„Ein rein bürgerliches Glaubensbekenntnis“: Zivilreligion als Vollendung des Politischen?

In Reinhard Brandt & Karlfriedrich Herb (eds.), Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Vom Gesellschaftsvertrag oder Prinzipien des Staatsrechts. Akademie Verlag. pp. 213-240 (2000)
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The author offers a critical commentary on Rousseau’s chapter on civil religion in the “Social Contract”, book 4, chapter 8. It investigates Rousseau’s attempt to overcome the conflict between politics and religion by merging a civil religion that creates an emotional bond to the particular state without fostering superstition and intolerance, and it shows that this attempt fails. It is demonstrated that Rousseau’s concept of civil religion neither offers any doctrine of salvation transcending this life nor prescribes any content going beyond moral norms. Civil religion for Rousseau is in service to politics and its instrumental character is desired by the citizens who are supposed autonomously to agree on the need of a secularized civil ethic.
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