man is fundamentally a two-dimensional being. Regardless of what
type of religion it may be, according to NMreea Eliade, a noted
historian of comparative religion, all religions encounter the sacred
in contrast to the profane.20
Religious man would have a fundamentally different outlook on
the world of politics from the non-religious. For him the world of
politics as part of the historical order is secondary in the order of
importance: there is the higher order of the supernatural, the sacred,
or the eternal world. "For religious man," Eliade ceients, "space is
not homogeneous . . there is . a sacred space, and hence a
strong, significant space; there are other spaces that are not sacred
and so are without structure or consistency, amorphous. For religious
man, this spatial nonhomogeneity finds expression in the experience of
an opposition between space that is sacred -- the only real and real-ly
existing space -- all other space, the formless expanse surrounding it."21
While the sacred world always represents the absolute reality,
the profane world appears for religious man to be only a momentary
temporality. "Whatever the historical context in which he [religious
men7 is placed," says Eliade, '"hoo reoiigisu* always believes that there
is an absolute reality, the sacred, which transcends this world but
20The Sacred and the Profare, p. 14.
21Ibid., p. 20.
manifests itself in this world, thereby sanctifying it and asking it
real."22 here lies the difference between the naturalistic notion of
man anthropocentricc humanism) and the theocentric notion of man (thoo-
centric hum aium).23 Nan is the center of the universe in the former;
if there is God, God is either the object of belief or valuable for the
service of men.24 In the latter, however, the order is reversed: God
is the pivot of human existence and the world.
It is usually agreed that the naturalistic comeeption of man is
the product of the Renaissance and inculcated in the course of scien-
tific development. Mircea Eliade says that ". . the comeletely profane
world, the wholly desacralized cosmos, is a recent discovery in the
history of the humen spirit." Man, however, never seems to be able to
escape completely from his religious experience: there is always sme
object for belief or worship even if it be neither God nor the Supreme
Being who governs the universe. "To whatever degree he may have de-
sacralized the world, the man who had made his choice in fever of a
profane life never succeeds in completely doing away with religious
Whatever the nature of man may be, the world of politics for
religious man appears to be at its best only one of many possible
dimensions of human existence. Politics, considered as such, seems to
be more rewarding and exacting. Politics and other dimensions of life
are existentially interrelated with one another. Religious dimensieo
22Ibid., p. 202.
23From an anthrepocentric point of view, Erich Kahler wrote ap
the Neasure: A Itw Aj roach to Ristory (New York: George Braziller,
1961). Jacques Naritain presents one of the best examples of theo-
centric htmenism in True R ism, tr. Margot Adamson (New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1938).
24For example, see Ludwig Feuerbach, The essencee of Chraitianity.
and political dimension, in the last resort, cannot be excluded from
mutual dependence. Mircea Eliade pinpoints this fact when he says
that the sacred and the profane worlds are "of concern both to the
philosopher and to anyone seeking to discover the possible dimensions
of human existence."25
A political theorist who studies political theology must keep
in mind that, for religious an, e. g., a Christian theologian, politics
is always portrayed in the image of the profane world in contrast to
religion in the image of the sacred world. It is not too difficult to
understand, therefore, why a Christian theologian would consider
Communism as a pseudo-religion in which the proletariat has a kind of
"soteriological function" and the stateless society has a kind of
"Judaeo-Christian eschatological hope of an absolute end to history."26
For a theologian who is trying to bridge the chasm between
theology and politics or between the sacred and the profane worlds,
political theology is the means to achieve this unity. Some
theologians, notably Karl Barth, may try to discard the profane
world of politics altogether. However, paradoxically enough,
they can never escape from political involvement. The record
of Barth's opposition to Nazism, despite his theological belief,
clearly shows why even the utterly profane world of politics must become
the concern for even such a theologian. For more politically-minded
theologians like Reinhold Miebuhr and Jacques Maritain, Christianity has
cast its lot with the world of politics even though it is profane.
26Ibid., p. 207.
25The Sacred and the Profane, pp. 13, 15, 23, 203.
That was the reason why Reinhold Niebuhr accused Barth of "indifferentism"
towards the world of politics.27 Niebuhr's ethical concern over the
world of politics is a supreme form of Christian activism. Niebuhr
cannot tolerate the Barthian attitude of Christians having "nothing
special to say to the godless people of our age which [they] would not
have said in any age."28 even Dmil Brunner who shares the Christocentric
Barthian orientation "saw some point of contact in men's 'capacity for
Will Herberg shews clearly why even Karl Barth had to become
involved in politics.30 He considers Barth as "truly the Carlylean Hero
as Theologian," and Barth is not merely an "eventful" men but also an
"event-making" man.31 In examining Karl Barth, Herberg comes to the
conclusion that "contemporary theology is reasserting its relevance to
all of human life, man's social concerns included." And even in the
social philosophy of Karl Barth, Herberg distinguishes "a kind of pre-
Barthian Barth" from real Barth. Barth has been concerned with "the
27ssays in Applied Christianity, ed. B. B. Robertsen (New York:
Meridian Books, 1959), "Barthianism and the Kingdeom" pp. 141-93.
28Ibjd., p. 173.
29Will Herberg, "The Social Philosophy of Karl Barth," p. 16.
30Herberg's exposition of "the social philosophy of Karl Barth"
is an indication that Barth had to be involved in politics.
31p. ct., p. 12. "Eventful" men and "event-making" men are
coined by Sidney Book in The Hero in -pstgry: A Study in Ui tation
and Possibility (Boaton: Beacon Press, 1943), p. 154. Book dis-
tinguishes the two categories of eventful mn and event-making m~n:
"The eventful mn in history is any men whose actions influenced
subsequent developments along a quite different course than would have
been followed if these actions had not been taken. The event-meking
man is an eventful man whese actions are the consequences of out-
standing capacities of intelligence, will, and character rather than
of accidents of position."
problems of society, church, and state, war and revolution, totalitari-
anism and democracy." This was why Barth expressed his stern oppo-
sition to Nazi totalitarianism: his discriminating judgments in politics
came to "bring the Christian to the side of constitutional democracy."32
The fideistic position of Barth totally rejects reason, nature
and philosophy. H. R. Mackintosh remarks that "Barth gives no place to
Natural Revelation."33 Revelation, faith, and grace are the key concepts
32Will Herberg, op. cit., pp. 13, 21, 45.
33Types of Modern Theology (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,
1937), p. 277. The fideistic position of Karl Barth is clear throughout
his theological writings. The ipistle to the Romans, tr. Edwyn C.
Hoskyns (London: Oxford University Press, 1933) was merely the beginning
of this great theologian. Joachim Wach comments that "Two theological
books profoundly impressed the generation of students which populated
the German universities after the First World War: the Commentary on
the Epistle to the Romans by Karl Barth and The Idea of the Holy by
Rudolf Otto." Types of Religious Experience Christian and Non-Christian,
p. 209. The most systematic exposition of Barth's theology is found in
Church Dogmtics (4 vols. in 7; New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,
1936-1958); Dogmatics in Outline, tr. G. T. Thomson (New York: Philo-
sophical Library, 1949) is a sketch of his theological outlook. His
Gifford lectures make his fideistic position clear and here we find
his negative attitude towards society and culture: The Knowledge of
God and the Service of God according to the Teaching of the reformation,
tr. J. L. M. Haire and Ian Henderson (London: Hodder and Stoughton,
1938). His social thinking can be found in The Word of God and the Word
of Man, tr. Douglas Horton (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1957),
Against the Stream and Co-munity, State and Church. An excellent
exposition of Barth's social and political thinking is found in Will
Herberg, "The Social Philosophy of Karl Barth," Coeunity, State and
Church, pp. 11-67.
Among numerous materials concerning theological tendencies of
the contemporary world, the following works seem to be useful for the
present exposition of "the politics of Christian theology": E. E.
Aubrey, Present Theological Tendencies, Roger Hazelton, kew Accents in
Contemporary Theology (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1960); Carl F. H.
Henry (ed.), Contemporary VvaeRalical Thought (New York: Harper and
Brothers, 1957); Walter M. Horton, Contamporary Continental Theology
and Theology in Transition (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1943);
H. R. Mackintosh, Types of Modern Theology; Daniel Day William, What
Present-Bay Theologians Are Thinking (New York: Harper and Brothers,
1952); Karl Pfleger, Wrestlers with Christ, tr. I. I. Watkin (New York:
Sheed and Ward, 1938).
for Barth. In his Gifford lectures, he made absolutely clear that
"natural theology" is an impossibility, le somewhat apologetically
stated that his lectures could only serve "indirectly" to the intentions
of Gifford lectures, which require a general topic on "natural theology"
and its relation to the human ethics and the world. The Barthian fideistic
position implies an indifferent attitude towards the historical order
altogether. "Not ethical autonomy," remarks H. R. Mackintosh, "is the
watchword, but obedience to the Word of God, speaking in man's heart
to disclose to him his duty for the actual or existential moment through
which he is living."34 "The knowledge of God and the service of God"
is an antithesis to "natural theology." God (not man) and the Church
(not the world) are exalted. "The church," Barth vehemently states, "is
neither a charitable institution, nor an institution for the general
betterment of the world and man. She is not an institution for the culti-
vation of fellowship, nor is she a place of intellectual entertainment."35
For Barth, God alone can save the world, aad "the synthesis Cof God and
the world we seek is in God alone, and in God alone can we find it. If
we do not find it in God, we do not find it at all.36
As has been suggested in the preceding pages, there are three
possible attitudes, which the theologians may take concerning the re-
lationships between the sacred world and the profane world. According
to H. Richard Miebehr, these are the relations between "Christ and
34O. cit., p. 319.
35The KYwl4aed of God and the Service of God according to
the Teac&hin of the Reformetion, p. 209.
36Karl Barth, The ird of God and the Word of Men, pp. 281,
culture."37 These three different attitudes, moreover, correspond to
the attitudes concerning the connection between faith and reason, between
grace and nature, and between theology and philosophy.38
The first position is that of "Christ over culture." It is the
logical consequence of the primary emphasis on faith, grace, and the-
ology at the expense of reason, nature and philosophy. In the Middle
Ages, the Tertullan "family" and the Augustinian "family" represented
this position. Kierkegaard, Luther and Barth represent the same position
when they discard the role of reason, nature and philosophy in the Christian
faith. Thus the "other-ness" of God is the necessary chasa between the
sacred world and the profane world. A Thomist appears for them as a kind
of "semi-rationalist." "Contemporary Protestant thought," Samuel E.
Stumpf writes, "is fundamentally critical of natural law theory, even
though it does not repudiate the doctrine entirely. The ground of this
critical attitude is that the doctrine of natural law is originally the
product of rational philosophy, which rests upon certain notions of the
nature and capacities of man which Protestantism does not accept."9
The theology of Reinhold Kiebuhr revolves around Christian ethics.
Thus, his chair of "applied Christianity" is an appropriate title. Dente
L. Germino calls him "a theological gadfly" rather than a theologian.40
370p. cit. Ernst Troeltsch classified three types of Christian
thought: the Church, the soct, and mysticism in The Social Teaching of
the Christian Churches, II, p. 993.
38This distinction, as it existed in the Middle Ages, is made
clear by Etienne Gilson in Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages (New
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1938). Three distinct categories are:
the primacy of faith, the primacy of reason, and the harmony of reason
39A Handbook of Christian Theology (Mew York: Meridian Books,
1958), p. 246.
40"Two Types of Christian Political Thought," p. 481. Edward D.
Niebuhr's whole political "realism" is based upon the notion of original
sin.41 The natural law of Thmism is totally rejected by him. Reaen
Catholicism appears to his at its best "the blind child of light," in
O'Connor, a Catholic thinker, writes that "Niebuhr's interest in the-
ology is chiefly motivated by ethical preoccupations, and his theo-
logical positions are manifestly influenced by ethical convictions."
"The Theology of Reinhold Niebuhr," Review of Politice, XXIII (April,
1961), pp. 193-94.
41A1l Niebuhr's writings seem to have positive social
implications deriving from his ideas of Christian ethics. The Mature
and Destiny of Man (2 vols.; New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1941-
1943) must be considered as the point at which his theology lays the
ground for his social and political philosophy. The theme of the fallen
and pessimistic nature of men permeates all of his writings. Ameng his
works, the following are important far the purpeee of the present essay:
An Interpretation of Christian Ethics (New York: Meridian Books, 1956);
Moral M and Inoral Society (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932)
which has great impacts on political realism in international politics;
Christian Realism and Political Problem (New York: Charles Scribner's
Sons, 1940); Christianity sad Plwer Politics (New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1940); The Children of Light and the Childre0 of
Darkness; The Structure of Nations and Erpire (New York: Charles
Scribner's Sens, 1959); Esays in Applied Christianity.
The most penetrating expositions on Niebuhr's thought are
compiled with his own comments in Charles W. Kegley and Robert W.
Bretall (ads.), Reinhold Niebuhr: Ei Religious, Social, and Political
Thought (New York: Maemillan, 1961). Gordon Harland appraises Niebuhr's
thought in The Thought of Reinbold Niabuhr (MNw York: Oxford University
Press, 1960) which includes the social and political thought of Niebuhr.
Holtan P. Odegard critically analyzes the political philosophy of Niebuhr
in Sin and Sqceace: Leinpold Miebuhr as political Theologia (Yellow
Springs, Ohio: Antioch Press, 1956). Ronald F. Howell wrote an
excellent article: "Political Philosophy on a Theological Foundation:
An Expository Analysis of the Political Thought of Reinhold Niebuhr,"
Ethics, LXII (January, 1953), pp. 79-99.
It mest be noted here that the cardinal virtue of Niebuhr's
political philosophy is realism based upon the notion of selfish,
pessimistic and sinful man, and yet Niebuhr seem to attempt to
transcend this limitation by means of faith, love and justice. This
appears to be an engulfing conflict between realism and idealism in
Niebuhr's thought. "Indeed, the unsolved problem in Niebuhr's philoso-
phy," Kenneth W. Thempson writes, "arises precisely from this crowing
point in his thought," that is to say, "from the depths of human
selfishness and sin to the bright suit of transcendent faith." "The
Political Philosophy of Reinhold Niebuhr," Reiniild Miebuhr: iis
Religious, Social, and Folitical Thinbht, pp. 168, 169.
contrast to the "children of darkness.'"2 He thus characterizes the
"misgivings of Catholic politics," first of all, in Catholicism's
identification of "the moral ambiguities of politics . with eternal
sanctities." Secondly, the misgiving of Catholic politics is that "the
Catholic church tends to identify the historic church with the Kingdom
of God." Thirdly, Niebuhr thinks that an alternative of "moral nihilism"
(e. g., the Barthian position) cannot be found in the Catholic principle
in "the infLexible propositions of 'natural law'."43
The contemporary Orthodox Protestant theologians -- Reinhold
Niebuhr, Karl Barth, Emil Brunner and Paul Tillich -- attack the theo-
logical position of Protestant "liberalism" that had been flourishing
in the nineteenth century.4 They all are critical of the liberal
position which brought Christ down to the level of culture -- this is the
second possible position that H. Richard Neibuhr calls "the Christ of
culture" and Karl Barth calls "culture-Protestantism. 45 The Orthodox
Protestantism of our day completely rejects the Protestantism of Albrecht
Ritschl, Friedrich Schleiermacher, the historical Jesus research of
42The Children of Light Mad the Childree of Darkness, p. 13.
43Essays in Applied Christianity, p. 248.
44For the development of Protestantins, see: John Dillenberger
and Claude Welch, Protestant Christianity Interpreted through ItV
Development and William 'Hrdern, A Laymn's Guide tp Protestant
Theology (New York: Macmillan, 1955). Expositions of aeo-Orthodon
Protestantism are found in William Hordern, The Case for a New
reformation Theology (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1959) and
Edward John Carnell, The Case for Orthodox Theology (Philadelphia:
Westminster Press, 1959).
45H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture, p. 102. It is what
is called Kulturproteptantismus by the Germans.
Albert Schweitaer, and the Social Gospel of Walter Rauschenbusch.46 In
short, Protestant liberalism is "the acculturation of Christ.'47 On
the other hand, many Protestants would not regard Imoral nihilism" of
the "Christ-against-culture" type (the first and fideistic position)
as the solution of the chaotic world of today. "The widespread reaction,"
writes H. Richard Niebuhr, "against cultural Protestantism in our time
tends to obscure the importance of answers of this type to the Christ-
Unlike Karl Barth, many Protestant thinkers of our time accept
the limited role of reason. Rudolf Otto, who has been concerned with
the significant implications of the "non-rational" feeling ) for meta-
physic, has even remarked that "no one ought to concern himself with the
'NMman ineffabile' who has not already devoted assiduous and serious
study to the 'Ratio aeterna'."'9 Bail Brunaer's acceptance of limited
natural theology in the Protestant circle has already been mentioned.
Here he departs from his colleague Karl Barth.50 Thus, not all Protestant
46Albrecht Benjamin Ritschl, The Christian pctrine Qf
Justification and Recoacil atopp, ed. H. R. Mackintosh and A. B. Macaulay
(2d ed.; Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1902); Friedrich Schleiermecher,
The Christiap Faith, ed. H. R. Mackintosh and M. S. Stewart (Edinburgh:
T. and T. Clark, 1928) and On Religion: Speeches to Its Culurod
Despiseys, tr. John Omen (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1958); Albert
Schweitzer, h* Quett qf the Historical J-aus, tr. W. Montgomery (3d ed.;
New York: emisllan, 1957); Walter Rauschenbush, A Theology of the Sgcial
Gospel (New York: Macmillan, 1917). For the expositions of liberal
theology, see: H. R. Mackintosh, Types of M~dern Theology on Schleiermacher
(pp. 31-100), Ritschl (pp. 138-80) and Troeltsch (pp. 181-217); H. P. Van
Dusen and D. E. loberts (eds.), Liberal Theelegy (New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1942); L. Harold DeWolf, The Case for Theology in
Liberal Perlspecti (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1959).
47H. Richard Niebuhr, op. cit., p. 102.
48Ibd., p. 101.
49The Ide1 of the Iply, p. xxi.
50Fer the controversy on nature and grace between Barth and Brunner,
see: Matural Theology: Comprising "Mature and Grace" by dail Brunner
thinkers reject the role of natural law in the modern world. Robert
L. Calhoun sees the necessary correlation between democracy and natural
law.51 Natural law concept for John Wild is an indispensable foundation
for reconstructing a "realistic philosophy" and othics.52 Anglicanism
also is imbued with the important role of reason in theology.53 "The
political side," writes hathaniel Micklem, "belongs to the sphere of
Reason rather than of Revelation.n54
Pcau Tillich has a unique theological character of his own.55 By
qnd the Reply n"!" by Karl larth, tr. Peter Fraeakel with an introduction
by John Baillie (London: G. Bles, 1946). On this problem, also consult:
H. Richard Niebuhr, The Meaning of Revelation (New York: Macmillan, 1941)
and John Baillie, The Idea of Revelation in Iecant Thought (New York:
Columbia University Press, 1956).
Karl Barth, in his Gifford lectures, said that he could not, as
a Reformed theologian, directly affirm and fulfill the intention of Lord
Gifford under whose name Gifford lectures have been initiated. And he
declared that "natural theology" exists due to "a radical error" and he
intended to keep himself away froe it. The 7 uwAedge of God and the
Service of God according to the Teaching of te Refrmation, p. 5.
51Democracy and Natural Law," Natural Law Ferum V (1960),
521ntroduction to Realistic Philosophy (New York: Harper and
Brothers, 1948) and Plato's ~2emrn Enemies and the Theory of Natural
Law (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953).
53Anglican theology has been imbued with rational theology.
For example, see: William Temple, Iature, Man and God (London:
Macmillan, 1935); E. L. Mascall, Me Who Is: A Study in Traditional
Theism (London: Longmans, Green, 1943) and Existece and Analogy: A
Sequel to 'He Who Is' (London: Longmans, Green, 1949). As Mascall
himself makes clear in the preface of ie Who is, "this book is put
forward as a small contribution to the reconstruction of Anglican the-
ology" (p. xii). His philosophical approach is unquestionably "Thomistic"
in these two volumes.
54The Theology of Politics, p. xii.
55The systematic theology of Paul Tillich is found in Systematic
Theology (2 vols.; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951-1957) and
in The Protestiut Era, tr. James Luther Adam (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1948). His works which have cultural implications
include: The Religious Situation, tr. H. Richard Niebuhr (New York:
kis own admission, he avoids the party struggle or stands always "on
the boundary" between opposing views: "between Barth and Hirscb,
between American empirical theology and European dialectical theology,
between Protestantisa and Catholicism."56 It is not strange, therefore,
that the Catholic Jesuit Gustave Weigel, in his review of Tillich's
The Protestant Ira, has said that "There is something Thomistic about
this brilliant thinker not in the sense that he subscribes to the more
characteristic Thomistic theses -- he rejects many of them violently --
but in the sense that he is moved by the same feeling for unity and
completenes in his vision of the real. . He has made luminous that
strange thing, Protestantism, to which he is passionately attached."57
Meridian Books, 1956); Dynarics of Faith; The Courage To fe; The Shaking
of the Foundatioqs; The New Betn (New York: Charles Scribner's Sees,
1955); Love, Power, and Justice (Mew York: Ocford University Press,
1954). An analysis of Tillich's thought is found in Charles W. Kegley
and Robert W. Bretall (eds.), The Theolyg of Paul Tillich (New York:
Macmillan, 1952), which includes Tillich's em events. Walter
Leibrecht (ed.), Recigion ad Culture: Xssays in ft/or of PFul Tillch
(New York: Harper and Brothers, 1959) is a collection of essays which
deal with Christianity and culture in general.
56Walter M. Horton, "Tillich's Role in Contemporary Theology,"
The Theology of faul Tillich, pp. 45-46. Walter Leibrecht maCes Tillich's
position mest clear when he says: "For Tillich, theology and philosophy
are called to actualize themselves in continuous dialogue and encounter
with scientists, artists, sociologists, economists, depth psychologists
and others intent on expressing and interpreting reality.!' In contrast
to the Barthian position, Leibrecht states: "If Karl Barth is the theo-
logians' theologian, cendeaning the mediating function of theology, Tillich
stands forth as the theologian for iverymen in the predicament of his
existence." Therefore, the theology of Paul Tillich is "a truly ecumeni-
cal theology." mis theology provides "in his concept of theonomy a
creative possibility for a fruitful encounter of the Protestant and
Catholic principles in the present ecumenical discussion." "The Life
and Mind of Paul Tillich," itligion and Culture: Essays in Btnrz of
Paul Tillich, pp. 10, 17.
57As quoted in Walter M. Horton, "Tillich's Rle in Conteporary
Theology," pp. 41-42.
Paul Tillich makes clear the relation between reason and
revelation. For Tillich, faith is of man's ultimate concern; it is
"an act of the total personality." According to him, even modern
humanism is a "humanist faith of the moral type." Faith has all the
elements of doubt, courage, and love. Thus faith is the "integrating
power" of life, and it "determines and unites all elements of the
personal life." The truth of faith is determined by "adequacy" of
expression of ultimate concern, the adequacy of essentially symbolic
expression. Resulting from this conception of faith, Protestantism has
been in a position to criticize Roman Cathelicism: "'x church has the
right to put itself in the place of the ultimate. Its truth is judged
by the ultimate."
The Reformation, according to Tillich, was essentially the revolt
against "the exclusion of the prophetic self-criticism by the authori-
tarian system of the Church and the growth of the sacramental elements
of faith over the moral-personal ones." Tillich, however, has no at-
tachment to Protestant liberalism which has lost sacramentalism and
became "nore and mere a representative of the moral-personal type." It
is no better than the authoritarianism of Roman Catholicism, for "the
Pauline experience of the Spirit [the Spirit of love, justice and truth/
as the unity of all types of faith was largely lost in both Catholicism
58Yynamicp of Faith, pp. 4, 69, 72, 98, 108. Karl Barth
expresses virtually the same opinion when he says: ". . the church
service both in Roman Catholicism and in Protestantism is a torso.
The Roman Catholic church has a sacramental service without preaching.
. . [The Protestant church has7 a service with a sermon but without
sacrament." The Knowledge of God Ead the Service of God according to
the Teachiln of the Reformation, p. 211.
Paul Tillich raises no objection to science as a source of
knowledge.59 His only objection is the scientific spirit that produced
the idea of infinite progress, eternal peace and happiness. Similar to
the Catholic thought, Tillich does recognize the role of reason, which
has essentially no conflict with faith. "Reaeon is the precondition of
faith; faith is the act in which reason reaches ecstatically beyond
itself. . Man's reason is finite; it moves within finite relations
when dealing with the universe and with man himself. . The ecstatic
experience of an ultimate concern does net destroy the structure of
reason. Ecstasy is fulfilled, not denied, rationality.", Thus, there is
no conflict between faith and reason, as long as the latter recognizes
its own limitation. "They are within each other.'60
Paul Tillich further speaks of "doubt" as an element in the
dynamics of faith. However, "the doubt," he explains, "which is
implicit in every act of faith is neither the methodological nor the
skeptical doubt. . It is not the permanent doubt of the scientist,
and it is not the transitory doubt of the skeptic, but it is the doubt
of him who is ultimately concerned about a concrete content." The
element of doubt for Tillich is truly "the Protestant principle." Hence
he believes that "the concept of 'infallibility' of a decision by a
council or a bishop or a book excludes doubt as an element of faith in
those who subject themselves to these authorities." This is truly the
essential criticism of Protestantism against Roman Catholicism. Faith
devoid of doubt, therefore, "has become static, a nenquestioning surrender
59The Shaking of the Foundations, p. 5.
60Dynamics of faith, pp. 76, 77.
not only to the ultimate, which is affirmed in the act of faith, but
also to its concrete elements as formulated by the religious authorities."
In regard to cognitive reason, Paul Tillich recognizes three
forms: the scientific, the historical and the philosophical. They have
no conflict with the truth of faith. "Science," he writes, "can
conflict only with science, and faith only with faith; science which
remains science cannot conflict with faith which remains faith."
"Neither scientific nor historical truth can affirm or negate the truth
of faith. The truth of faith can neither affirm nor negate scientific
or historical truth."61 Nevertheless, the scientific observer is never
absolutely "pure" -- pure in the sense that he can exclude "interfering
factors." As regards philesephy and faith, they both are concerned with
ultimate reality, but the former is conceptuall" and the latter is
"symbolical." Furthermore, there is "a continuous process of interpre-
tation of philosophical elements and elements of faith, not one philo-
All in all, Paul Tillich recognizes an important role of reason
in the scientific, the historical and the philosophical truths. They
have no essential conflict with the truth of faith. From this con-
sideration of the important role of reason, he comes to a very sig-
nificant practical conclusion when he says: "The humanist faith in the
essential rationality of man is more favorable for general education
and democracy than the traditionally Christian faith in original sin and
the demonic structures of reality. The Protestant faith, in an unmediated,
61lbid., pp. 20, 28, 29, 82, 89. Bail Bruaner also says that
it is not necessary that science should be subordinated to theology.
Science serves men best if they remain true to its own law. Christianity
and Civilisation, Part 2, p. 137.
person-to-person encounter with God, produces more independent
personalities than the Catholic faith and its ecclesiastical mediation
between God and men." Mereover, "Lutheran faith in personal forgiveness
is less conducive to social action than the Calvinistic faith in the
honor of God."62
Many political theorists would agree with Tillich in that
rationality is an important element for democracy;63 and "independent
personalities," when translated into a psychological term, that is, the
individualism of democracy, are mich more. favorable to democracy than are
the more dependent personalities who adhere to the Catholic faith. Thus
Tillich leaves us in debt about the possible relation between Catholic
rational philosophy and democracy, and the total structure of Niebuhr's
political philosophy with which original sin has an intimate relation.
ail Drunner also has the "scholastic" tone in his own right.
In this respect, he differs from Karl Barth. His consistent exposition
of Christian ethics deserves due attention along with the ideas of Paul
Tillich. However, Brunner makes it clear that he has no taste for the
62Dynamics of Faith, pp. 93, 94, 116-17.
63For example, see: J. Roland Pennock, Liberal DBeecracy: Its
Merits and Prospects (New York: Rinehart, 1950), pp. 23-24. Ameng a few
meanings of "rationalism," Peneeek interprets rationalism (which is
pertinent to the workings of democracy) as "the assurance that men
generally have a proclivity to use their rational powers and to act
accordingly" (p. 24). The Christian conception of reason, e. g., Thomism,
mast not be confused with "rationalism" as in the Enlightenment when
reason was emeacipated from faith. In the Christian conception of reason,
reason is never dissociated from faith although it may have its own dis-
tinct function (the rational faculties of the human mind) from theology.
64Brumner's most systematic work on theology is Bogmtics
composed of two volumes: The Christian Doetrine of God and The Christian
ectrine ef Creation and de4mytion, tr. Olive Wyon (Philadelphia:
Westminster Press,' 1950-1952). Other theological works include:
Lavelation and leaeon: e Christian Doctrine of Faith and Ioowledge,
intellectualism of Roman Catholicism, especially the Thomistic the-
ology and ethics. He notes that there are many books written under the
title of "reason and revelation"; but there is none entitled "reve-
lation and reason" (revelation over reason, not vice versa).65 IH
emphasizes the fact that this is fundamentally a difference between
himself and a Roman Catholic theologian. Therefore his book is sig-
nificantly entitled jeaelation and Realsn: The Christian Doctrine of
Faith end Knowledge.66 However, the title alone should not mislead the
emphasis of contents. For Maritain, there is no doubt that theology is
the peak of metaphysics and philosophy. But he would make philosophy or
metaphysics the first part and not the last, the beginning and not the
end, and base and not the peak of theology.67
In comparison with other post-Reformation theologies (perhaps,
Barthian crisis theology), Brunner believes that his theology is the true
tr. Olive Wyon (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1946); The Philosophy
of Religion: from the Standpoint of Protestant Theelogy, tr. A. J. D.
Farrer and Bertram L. Woolf (London: James Clarke, 1958); The Divine-
fimen t= counter tr. Amandus W. Leos (Philadelphia: Westmitster Press,
1943); The Mediator, tr. Olive Wyon (Philadelphia: Westminster Press,
1947); The scandall of Christianity (Philadelphia: Westminster Press,
1951); The understandingg of the Chur~c, tr. Harold Knight (Phila-
delphia: Westminster Press, 1953); The Theology of Crisis (1ev York:
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929). His whole cultural thought seems to
have culminated in his Gifford lectures: Christianity and Civilisation
(2 parts; New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948-1549). His ethical
and social thought is found especially in The lvine Iperative, tr.
Olive Wyon (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1947); Men in Revolt:
A Christian Anthropology, tr. Olive Wyon (Philadelphia: Westminster
Press, 1947); Justice and the Social Order, tr. Mary Hottinger (2d ed.;
New York: Harper and Brothers, 1945).
65For example, Etienne Gilson's Reeson and Revelation in the
Middle Ages and chapter ii, "Reaon and Revelation," A. E. Taylor's
The Faith of a Moralist (Vol. II; Londen: Macmillan, 1930).
66Mote that "revelation" and "faith" precede "reason" and
67The Drewa of Descartes, tr. Mabelle L. Andison (New York:
Philosophical Library, 1944), p. 91.
Reformation theology. "In post-Reformation theology," he writes,
"this Reformation point of view was very largely lost." That is to
say, the true Reformation theology for Brunner was to start with reve-
lation and "thee work outwards to reason." Nowever, he does not
tolerate "the Roman Catholic misunderstanding" (Roman Catholicism
which is identified with the order of "reason and revelation" instead
of "revelation and reason"). Thus he is concerned with "the formu-
lation of a Christian and theological doctrine of revelation as a
doctrine of believing knowledge." The essential formula is "reve-
lation and reason in faith." For Brunner, Christian philosophy is
"both possible and necessary, because as Christians we neither can nor
should cease to think. It is not reason, but rationalism, that makes
Christian philosophy appear impossible.'8 Me would regard, without
hesitation, the Roman Catholic theology as a kind of rationalism or
semi-rationalism. So far, it seems that the difference of Brunner's
point of view and the Thomistic view concerning the interconnection
between revelation and reason (or between theology and philosophy) is
one of emphasis rather than of kind. If we consider the distance between
the two poles, theology and philosophy or faith and reason, then we would
have some kind of order like "Barth Brunner and Tillich the Thomist -
As it has already been suggested, there seems to be an intimate
relation between one's theological attitude (i. e., the relation between
theology and philosophy or faith and reason) and his view on the cultural
order in general. When a theologian like Karl Barth emphasizes the
6Revelation and Reason, pp. xi, 12, 392, 393. See also The
Philosophy of Religion in regard to the relation between faith and reason.
importance of revelation, grace and theology at the expense of reason,
nature and philosophy, he is likely to produce the ideal type of "Christ-
against-culture" category. Thus the fideist position tends to produce
a kind of cultural and political "indifferentism." On the other hand,
when a breathing space for reason, nature and philosophy is given, then
Christianity becomes involved with the cultural order. That is to say,
the fideist position like that taken by Karl Barth is essentially a
negative one, whereas the "rational" position is a positive one in terms
of the relation between Christianity and culture. Jacques Maritain, Emil
Brunner, and Paul Tillich take the positive position, while Barth stands
alone at the negative pole.
The positive attitude of Brunner is expressed in his panoramic
view concerning the relation between Christianity and culture in his
Gifford lectures. He makes.it clear that "only Christianity is capable
of furnishing the basis of a civilisation which can rightly be described
as human."69 However, there is,.in a strict sense, neither a Christian
civilization nor the Christian state. They have never existed before and
will never exist.70 Paul Tillich agrees: "There was, and still is, a
religiously colored society, but there is no true religious community."71
For Brunner, the state and civilization have been the "irrational products
of history" rather than the moral force of religion (in this case, Christi-
anity). This is the essential position of "Christianity beyond
69Christianity and Civilisation, Part 1, p. v.
70The Divine Imperative, p. 463; Christianity and Civilisation,
Part 2, p. 127.
71"The World Situation," The Christian Answer, ed. Henry P.
Van Dusen (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1945), p. 36.
civilisation" as it is described by Brunner himself. In other words,
according to iH. Richard Niebuhr, it is the "Christ-above-culture" type.
As Brunner says, "Culture-idolatry is the sure road to cultural decay."
"Culture and civilization," he continues, "although they belong ex-
clusively to men, are not in themselves the truly human." To be the
truly human, culture mest be spiced with the Christian principles. When
we use the term "Christian civilization," according to Brunner, it is
"a compromise between Christian and non-Christian forces."72
Emil Brunner is truly a Protestant theologian. For him the
ultimate justification of truly Christian ethics can be made by
grace alone. "Every form of natural ethics," he states, "is anthro-
pocentric." "All natural morality and ethics -- whether based on
religious or rational grounds -- is either eudaemonistic or legalistic."73
This is exactly what the Catholic ethics based upon natural law could
imply for Brunner. "The Divine Comaand" is the basis of Christian ethics.
Man's ultimate ethics require the obedience to the Divine Comeand. Only
the order of God is infallible; all human knowledge and natural ethics
are subject to error.
Even "irrational" existentialism (not Christian existentialist
theology) tinged with romenticies has become imbued with the importance
of reason.74 What George F. Themes calls "the tragic dualism of head
72Chritianity and Civilisation, Part 2, pp. 127, 129, 131.
73The Divine Iperative. p. 68.
74Karl Jaspers emphasizes the idea that contemporary inter-
national politics mest recognize the importance of "reseen" and thus
"philosophy" itself. "The new thinking," he writes, "is the age-old
one which thus far has net penetrated far enough to form and guide
communities of men: it is reason; it is philosophy." Although reason
and heart" is a controversial topic in Christian philosophy and the-
ology.75 In the Christian camp, the Thomistic theology (Roman Catholic
theology in general) has been continually stressing the important role
of reason and the distinct role of "philosophy" (in contrast to "the-
ology"). Etienne Gilson well expressed Thomism as "the harmony of
reason and faith."76 In the Middle Ages, Thomism was opposed to the
Tertullian family (the primacy-of-faith school), on the one hand, and
to the Averroists and the nominalists, on the other hand. In the modern
world, the struggle of Thomism turned to the opposition to Protestant
revelational theology (especially the crisis theology of Karl Barth) on
the one hand and, on the other hand, to contemporary "rationalism" and
"naturalism" which are regarded as the offshoots of the Renaissance and
the Enlightenment. Even H* Richard Niebuhr, a Protestant thinker, praises
St. Thomas Aquinas "who is probably the greatest of all the synthesists
in Christian history . .77
The Thoaistic position is the third alternative in regard to
the relationship between Christianity and civilization. H. Richard
Niebuhr calls it the "Christ-above-culture" school. It is opposed to
the other two extreme positions of the fideist and the liberal. This
is essential to politics, reason should not be construed as "a
property." But it is "a vehicle." Moreover, "the real meaning of
democracy can be established only by reason itself." The Future of
Mankind, tr. E. B. Ashton (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1960), especially pp. 187-317.
75"Christianity and Modern Philosophy," The Vitality of the
Christian Tradition, p. 249.
76Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages, pp. 69-99.
77Christ and Culture, p. 128.
position gives a balanced position, as Thomism is a "balanced philoso-
phy" as described by Frederick C. Copleston.78 Christ or the Church
remains fundamentally above the cultural order, and yet the cultural
order is not viewed as anti-Christ. Christ, in turn, is not eeceidered
as the "Christ of culture." Among many Thomists of our time, Jacques
Maritain is one of the most outstanding representatives.
Philosophy, in contrast to theology, has a distinct role as to
its methods, objects and principles. In the same way, the political
order is viewed as distinct from the religious world. For the Thomist,
therefore, the state and the church are two equally perfect scieties.
To recognize distinct philosophy is to permit the rational faculties
of the human mind to solve the worldly problems. Thus, differing from
the fideist position of either Karl Barth or Reinhold Niebuhr, the
Theaist considers human reason and natural law as the direct or immedi-
ate foundations of a political philosophy, although theology has an
indirect upperhand over philosophy, The political philosophies of
Heinrich A. Reamen and Johannes Messner represent the Thomistic position
par excellence.79 among political theorists and philosophers, John H.
Hallowell, Tves R. Simon and Eric Voegelin recognize the rational approach
to politics. There are also many twentieth-century philosophers who
78Aui_ a (Baltimore: Pelican Books, 1955), p. 254.
798e Ieinrich A. Remen, The State in Catholic Thought: A
Treatise in Political Pkilosophy and Johanes Messner, Social 5thiVs:
Natural Lw in the fMde World, tr. F. F. Doherty (St. Louis and
London: B. Herder, 1957). The representative thoughts of contemporary
Roman Catholic WUinkers are found in Robert A. Caponigri, l4dern
Catholic Thinkers (New '~rk: harper and Brothers, 1960).
take the rational approach to theology. Seoe of their names are C. C.
J. Webb, A. E. Taylor, A. N. Whitehead, William Ernest Hocking and
As it has been pointed out, the balanced position of Thomism
avoids the two extreme positions of Barthianism and theological liberal-
ism. Thus this balanced view has even attracted some of.the Protestant
thinkers. "Because of the intellectual and practical adequacy of rthe
Thomistic] system," H. Richard Niebuhr writes, "[Aquinas'] way of
solving the problem of culture and Christ has become the standard way for
hosts of Christians. Many a Protestant who has abandoned the Ritschlian
answer is attracted to Thomian without being tempted to transfer his
allegiance to the Roman church, while in Anglican thought and practice
his system is normative for many; on the Christ-culture issue the lines
drawn among Christians cannot be made to coincide with the historic dis-
tinctions among the great churches."81
80See C. C. J. Webb, God and PersOonality (New York: Macmillan,
1918) and Divine Personality aWd Auan Lift (New York: Macmillan,
1920); A. E. Taylor, The Faith of a ANralist (2 vols.; London: Macmillan,
1930); A. N. Whitehead, Process ond Reality: An Essay in Cosmology
(New York: Macmillan, 1929); William Ernest Hocking, The Meaning of
God in Homan Experience: A Philosophic Study of Religion (New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1912) and sciencee and the Idea of God (Chapel
Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1944); Charles Hartshorne,
The Divine Relativity: A Social Conception of God (New Maven: Yale
University Press, 1948).
The approach which is found in the above works might be
called a "philosophical" approach to religion or theology. As George
F. Thomas points out, it is not entirely true to say that modern phi-
losophy freed itself from medieval theology only to serve science. A.
N. Whitehead, for example, recognized the importance of religion to
science. Thus, it is not quite true when Frederick Copleston says:
"Instead of serving the theologian, the philosopher will serve the
scientist, for science has displaced theology in public esteem."
Contemporary Philosophy, p. 30.
81Christ and Culture, pp. 128-29.
Despite the three different positions of Christian political
theology, we must recognize these positions as Christian in essence.
With a few exceptions (like Karl Barth), a general conclusion can be
stated that "all sensitive Christian thought today must define the
personal and social principles so that the Christian evaluation of life
becomes a prophetic criticism against the evils of present society, and
a light to point the way to a better order."82 Hwever, what Nathaniel
Micklem calls "the ultimate question" remains above the demands of
politics, economics and other questions of the profane world. The
superior position of the religious order, all Christian thinkers would
agree, is truly an integrating factor between the cultural order and the
religious order. "We shall not succeed in subordinating the economic
to the truly human," William Temple said, "unless we subordinate the
human to the divine.,83 In other words, "there is no separating religion
and economics for politics."'84 What V. A. Demant calls the "vicissitude
of civilization"85 can only be elevated by the eternal order of the
Christian faith. Despite the various contemporary theological tendencies,
all Christian political theologies have something in common. That is to
say, the cultural order must be elevated by the eternal order of Christi-
anity. From a theological point of view, even continental theology
(e. g., the crisis theology of Karl Barth) is justified by Walter M.
Morton in that "it makes up in depth: the sense of the sublime, without
82Daniel D. William, What Prepent-Pey Theologians r ThrkigI,
3As quoted in Nathaniel Micklem, The Theology of Politics, p. 107.
41bid., p. 10.
85Relilion and tbe Secline of Capitalism, pp. 157-76.
which theology becomes as prosaic as arithmetic."86 This "sense of an
extra dimension" is not only present in continental theology but also
present in the religious order. Thus the ills of the political order
are always seasoned with the spice of what is sacred and eternal.
Religion, thus, has the outlook of life-orientation; theologians
look at the totality of life: theirs is a synoptic vision. When they
appraise democracy, for example, it does not appear to them merely as a
set of institutional arrangements of government but as the whole structure
of cultural pantheon: democracy is a way of life. No doubt, the religious
outlook has its limitations in looking at politics from a distance in-
vigorated by religious considerations. nonetheless, this wide vision of
religion may balance the kaleidoscope of politics. Or is it the maelstrom
of political theology?
While Catholic theology looks back to "the thirteenth, the
greatest of centuries," the names of Karl Barth, Emil Brunner and Reinhold
Niebuhr signify the Protestant return to the Reformation. Nicolas
Berdyaev raises his banner for the rediscovery of Orthodox theology, and
"he is primarily concerned to champion the claim of his Orthodox gnosis
to be recognized as a genuinely Christian theology."87 In the Catholic
renaissance of Thomies, Dirk Jellema now speaks of "the second generation"
following Jacques Mlaritain and Etiefne Gilsen.88 All these names indicate
the various trends of contemporary Christian theology, but they are not
totally unrelated. "As Tillich's speculative philosophy parallels the
86Contoeporary Contijontal Theology, p. 217.
87Karl Pfleger, Wrestlers with Christ, p. 291.
88"Ethics," Coatemporary Ivenallcal Thought, p. 124.
'Orthodox Gnosticism' of Berdyaev,".Walter M. Horton writes, "so a
certain schQlasticiam in Brunner's thought parallels the scholasticism
of Maritain and Przywara."89 As their philosophical and theological
reasoning are interrelated, so are their social and political ideas.
The contemporary theological mood is tragic and peesimistic
through and through in looking at the world that is obsessed with the
"tragic sense of life" (settjaiento trizico).90 Writing in 1946,
Reinhold Niebuhr said that "this generation of mankind is destined to
live in a tragic era between two ages. It is an era when 'one age is
dead and the other is powerless to be born'."91 "History show," Paul
Tillich writes, "that, over and over again, the achievements of man, as
though by a logic of tragedy, turn against man himself."92 This is the
reason why Judith N. Shklar speaks of the Christian eschatologicall
consciousness."93 The Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset well
describes the theologians' attitude regarding the physiegnemy of cen-
temporary civilization when he speaks of "vital disorientation."9
Therefore, it is clear that "the end of the world," "the crisis
of civilization," or "the twilight of civilization" suggests the general
mood of Christian theologians and philosophers. For these theologies,
89Contepocqry Continental Theblogy, p. 230.
9Miguel de rnamuno, Tr1eic e3nse of Life, tr. J. E. Crawford
Flitch (Nw York: Bever Publications, 1954).
91Diseerning the giaWs of the Times: earmonU for Today and
Tomorrow (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1946), pp. 39-40.
92'he World Situation," The Christiaa Apwer, p. 44.
93Ater Utic, p. 166.
9Thte Mdera W tr. James Cleugh (New York: Harper and
Brothers, 1961), p. 78.
the world represents the anarchy of spiritual values. The Catholic
theologians like Jacques Maritain seeks his guidance for modern philo-
sophical and political solutions from St. Thomas Aquinas, while Protestant-
ism looks for the days of the Reformation. This century may be charac-
terized as the century of "longing for the past." As we recall, politi-
cal philosophers like Leo Strauss get their inspiration.from classical
political philosophy, and Alfred Cobban nostalgically looks back to the
However, we should net confuse the pessimistic mood of these theo-
logians with complete fatalism.95 Their views and ideas are not devoid
of suggestive insight. The philosophy of democracy of Jacques Maritain,
the political realism of Reinhold Niebuhr and the concepts of justice and
power of Paul Tillich provide us with profound insight into the political
philosophy of modern times.
For Christian theologians, the modern world is stricken by the
bacilli of secularism; the anarchy of spiritual values is the disease of
our time. This is what Paul Tillich refers to as "the shaking of the
foundations." Scientism and scientific relativism have been regarded
95Judith N. Shklar, op. cit., pp. 164-217. As the book's
subtitle indicates, this work is concerned with "the decline of politi-
cal faith." According to her, "Christian fatalism" adds only another
dimension to the decline of political faith. Thus it offers nothing
constructive. What is needed is not mere criticism (as is found in
Christian theologians) but "adequate theoretical alternatives." However,
her examination of Christian "social theology" is partial in that she
sacrifices the constructive ideas of the theologians in order to make
Christian social theology suitable for her theme: the decline of politi-
cal faith. It is one thing to say that Christian social theology offers
nothing constructive, and it is another to reject the idea that social
reconstruction can be achieved on the basis of the Christian religion.
96tlhen [man] has rested complacently on his cultural creativity
or on his technical progress, on his political institutions or on his
religious systems," Tillich writes, "he has been thrown into disintegration
as the endless dehumanization of man. Science as a source of knowledge
is welcome for Paul Tillich. He is merely objecting to the scientific
spirit that, having forgotten "the shaking of the foundations," believes
in everlasting progress and happiness. Thus the complacent "liberalism"
of the nineteenth century has been completely repudiated. Modern anthro-
pocentric humanism that believes in the goodness of human nature merely
represents the further secularization of man and the world. The Christian
theologians are theocentric humanists. They believe that man is es-
sentially spiritual. This is the personalist philosophy of the Christian
theologians just mentioned. Jacques Maritain, Nicolas Berdyaev and Paul
Tillich are all "personalists." Thus Will Nerberg concludes that "the
strong personalistic emphasis" of Roman Catholic (Jacques Maritain),
Eastern Orthodox (Nicolas Berdyaev), Jew (Martin Buber), and Protestant
(Paul Tillich) is "a cornerstone of (their] social philosophy."97
Maritain's Christian democracy, Berdyaev's "personalist socialism" and
Tillich's "religious socialism" are all personalisms that emphasize the
spiritual character of men. Democracy (in contrast to totalitarianism)
is the only means to restore the lost spirituality of man.
A Christian political theology must take into account the nature
of man. To say that all politics are or eust be based upon the nature
of man is merely to beg the question: what do we mean by human nature?
and chaos; all the foundations of his personal, natural and cultural life
have been shaken." The Shaking of the Foundations, p. 6. Therefore,
the shaking of the foundations is essentially the hard reality of the
eschatological end of the historical order.
9Four Ixistentialist Theologians (Garden City, N. Y.:
Doubleday, 1958), pp. 3-4. This is not used in the sense of Borden
P. Bowne's use of this term, but rather in the sense of individualism.
The great political treatises of the past, like Aristotle's Politics,
Hobbes' Leviathan and Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Governent, ex-
plicitly assumed human nature. To be sure, a Christian anthropology is
different from what we call the scientific anthropology of our days.
The Christian conception of men is of "the fallen nature." The
notions of original sin and the soteriological function of man play an
important role in Christian political theology in general. Rudolf Otto,
thus, characterizes Christianity as "a 'religion of redemption' par
excellqUce."98 The basis of Reinhold Niebuhr's Christian realism in
politics is derived from his conception of the fallen and selfish nature
of man. Neo-Orthodox Protestant theologians repudiate theological
liberalism and political liberalism because liberalism does not take into
consideration the "realistic" (fallen) conception of man. The rational-
istic optimism about man (the goodness of human nature) is rejected by
the Christian theologians. Johannes Messner describes the two charac-
teristics of "Christian psychology." "The first," he writes, "is the fact
of original sin, the reason for the inadequacy of humes nature. The second
fact is that of the redemption. God entered the world with a human nature,
assured man of the covenant which the Creater has inscribed in his nature,
and guaranteed the value of man as raised above every earthly value so
98The Idea of the YlvY, p. 164. "(Christianity'sJ charac-
teristic ideas today," Otto writes, "are Salvation -- overabounding
salvation, deliverance from and conquest of the 'world' and from
existence in bondage to the world, and even from creaturehood as such,
the overcoming of the remoteness of an enmity to God, redemption from
servitude to sin and the guilt of sin, reconciliation and atonement,
and, in consequence, grace and all the doctrine of grace, the Spirit
and the bestowal of the Spirit, the new birth and the new creature.
These conceptions are common to Christendom, despite the manifold
cleavages that divide it into different confessions, churches, and sects,
and they characterize it sharply and definitely as a 'religion of
redemption' par excellence ... ."
that neither society nor state nor nation nor race nor the whole earth
can outweigh his dignity. Thus in the view of Christian psychology the
world in its ultimate meaning is thoocentric."99
The sinfulness of man is recognized by all types of Christian
theology, but this concept is somewhat graded as is the relation between
reason and faith philosophyy and theology or nature and grace), Reinhold
Niebuhr makes virtue out of the sinfulness of man, and his political
realism is grounded upon peesimies. For Johannes Messner, "human nature
is impaired." Thus a Christian cannot idealise human nature. "Nan's
nature," he says, "is still rational nature with its knowledge of good
and evil and the impulse to act in correspondence with reason, but he can
no longer take for granted the unerring cognizance of the good in its
more particular implications and the firm propensity toward it." For the
Catholic thinker, therefore, natural law ethics is a "realistic" ethics
which admits "the principle of man's moral consciousness and self-determi-
natio!' and, at the same time, mea's "weakness and perversities." On
this ground, the Catholic thinker rejects the optimistic view of mn
which prevails in theological liberalism and rationalism. ie also re-
pudiates the complete pessimism of Luther, Barth, or Miebuhr. Ne would
say that the optimistic rationalism and the Lutheran pessimism "both put
a check on amn's moral exertion, the Lutheran pessimism by making moral
endeavor meaningless, the rationalist optimism by making such exertion
"Secial Xthles, pp. 7-8. In contrast to the Christian doctrine
of man, Hessner lists three other types of the concept of mn: 1. the
naturalistic doctrine of mn, 2. the materialist doctrine of mam, and
3. the idealist doctrine of men (pp. 8-12). The ideas of human nature
in the periods of classical antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renais-
sance are found in Uersehel Baker, The *Ieas of Mln (New York: Harper
and Brothers, 1961).
On the nature of man, Karl Barth and Bail Brunner differ from
each other. "There is," Hugh Ross Mackintosh notes, "that fundamental
subject on which [Barth/ and Brunner disagree somewhat seriously --
the imago Del in man. Briefly, we may say that in Barth's judgment this
Iskv has been totally lost and obliterated by sin, while Brunner contends
that it is still represented even in the sinful by their humanity and
personality."101 Therefore, logically and practically speaking, Brunner
has more breathing space than Barth for the consideration of reason, phi-
losophy, and culture.
The Christian anthropology is theocantric. Nathaniel Micklem
goes so far as to say that ". . the politicians make an even greater
mistake than the theologians when they forget original sin."102 The
concept of original sin delimits the natural world and man himself in
Christian philosophy. While the fideist position of Protestantism
minimizes the role of reason and thus philosophy, Reman Catholicism
represents the intellectualism of modern Christian theology.
All the Christian theologians have deplored the spiritual
anarchism of our age, the age of secularism. Criticisms of totalitari-
anism, capitalism, liberalistic individualism and scientist are es-
sentially based upon non-spirituality. Their explanation of corrupted
temporality is a mono-causal explanation. This, however, does not mean
that their political thoughts are monolithic.103 There is certainly a
100qocial Ethics, pp. 82, 83.
O11Types of Modern Theology, p. 316.
102ihe Theology of Politics, p. 16.
103"Christian political thought," Dante L. Germino writes, "is