Historie Podcasts

Magt gennem århundrederne: åndelig kontra politisk vs. økonomisk

Magt gennem århundrederne: åndelig kontra politisk vs. økonomisk

Jeg deltog for nylig i en præsentation om magtskiftet gennem århundrederne. Taleren hævdede, at…

  • magten i middelalderen var i kirkerne, dvs. præsterne og dermed i de åndelige centre
  • derimod var der i det 17. århundrede et skifte til de politiske centre, dvs. paladserne og kongerne og fyrsterne ændrer også et skifte til demokratiske institutioner
  • i dag, hævdede han, ligger magten i de økonomiske kræfter, det vil sige virksomhederne og deres administrerende direktører

Jeg formoder, at denne teori var taget et sted fra, men selv med omfattende forskning kunne jeg ikke finde nogen kilder til den.

Har du nogensinde hørt om en lignende teori?


Jeg betragter dette som en referenceanmodning til skelsættende værker om "magt" i historiografi.

Den mest kendte nylige teoretiker om "magt" som historisk determinant er Foucault. I Foucaults arbejde synes magt at være organiseret af en historisk kontekst af vidensmuligheder, et "episteme", der beordrer, hvordan mennesker opfatter og vedtager magt. Jeg tror ikke, at Foucaults konklusioner om organisering af tidligere samfund matcher din talers: Foucaults magtbegreb er meget mere udviklet. Derudover blancherer mange historikere over manglen på traditionel historiografi, der støtter Foucaults konklusioner.


Politisk historie

I løbet af første halvdel af det 20. århundrede ville de fleste historikere have været enige med den maksimale, der tilskrives Sir John Seeley, at: 'Historien er fortidspolitik og politik nutidens historie'. Selvom han var en ivrig part i sen victoriansk britisk imperialisme, gentog Seeleys påstand en opfattelse, der så var almindelig blandt mange kontinentaleuropæiske intellektuelle, der understregede nationalstatens største betydning, som 'politik' udelukkende blev identificeret. Som den indflydelsesrige tyske filosof Georg Hegel argumenterede tidligere i det 19. århundrede, udgjorde staten en moralsk og åndelig kraft, der eksisterede ud over sine undersåtteres materielle interesser og var følgelig hovedagenten for historisk forandring. Dette betød, at politisk historie for alt i verden var historie.

Seeley var i øvrigt ikke alene om at tro, at studiet af historie på britiske universiteter var et vigtigt middel, hvorigennem fremtidige guvernører i imperiet og ndash som de for det meste mandlige, overklasse Cambridge-studerende, der deltog i hans foredrag og ndash, kunne lære værdifulde lektioner. Historiens ultimative formål blev derfor opfattet som udviklingen af ​​elitens evne til at herske over dronning Victorias undersåtter, det være sig East End -havnere eller indiske bønder og at forsvare imperiets integritet mod ydre trusler. Følgelig blev den politiske historie holdt inden for snævre, institutionelle vilkår, der omfattede statens historie, forholdet mellem stater og store statsmænd. Politisk historie var i realiteten statens historie.

De fleste af disse victorianske antagelser blev opklaret i løbet af sidste halvdel af det 20. århundrede. Alligevel, når mange i dag taler om 'politisk historie', ser de ud til at forestille sig, at det stadig kun består af undersøgelsen af ​​Westminster og Whitehall og af de mænd & ndash og lejlighedsvis kvinder & ndash, der har styret statsskibet. Denne 'høje' eller elite eller nogle kan endda sige 'traditionel' politisk historie bliver ved med at blive skrevet. Det er imidlertid blevet suppleret med andre måder at tænke emnet på. Denne 'nye' politiske historie afspejler ændringer inden for historiens disciplin som følge af den transformerede kontekst, hvori den nu studeres, og afspejler de meget forskellige måder, hvorpå staten og politikken opfattes i begyndelsen af ​​det 21. århundrede.

Den vigtigste udfordring for 'traditionel' politisk historie kom med 'demokratisering' af samfundet, det vil sige udvidelsen af ​​franchisen til alle voksne og oprettelsen af ​​velfærdsstaten. Dette fremmede troen på, at regeringen skulle afspejle befolkningens interesser frem for de herskende elites eller statens egen interesse. Udvidelsen af ​​de videregående uddannelser oplevede også, at tidligere ubesatte grupper kom ind på universiteter som studerende og lærere, der derefter kritiserede etablerede syn på staten. Socialister og feminister, der nød en enestående høj stemme i løbet af 1960'erne og 1970'erne, skitserede alternative måder at praktisere politik på, i håb om at udvikle mere populære former for deltagelse i beslutningstagning.

Denne radikale bølge var stort set forsvundet i 1980'erne, men den satte et aftryk på akademiske forestillinger om formålet med 'politik'. Margaret Thatchers og Ronald Reagans efterfølgende nyliberalisme fremskrev også kritik af staten og indskrænkede meget af dens indflydelse i navnet 'frihed'. I slutningen af ​​det 20. århundrede talte man derfor meget om nationalstatens tilbagegang: de institutioner, der engang havde defineret politik, syntes at være blevet omgået og undermineret af 'globalisering' på den ene side og forbrugeristiske, bemyndigede individer på den anden.

Som følge heraf led den politiske historie et betydeligt fald i status inden for den bredere disciplin. Det blev skubbet fra midten af ​​de fleste fortællinger takket være spredningen af ​​nyere interesseområder, især socialhistorie og dens udløbere, som understregede betydningen af ​​folkelig erfaring og fremhævede undertrykte gruppers kampe mod den herskende elite. Hvis Seeley havde antaget, at agenturet kun boede i staten, troede andre nu på 'folkets' potentiale til at være aktive i fremstillingen af ​​deres egne historier.

Derfor har historikere siden 1970'erne i stigende grad undladt emner forbundet med repræsentativ politik til fordel for kultur, forbrug, køn, race og seksualitet. Dette skift, fra bekymringer med det politiske organ til en interesse i kroppens politik, fra det offentlige til det private, fremhæver engang forsømte spørgsmål af betydning. Det truer ikke desto mindre med at fordreje en fuldstændig forståelse af dynamikken i historiske ændringer ved at overdrive betydningen af ​​populært potentiale og reducere betydningen af ​​staten og andre institutioner i repræsentativ politik, tydeligst politiske partier

Det, der omtales som den 'nye' politiske historie, er et forsøg på at engagere sig i nogle af disse udviklinger uden at miste politikkens magt til at forme samfundet. Dette har faktisk været et spørgsmål om varig interesse for et mindretal af historikere, der længe ikke var tilfredse med de etablerede former for politisk historie. Da G. M. Trevelyan i 1944 definerede social historie som 'et folks historie med politikken udeladt', var det imidlertid ikke fordi, han godkendte en så negativ klassificering. Faktisk mente Trevelyan, at det var et nødvendigt formål at kompensere for politiske historier, som han hævdede var blevet 'skrevet uden henvisning til deres sociale miljø' (1)

Få politiske historikere afviste bevidst betydningen af ​​dette 'sociale miljø'. Selv Geoffrey Elton, der var med i den 'traditionelle' politiske historie, erklærede i 1970: 'Alle de former for historie, der har eksisteret, tilhører den verden, som den politiske historiker beboer alle ting er relevante for politik'. (2) De var ikke desto mindre uvillige at investere meget eftertanke i forholdet mellem deres opfattelse af politik og et bredere samfund og kultur. I mellemkrigstiden kiggede nogle innovative parlamentshistorikere ikke desto mindre ud over Westminster og forsøgte at redegøre for politikens 'sociale grundlag', især Lewis Namier. (3)

Sager ændrede sig i efterkrigstiden. Selv før 1939 havde diplomatisk og international historie annekteret meget af politisk historiens tidligere territorium, hvilket betød, at den i stigende grad blev opfattet i indenlandske og især valgmæssige henseender. For forlængelsen af ​​franchisen havde gjort politiske partier til meget betydningsfulde emner. I betragtning af at parterne var det punkt, hvor samfund og formel politik kom i kollision, blev en form for systematisk tænkning om forholdet mellem de to nu nødvendig.

'Nuffield School' i nutidig politisk sociologi påvirkede mange af dem, der var interesserede i valgpolitikkens historie i 1960'erne og 1970'erne. Dette fremskyndede opfattelsen af, at sociale og økonomiske kræfter uden for politikernes kontrol havde fastlagt vilkårene for partikonkurrence. Ledere kan udnytte valgmuligheder, som disse dybere påvirkninger giver, men var ude af stand til at gøre mere end at forbinde deres partier med & ndash normalt klasse & ndash identiteter eller interesser, som vælgerne allerede fulgte med. Således kunne f.eks. Arbejderpartiets fremgang og Venstres fald ses som et biprodukt af udvidelsen af ​​den manuelle arbejderklasse. Rollen som repræsentativ politik var blot at håndtere sådanne fænomener.

Ikke alle politiske historikere omfavnede denne fatalistiske opfattelse. Mest bemærkelsesværdigt Maurice Cowling i en række bemærkelsesværdige monografier (4) udgivet i slutningen af ​​1960'erne og begyndelsen af ​​1970'erne tog på sig arbejds- og socialhistorikere, der begyndte at understrege arbejderklassens rolle i Westminster -politik. Især diskuterede han årsagerne til reformloven fra 1867 og modbeviste påstanden om, at det var et resultat af arbejderklassens pres, og argumenterede i stedet for, at Disraeli udvidede franchisen til kvalificerede mandlige arbejdere, fordi det passede til hans parlamentariske formål.

Cowling hævdede ikke, at Disraeli opererede i et socialt vakuum, men argumenterede for, at politiske beslutninger kun kunne fremmes gennem den politiske struktur, det vil sige 'gennem eksisterende magtkoncentrationer', under hvilken proces de uundgåeligt ville blive 'transformeret for at blive gjort tålelige til herskende mening '. Andre steder fastholdt han, at det var 'sproget, de brugte, de billeder, de dannede, de myter, de efterlod', som gjorde det muligt for politiske ledere at forme, hvad andre syntes. Politikere, selv med ankomsten af ​​en fuldt demokratisk franchise, forsøgte 'ikke blot at sige, hvad vælgerne ønskede at høre, men at få vælgere til at ville have dem til at sige, hvad de ville sige i første omgang' & ndash, og det lykkedes normalt. (5)

Cowling blev mistroet af 'traditionelle' politiske historikere for sine metoder og kunne ikke lide af social- og arbejdshistorikere for sine konklusioner. Som et resultat har konsekvenserne af hans arbejde taget noget tid at blive værdsat ordentligt, især hans gestikuleringer til behovet for at integrere politikkens relative autonomi for at forme populær tænkning med behovet for at tage hensyn til de midler, som sociale og kulturens politiske position strukturerede dens muligheder. Det var kun i løbet af 1990'erne, at (bevidst eller ej) politiske historikere fra mange forskellige perspektiver & dash, men alle sammen utilfredse med den deterministiske sociale tilgang og kritiske over for den snævre traditionelle politiske historie & ndash begyndte at understrege politikens konstruktive rolle inden for en nuanceret forståelse for dens kulturelle kontekst.

Hvis nogle troede på 'folkets' politiske potentiale, spillede de også behørigt hensyn til de midler, hvormed politik & ndash i form af staten eller partierne & ndash kunne manipulere eller endda skabe identiteter på en måde, der kunne tilpasses deres formål. Meget nyere arbejde med moderne britisk politisk historie opererer nu inden for dette nye paradigme og understreger betydningen af ​​pressen, plakater, offentlige møder, trykt propaganda og endda populære fiktioner og fokuserer derved på det interaktive forhold mellem politik og mennesker. Nogle har endda taget kendetegnende emner i traditionel politisk historie & ndash såsom lederskab og ndash og pustet nyt liv i dem, især Philip Williamsons undersøgelse af Stanley Baldwin, der fokuserer på den konstruerede karakter af Baldwins offentlige personlighed og de resonanser, den genererede inden for populærkulturen som han derefter kunne udnytte. (6)

Politisk historie kan nu kun være en af ​​flere måder at forstå fortiden på, men det er et mere mangfoldigt og dynamisk emne end nogensinde før. Det afspejler mere præcist den sande karakter af politik, som, som den kommende premierminister Harold Macmillan bemærkede for et kabinet fra 1950'erne, kunne omfatte emner 'lige fra homoseksualitet til mælkepris'. (7)

  1. G. M. Trevelyan, Engelsk socialhistorie (London, 1944).
  2. G. R. Elton, Politisk historie: Principper og praksis (London, 1970), s. 160 & ndash 1.
  3. Lewis Namier, England i den amerikanske revolutions tidsalder (London, 1930).
  4. M. J. Cowling, 1867: Disraeli, Gladstone og Revolution. Vedtagelsen af ​​den anden reformlov (Cambridge, 1967) M.J. Cowling, The Impact of Labor, 1920 & ndash 1924: Beginning of Modern British Politics (1971) M.J. Cowling, Hitlers indvirkning: Britisk politik og britisk politik, 1933 & ndash 40 (Cambridge, 1975).
  5. Cowling, 1867, s. 3 og Arbejdets indvirkning, s. 4 & ndash5.
  6. P. Williamson, Stanley Baldwin: Konservativt lederskab og nationale værdier (Cambridge, 1999).
  7. Catterall (red.), MacMillan Diaries. Kabinetsårene, 1950 & ndash1957 (London, 2003), s. 300.

Steven Fielding er læser og direktør for Center for Britisk Politik på School of Politics and International Relations ved University of Nottingham. Han har været medredaktør for parlamentariske anliggender siden 2006, og hans senest udgivne monografi er The Labour Governments, 1964 & ndash70, 1: Labor and Cultural Change (2003).


Colombias geografi

Colombias geografi, hvis ikke unik, er ganske usædvanlig. De østlige 60% af landet er lavlandet, der er en del af Amazonasbassinet. Dette område er ubebygget og stort set ubeboet. Kun 2 procent af befolkningen i Colombia bor i denne østlige del. De vestlige 40% er opdelt nord til syd af tre store bjergkæder (cordilleras) og en mindre (serrania).

De tre cordilleras udgør Anden Highlands -regionen og indeholder næsten firs procent (78%) af befolkningen. Ryglinjerne i disse tre cordilleras er afbildet på ovenstående kort som hvide linjer. Hvid er passende, fordi nogle af toppene er permanent dækket med sne. Mellem cordilleras strømmer to store floder: Cauca og Magdalena. På vest for Cordillera Occidental flyder der en anden flod, Atrato.

Udover Andes højland i vestlige 40% af landet er der to andre regioner: det caribiske lavland og stillehavets lavland. Det Caribiske Lavland er, hvor de sammenhængende floder Cauca og Magdalena tømmer ud i Caribien. Det caribiske lavland indeholder omkring 17 procent af Colombias befolkning. Stillehavets lavland, som ikke helt er på Stillehavskysten, indeholder kun 3 procent af befolkningen.

Terrænet i Colombia gør det relativt dyrt for de separate regioner at kommunikere, interagere og handle.


2. Tolerance og indkvartering af religiøs tro og praksis

Da europæiske og amerikanske samfund stod over for den voksende flerhed af religiøs overbevisning, samfund og institutioner i den tidlige moderne æra, var et af de altoverskyggende sociale problemer at afgøre, om og i hvilket omfang de skulle tolereres. En af kendetegnende afhandlinger om dette emne er fortsat John Lockes Et brev om tolerance. Som politisk eksil på tidspunktet for dets sammensætning hævder Locke (a) at det er meningsløst at forsøge at tvinge tro, fordi det ikke falder i viljen til at acceptere eller afvise forslag, (b) at det er forkert at begrænse religiøs praksis så længe det ikke forstyrrer andres rettigheder, og (c) at tilladelse til en lang række religiøse grupper sandsynligvis vil forhindre nogen af ​​dem i at blive så magtfulde, at de truer freden. Centralt i hans argumenter er et protestantisk syn på et religiøst organ som et frivilligt samfund, der kun består af de mennesker, der vælger at slutte sig til det, en opfattelse, der står i skarp kontrast til det tidligere middelalderlige syn på kirken som autoritet over alle mennesker inden for en et bestemt geografisk domæne. Det er derfor måske ikke overraskende, at grænserne for Lockes tolerance er sammenhængende med protestantismen, ateister og katolikker kan ikke have tillid til at deltage fredeligt i samfundet, fordi førstnævnte ikke ser sig selv som bundet af guddommelig lov, og sidstnævnte betragtes som en fremmed suveræn (paven). Stadig, Lockes Brev gør et vigtigt skridt fremad mod en mere tolerant og pluralistisk verden. I modsætning til Locke ser Thomas Hobbes religion og dens splittelse som en kilde til politisk ustabilitet, og derfor argumenterer han for, at suverænen har ret til at bestemme, hvilke meninger der kan offentligt støttes og formidles, en magt, der er nødvendig for at opretholde borgerfreden (se Leviathan xviii, 9).

Ligesom spørgsmålet om etablering har det generelle spørgsmål om, hvorvidt folk skal få lov til selv at bestemme, hvilken religion de skal tro på, ikke fået stor opmærksomhed i nyere tid, igen på grund af den brede konsensus om alle menneskers ret til samvittighedsfrihed. På trods af denne aftale om frihed til tro, står moderne stater ikke desto mindre over for udfordrende spørgsmål om tolerance og indkvartering vedrørende religiøse øve sig, og disse spørgsmål bliver vanskeligere ved, at de ofte involverer flere idealer, der trækker i forskellige retninger. Nogle af disse spørgsmål vedrører handlinger, der er inspireret af religion og enten er åbenlyst eller typisk uretfærdige. F.eks. Føler voldelige fundamentalister sig berettiget til at dræbe og forfølge vantro - hvordan skal samfundet reagere på dem? Selvom ingen seriøst forsvarer retten til at undertrykke andre mennesker, er det mindre klart i hvilket omfang, siger, religiøs tale, der kræver sådanne handlinger, bør tolereres i navnet på en ret til ytringsfrihed. En lignende udfordring vedrører religiøse indvendinger mod visse medicinske procedurer, der er nødvendige for at redde et liv. For eksempel mener Jehovas Vidner, at deres religion udelukker, at de accepterer blodtransfusioner, selv for at redde deres liv. Selvom det virker klart forkert at tvinge nogen til at gennemgå en livreddende behandling, hvis hun gør indsigelse mod det (i hvert fald med tilstrækkelig rationalitet, hvilket selvfølgelig er et svært emne i sig selv), og det virker lige så forkert at nægte livreddende behandling til nogen, der har brug for det og er ikke nægter det, bliver spørgsmålet mindre klart, når forældre har religiøse indvendinger mod livreddende behandling af deres børn. I et sådant tilfælde er der mindst tre værdier, der normalt kræver stor respekt og breddegrad: (a) retten til at følge sin egen religion, ikke blot ved at bekræfte dens principper, men i at leve den livsstil, den foreskriver (b) statens legitime interesse i at beskytte sine borgere (især sårbare som børn) mod at blive skadet og (c) forældres ret til at opdrage deres børn, som de finder passende og på en måde, der udtrykker deres værdier.

En anden form for udfordring for et samfund, der generelt værdsætter tolerance og tilpasning af forskelle, vedrører et religiøst mindretals handlinger og forpligtelser, der ikke i sig selv er uretfærdige, og som alligevel er truet af forfølgelsen af ​​andre mål fra det større samfund, eller er direkte forbudt ved lov. For eksempel er kvakere og andre religiøse grupper forpligtet til pacifisme, og alligevel lever mange af dem i samfund, der forventer, at alle mandlige borgere tjener i militæret eller registrerer sig for udkastet. Andre grupper udfører religiøse ritualer, der involverer brug af ulovlige stoffer, såsom peyote. Fritager retten til at udøve sin tro en fra kravet om at tjene i militæret eller adlyde sit lands narkotikapolitik? Er det rimeligt at fritage sådanne mennesker for de byrder, andre borgere skal bære?

Mange eksempler på denne anden form for udfordring behandles i litteraturen om uddannelse og skolegang. I udviklede samfund (og i udviklingslandene for den sags skyld) er en betydelig uddannelse nødvendig for, at borgerne kan opnå et anstændigt liv for sig selv. Desuden ser mange stater uddannelse som en proces, hvorved børn kan lære værdier, som staten anser for vigtige for aktivt medborgerskab og/eller for det sociale liv. Forfølgelsen af ​​dette sidstnævnte mål rejser imidlertid visse spørgsmål for religiøse forældre. I det berømte tilfælde af Mozert mod Hawkins, nogle forældre protesterede af religiøse årsager mod, at deres børn blev undervist ud fra en læseplan, der præsenterede alternative overbevisninger og livsformer på en gunstig måde, og derfor bad forældrene om, at deres børn blev undskyldt fra klassen, når denne undervisningsplan blev undervist. Mod disse forældres ønsker mener nogle liberale, at vigtigheden af ​​at lære børn at respektere værdien af ​​ligestilling mellem kønnene tilsidesætter fortjenesten ved sådanne indsigelser, selvom de appellerer direkte til forældrenes religiøse rettigheder (Macedo, 2000).

På samme måde er mange forslag til undervisningsplaner rettet mod at udvikle et mål for autonomi hos børn, hvilket ofte indebærer at få dem til at nå en vis kritisk afstand til deres familiebaggrund med dets traditioner, overbevisninger og livsformer (Callan, 1997 Brighouse, 2000 ). Tanken er, at først da kan børn selvstændigt vælge en livsstil for sig selv, uden unødig indflydelse fra opdragelse og skik. Et beslægtet argument hævder, at denne kritiske afstand vil give børn mulighed for at udvikle en tilstrækkelig følelse af respekt for forskellige sociale grupper, en respekt, der er nødvendig for udøvelsen af ​​demokratisk medborgerskab. Denne kritiske afstand er imidlertid i modstrid med autentisk religiøst engagement, i hvert fald på nogle konti (se det følgende afsnit). Også religiøse forældre ønsker typisk at videregive deres tro til deres børn, og det indebærer at dyrke religiøs hengivenhed gennem praksis og ritualer, frem for at præsentere deres tro som kun én blandt mange lige gode (eller sande). For sådanne forældre er videregivelse af deres religiøse tro centralt for godt forældreskab, og i denne henseende adskiller det sig ikke fra at videregive for eksempel gode moralske værdier. Således løber politisk mandatuddannelse, der har til formål at udvikle autonomi, imod nogle forældres ret til at udøve deres religion og retten til at opdrage deres børn, som de vælger. Mange, men ikke alle, liberale argumenterer for, at autonomi er et så vigtigt gode, at dets reklame begrunder brug af teknikker, der gør det sværere for sådanne forældre at videregive deres tro-et sådant resultat er en uheldig bivirkning af en ønskelig eller nødvendig politik.

Alligevel vedrører en anden kilde til politisk konflikt for religiøse studerende i de senere år undervisning i evolution i videnskabsklasser. Nogle religiøse forældre til børn i offentlige skoler betragter evolutionens undervisning som en direkte trussel mod deres tro, for så vidt det indebærer falskheden i deres bibelsk-bogstavelige forståelse af livets oprindelse. De hævder, at det er uretfærdigt at forvente, at de udsætter deres børn for undervisning, der direkte udfordrer deres religion (og finansierer det med deres skat). Blandt disse forældre vil nogle have, at skolerne skal omfatte diskussioner om intelligent design og kreationisme (nogle, der skriver om dette emne, ser intelligent design og kreasionisme som konceptuelt adskilte positioner, andre ser ingen signifikant forskel mellem dem), mens andre ville være tilfredse, hvis skoler omsluttede spørgsmålet i det hele taget nægter at lære noget om livets oprindelse eller artens udvikling. Deres modstandere ser det tidligere forslag som et forsøg på at indføre et eksplicit religiøst verdensbillede i klasseværelset, deraf et, der går ud over adskillelsen af ​​kirke og stat. De ville heller ikke være tilfredse med at ignorere spørgsmålet helt, for evolution er en integreret del af rammen for moderne biologi og en veletableret videnskabelig teori.

Konflikter vedrørende religion og politik opstår også uden for læreplaner. For eksempel blev der i Frankrig for nylig vedtaget en lov, der gjorde det ulovligt for studerende at bære tøj og pynt, der eksplicit er forbundet med en religion. Denne lov blev især modsat af studerende, hvis religion udtrykkeligt kræver, at de bærer bestemt tøj, f.eks. En hijab eller en turban. Den franske regerings begrundelse var, at en sådan foranstaltning var nødvendig for at respektere adskillelsen af ​​kirke og stat og nyttig for at sikre, at det franske statsborgerskab er forenet til en helhed snarere end opdelt efter religion. Det er imidlertid også muligt at se denne lov som en uberettiget indblanding af staten i religiøs praksis. Hvis samvittighedsfriheden ikke blot omfatter en ret til at tro på, hvad man vælger, men også at give offentligheden udtryk for den tro, ser det ud til, at folk bør være fri til at bære tøj i overensstemmelse med deres religiøse overbevisning.

Afgørende for denne diskussion af den offentlige politiks virkning på religiøse grupper er en vigtig sondring med hensyn til neutralitet. Den liberale stat formodes at forblive neutral med hensyn til religion (såvel som race, seksuel orientering, fysisk status, alder osv.). Men som Charles Larmore påpeger i Mønstre af moralsk kompleksitet (1987: 42ff), er der forskellige sanser for neutralitet, og nogle politikker kan klare sig godt med hensyn til en forstand og dårligt med hensyn til en anden. På en måde kan neutralitet forstås ud fra en procedure, der er berettiget uden at appellere til nogen opfattelse af det menneskelige gode. I denne forstand er det forkert, at staten har til hensigt at forfordele en gruppe borgere, i hvert fald for sin egen skyld og med hensyn til praksis, der ellers ikke er uretfærdig eller politisk uønsket. Således ville det være en krænkelse af neutraliteten i denne forstand (og derfor forkert) for staten blot at forbyde tilbedelsen af ​​Allah. Alternativt kan neutralitet forstås i form af effekt. Staten følger denne følelse af neutralitet ved ikke at tage handlinger, hvis konsekvenser er sådan, at nogle individer eller grupper i samfundet er dårligt stillede i deres forfølgelse af det gode. For en stat, der er forpligtet til neutralitet, forstået således, selvom den ikke eksplicit havde til hensigt at forfordele en bestemt gruppe, er enhver sådan ulempe, der kan opstå, en prima facie -grund til at tilbagekalde den politik, der forårsager den. Hvis regeringen for eksempel kræver skolegang på en religiøs gruppes hellige dage, og det gør det sværere for dem at praktisere deres tro, tæller et sådant krav som en fiasko i neutralitet. Tilstedeværelseskravet kan ikke desto mindre være uundgåeligt, men som det er nu, er det mindre end optimalt. Dette er naturligvis en mere krævende standard, for det kræver, at staten overvejer mulige konsekvenser - både på kort og lang sigt - på en lang række sociale grupper og derefter vælger blandt de politikker, der ikke har dårlige konsekvenser (eller den, der har færrest og mindst dårlige). For de fleste og uden tvivl alle samfund er det en standard, der ikke kan opfyldes. Derfor argumenterer de fleste liberale for, at staten skal være neutral i første forstand, men den behøver ikke at være neutral i anden forstand. Så hvis institutionerne og praksis i et stort set retfærdigt samfund gør det mere udfordrende for nogle religiøse mennesker at bevare deres livsstil, er det måske beklageligt, men ikke uretfærdigt, så længe disse institutioner og praksis er berettiget upartisk.


Moskva mod Kiev

Ukrainsk ortodoksi var under den russiske kirkes jurisdiktion i over 300 år frem til 2019.

Årsagerne hertil var pragmatiske.

Ukraines position som grænseland mellem vestlig og østlig kristendom placerede ukrainske kristne mellem autoriteten i Moskva, Rom og Konstantinopel.

Efter Kievs fald til mongolerne i 1200-tallet blev Ukraine fanget mellem to magtfulde naboer med modsatrettede religiøse identiteter: mod øst, ortodokse Rusland og mod vest, katolske Polen-Litauen.

I 1600 -tallet befandt Ukraine sig under pres fra katolske naboer, der havde til hensigt at konvertere ortodokse ukrainere til katolicisme. For Konstantinopel gjorde dette værdien af ​​beskyttelse mod en magtfuld ortodoks nabo tydelig, og det henvendte sig til Moskva for at få hjælp. I 1686 placerede Konstantinopel ukrainsk ortodoksi under Moskvas myndighed.


Indflydelsen af ​​sociale, politiske og økonomiske faktorer på udviklingen og formen af ​​zulu religiøs aktivitet i det 19. og 20. århundrede

Dette ordsprog indkapsler desværre virkeligheden af ​​eksistensen for zulu -folket i de sidste to århundreder. Revet fra deres magtpositioner og kastet i fortvivlelsens grober ændrede livet, som de engang kendte det, drastisk. Nelson Mandela sagde engang, at & lsquosocial transformation ikke kan adskilles fra åndelig transformation & rsquo (Heuser 2005: 363). Religion udvikler sig ikke i et vakuum, den reagerer og transformerer i takt med sociale, politiske og økonomiske faktorer.

Ingen religiøs verden kan forblive den samme for evigt, og som reaktion på disse traditioner gennemgår transformationsprocesser, der svarer til samfundets behov. Nye steder, roller og kræfter opnår anerkendelse, mens gamle steder, roller og magter får nye betydninger (Lawson 1984: 9). Dette essay undersøger, hvordan zulu religiøs aktivitet ændrede sig som reaktion på begivenhederne i det 19. og 20. århundrede ved at vise, hvordan nye religiøse former opstod, og hvordan gamle religiøse systemer transformerede sig.

En zulu sangoma (traditionel healer) i KwaZulu-Natal, Sydafrika. Foto og kopi Dustin Turin.

Først og fremmest må man erkende, at historien om ethvert samfund skal forstås inden for sin egen unikke politiske og kulturelle kontekst (Prozesky 1995: 3). Så hvad er & lsquoZulu -konteksten og rsquo? Hvilke politiske og sociale situationer stod samfundet overfor? Det hjælper med at gå tilbage til den tidligste kendte historie om zulu -folket eller rettere deres forfædre. For omkring 2000 år siden begyndte en ny gruppe mennesker at ankomme til Sydafrika. I modsætning til de indfødte San og Khoikhoi havde disse nye mennesker betydelige metalbearbejdnings- og gårdkundskaber og talte et nyt sæt sprog i bantufamilien.

Til sidst ville disse bantu-talende mennesker komme til at befolke og dominere praktisk talt hele dyrkningsarealet i Sydafrika (Prozesky 1995: 5). Som forfædre til Zulu er denne migration betydelig. Allerede fra deres tidligste forbrydere havde zuloen arvet en historie om herredømme og magt. Denne dominerende magt nåede sit højdepunkt i det 19. århundrede med oprettelsen af ​​Zulu -kongeriget, et stærkt centraliseret område af krigere og konger. I processen med at oprette denne stat havde zuluerne indtaget mindre stammer og erobret deres landområder, hvilket førte til en social krise kendt som mfecane (Janzen 1992: 35-36).

På dette tidspunkt havde Zulu aldrig været mægtigere. Deres majestætiske domæne dækkede bjerge, floder og kystlinjer (Laband 1997: 3). Dette var virkelig Zulus guldalder. Alligevel ventede en skæbneskift Zulu -folket, en skæbne, som år før var næsten utænkelig. After all every peak is followed by a fall and the higher the peak, the greater the fall.

From 1652 Europeans had begun to trickle into South Africa, followed by substantial waves in 1795 and 1806 (Prozesky 1995:5). It was not long before the Voortrekkers of the mid 1800s began to make inroads into what is now known as the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, engaging and humiliatingly defeating the Zulu (Janzen 1992:35-36). In the late 1800s another devastating defeat was on the horizon, the Anglo-Zulu war of 1897. Indeed the defeat was truly calamitous as it heralded an end to everything that the Zulu had prided themselves on independence, self-government and power (Knight 2003:8).

In 1885 Zulu life was further disrupted by the discovery of gold near Johannesburg and the resulting numbers of young men who were recruited to go in to work in the mines (Lawson 1984:44). The need for miners also led to an emergence of a &lsquomajor labour migration pattern&rsquo whereupon many foreigners entered South Africa for employment (Janzen 1992:35-36). Sundkler (1976:311) terms the resulting social situation as an &lsquoalienation crises&rsquo.

The mighty Zulu kingdom was in disrepute. Their warriors defeated and belittled and their land snatched from them. Where they had once reigned supreme, they were now debased to being servants on their own lands (Janzen 1992:35-36). To add insult to injury Europeans had appropriated their mineral wealth and had imposed controls to hinder Africans benefiting from the burgeoning urban industrial economy on their own volition (Kiernan 1995:116-117). Instead legislation such as the native lands act of 1913 pushed them into townships and bolstered by the urban areas act of 1923- completely segregated them (Sundkler 1961:34).

Thus one can understand the context of the Zulu at this period as being a society in disarray, a tale of broken homes, labour camps, mines and townships (Janzen 1992:35-36). A story of subjugation and oppression so keenly experienced by those who had been pushed into the status of second class citizens in their own lands (Prozesky 1995:1). Yet Through all this hardship the Zulu religious system evinced its ability to transform and to respond to the challenges posed by the 19th and 20th century.

Now that the social and political context has been established one must examine how religious activity responded to this. One general way that religion responds to external factors is by developing new beliefs and adopting new forms. The oppression suffered by the Zulu was fertile ground for emergence of new movements, namely independent churches (Lawson 1984:47). When missionaries first made contact with the Zulu, during the aforementioned peak of the Zulu kingdom, they had limited success in conversion.

Kiernan (1995:75) notes that there is little good reason why anyone would convert to another religion when their own religion is &lsquoanchored in a stable and satisfying way of life&rsquo. To put it in other words, there was nothing for the Zulu to gain from conversion at this time.

However as time passed the Zulu began to exploit missionary activity for the education it offered but conversion was still seen as almost treason like (Kiernan 1995:76). As previously mentioned by the turn of the 20th century Zulu society was experiencing a great crisis. There was now some kind of a benefit associated with conversion, as the current religious system was tied to a social system which was in ataxia (Kiernan 1995:75).

Nevertheless the Zulu would not be adhering en-masse to the Christianity that white missionaries gave them on the contrary they would be following uniquely African Christian movements. The Independent churches are expressions of African Christianity but they also provided alternative messages that showed a way out of the crisis that the Zulu were experiencing (Lawson 1984:46).

The most popular and influential of these new movements were generally Zionist churches although one church in particular, the Nazareth Baptist church, was especially significant. The Zionist churches known in Zulu as ama-ziyon, have their origin in Zion city, Illinois (Sundkler 1961:55). The Nazareth Baptist Church is also known as the Shembe church after its charismatic founder Zulu Prophet Isaiah Shembe (Lawson 1984:45).

The original reason why the independent churches began to secede from the Mission Churches, was the latter&rsquos generally reluctance to ordain Africans and the frustration this caused (1995:117). It was a further reminder to the Zulu people of their constrained autonomy. The chance to break away and form new movements presented an opportunity for the Zulu people to assert their right to self-government, if only on a religious basis. As Black trade unions were outlawed (Sundkler 1961:34) and no positions of civic or political leadership were allowed, religion presented the opportunity of self-leadership in some form (Sundkler 1961:100).

In the case of the Zionist Churches this can be taken a step further, they allowed for the imitation of the strong leadership once exhibited by Zulu Kings. The bishops and presidents of the churches modelled themselves on Zulu Kingship patterns (Sundkler 1961:58). Additionally the relationships between the church and its followers echoed the relationship between king and nation (Sundkler 1961:102). The Zionist churches also allowed Zulu chiefs to &lsquocraft new narratives of political legitimacy&rsquo in an age where they had little practical ruling power (Cabrita 2010:21).

Det izibongo chiefly praises of the past seemed wildly distant in the face of defeat instead, Zulu Pride was kept alive through hymns (Cabrita 2010:24). Although the Zulu Kingdom had fallen, patriotism could still be kept alive through a binding religion (Cabrita 2010:21).

Thus, the Zionist Churches were a retreat and a reminder of a noble history (Sundkler 1961:102). The independent Churches also tended to have a revolutionary element (Lawson 1984:47). New religious movements have served as vessels for political intentions such as the demand for independence, equality, freedom and nationhood (Lawson 1984:7). One can also note the significance of religion in the history of the &lsquostruggle or liberation&rsquo (heuser 2005:363). Cabrita (2010:22) indicates that Isaiah Shembe had nationalist aspirations for the Church, which is clearly exhibited in Church literature such as hymn 17 which poignantly urges political action &lsquothey wanted to take away, the kingship of ancient times, wake up wake up, you Africans&rsquo (Gunner 2002:30).

As a result, many including the apartheid government who set out to clamp down on independent movements, saw the church as little more than a &lsquopolitical movement in religious garb&rsquo (Lawson 1984:7). Although this is an over-simplistic view of the independent Churches, one cannot ignore the political effects of the movements. The Zionist churches provided Zulu society with a new means to economic advancement through the taboos it preached. Sundkler (1976:43) quotes Mrs La Roux, the wife of P.L. Le Roux, who travelled with her missionary husband as part of the &lsquoapostolic faith mission&rsquo.

She writes in her journal &ldquotheir masters opposed us more because the native was paid with tobacco, now he would not accept it. He had to have money or clothes. Used to be slaves of drink and tobacco. Glory to God&rdquo. Instead of receiving items that were damaging such as tobacco, they now received things that could improve their lifestyle and possibly give them greater leverage. One can observe this a kind of &lsquowaking up&rsquo for the Zulu people, as described in the aforementioned hymn. They were &lsquowaking up&rsquo to their role in a capitalist economy. In this way Zionism was a bold challenge to the social, economic system and political that had been imposed on them (Sundkler 1976:43).

One central feature of Zionist dogma is the focus on the apocalypse that is the imminent return of Jesus, who will right all wrongs and bring justice and salvation. Such apocalyptic visions were rife after the Boer War (Sundkler 1976:43-44). This is significant as the Zulu had found themselves lacking any earthly hope (Sundkler 1976:311).This is illustrated in hymn 21 of the Shembe Church &lsquothe cry of desolation&rsquo which is to be understood in the context isizwe esimnyama- the despair of the black nation trapped in oppression. &lsquoOur land is broken into pieces, not a soul lives in our homesteads, we are widows and orphans, oh Lord of the Sabbath, why have you deserted us?&rsquo (Gunner 2002:30).

It makes sense then that the Zulu began to look beyond this earthly plain and seek an explanation for their hardship. A Lord, who appears to have deserted them yet was posed to return and restore them to glory, not only provided such an explanation but also gave them hope of a justice beyond oppression. One can understand the popularity of the independent churches as playing a key role in the search for cultural authenticity and identity (Kirby 1994:57) The rise in the number of independent churches directly correlates with the harsh effects of the land legislation and it is notable that Witwatersrand, where the restrictions were strongest, became an epicentre of independent churches (Sundkler 1961:33-34). Continued on Next Page »


The Economic History of Haiti

Compared to the political history, the economic history of Haiti is relatively simple. The original economic basis for the Spanish colonies on Hispaniola was sugar plantations. The French continued the sugar economy and introduced coffee. There were other plantation crops grown such as cotton and cacao for chocolate but it was sugar and coffee that were the most important. Under the French plantation system, based upon slave labor, Haiti was an enormously profitable operation. The Haitian sugar economy was in competition with the northeast region of Brazil, which previously had been the major source of sugar for Europe. The French sugar and coffee operations in Haiti were so productive that its exports to Europe were comparable and perhaps exceeded the total exports of the British North American colonies.

After the battles associated with independence there was some attempts to retain the large scale plantation agriculture of the colonial period but that effort was doomed. Land was distributed into small scale farms but these units devoted only a fraction of their resources to growing export crops like sugar and coffee. Often the output is consumed domestically and there are no exports of sugar or coffee.

In the latter part of the 20th century tourism became an important element of the economic base of Haiti. But the political instability and the public's association of Haiti with AIDS severely crippled the Haitian tourism industry.

In recent decades the low wage rates of Haiti have attracted manufacturing assembly operations. Haiti is one of the few countries that has pay scales low enough to compete with China.

The development of manufacturing assembly operations in Haiti was helped greatly by changes in the tariff rules that allowed Haitian operations to function much like the maquilidoras of the U.S.-Mexican border areas where the products assembled from material from U.S. sources could re-enter the U.S. without duties being charged.


We live in an increasingly volatile world, where change is the only constant.

Businesses, too, face rapidly changing environments and associated risks that they need to adapt to—or risk falling behind. These can range from supply chain issues due to shipping blockages, to disruptions from natural catastrophes.

As countries and companies continue to grapple with the effects of the pandemic, nearly 3,000 risk management experts were surveyed for the Allianz Risk Barometer, uncovering the top 10 business risks that leaders must watch out for in 2021.


The 1900s Government, Politics, and Law: Overview

American society was rapidly transforming at the dawn of the new century. The country as a whole was moving away from a rural agriculture-based lifestyle to an urban industrial economy. During the years 1900 to 1909, over eight million immigrants poured into the United States in search of jobs and opportunity. Less than fifty years before the turn of the century, five out of six Americans lived on a farm. By 1910, almost 50 percent of Americans resided in cities. These great cultural shifts provided the nation with many economic and political challenges throughout the 1900s.

As the nation became increasingly industrialized, the economy came under greater control of large corporations, which were overseen by a relatively few powerful executives. For example, by 1906 seven men controlled 85 percent of America's railroads. The federal government of this era favored a "laissez-faire" ("hands-off") economic policy that stated business should not be overly regulated by the state. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, corporations started to organize "trusts," or holding companies. Trusts were formed by businesses joining together to acquire stock and ultimately control their entire sector of the economy. Among the period's strongest trusts were those in the oil, gas, railroad, and meat-packing industries. Since they were largely free of government interference, trusts often treated their workers poorly, demanding that they labor for long hours at meager wages.

The push for reforming both the economic and political spheres grew during the 1900s, as citizens from all walks of life—farmers, factory workers, businessmen, settlement house workers, populists, socialists, and anarchists—began to demand changes in the manner in which the nation was operated. There were many calls to end government corruption at the local, state, and federal levels. Major American corporations were also targets for the reformers, who publicly complained about poor working conditions and child labor. More than five hundred thousand Americans were injured on the job each year and thirty thousand died in unsafe factories and mines. The workers' dissatisfaction was spread throughout the nation by "muckraking" journalists (reporters who wrote colorful stories about problems in the world of business), who saw it as their duty to expose the harsh treatment of American labor at the hands of corporate leaders. The government responded to these investigations by enacting numerous laws guaranteeing better treatment of employees and increasing product safety to protect the public. It was not only journalists who exposed the plight of industrial laborers, but also unions such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which organized to demand better treatment from their employers. Strikes became more common, and violence often erupted as business leaders and government officials sent in troops to forcefully end work stoppages. The clashes between labor and management were fierce, as labor grew more radical due to the influences of socialist members who saw the capitalist system as corrupt. (Socialists believed that workers should control all elements of the workplace and that every worker should benefit equally.)

The Supreme Court was slow to interfere in labor disputes at first. Gradually, however, the Court began to exert its power by reexamining the idea of interstate commerce. Throughout the decade the Court struggled with how to resolve the demands of business, which wanted to remain free of regulation to ensure economic progress, and labor, which sought to relieve the exploitation of the working class.

In many ways, America was a divided nation during the 1900s. Workers felt used and unappreciated by corporate executives. Immigrants often did not find the United States to be welcoming of their traditional customs, and they were told they must conform to the "American Way." The races were segregated in almost all respects. Blacks and whites did not attend the same schools or churches, and they rarely had any meaningful contact with one another. Many concerned citizens were aware of America's problems and were determined to reform much of the society. They worked to improve the nation's economic, political, and social ills.

The most significant political force of the century's first decade was President Theodore Roosevelt, who entered the White House in 1901 following the assassination of President William McKinley. During the late nineteenth century, the American presidency was a relatively weak office occupied by a number of bland politicians. Roosevelt was a dynamic figure who captured the nation's imagination with his vigorous physical presence and reforming spirit. He thrust himself into national and international issues and expanded American influence around the world. One of Roosevelt's most important policies was advocacy of environmental issues. As industry exploited America's land for its coal, iron ore, timber, and other raw materials, Roosevelt and fellow conservationists recognized that the environment was not abundantly plentiful and that the nation must protect its natural resources.

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The Changing Face of Christian Politics

Looking back, 2013 is likely to be remembered as the final collapse of the old, confrontational Religious Right in favor of a less partisan, more pragmatic approach.

In the closing days of 2013, Representative Steve King summed up the year in religion and politics well. After a year in which Christian leaders and organizations mobilized to pressure Congress on immigration reform, King was ready to take off his gloves: "We might lose [the immigration] debate in this country because of the sympathy factor, and it's also added to by a lot of Christian groups who misread the scripture, and I'm happy to take on that debate with any one of those folks."

As a frequent speaker at "values voter" conferences, King must have felt odd positioning himself in direct opposition to Christians. Then again, 2013 was a year defined by Christian leaders seeking to realign themselves politically to meet the challenges of a new century and changing culture.

Christian political engagement is changing in this country as believers seek to untangle their faith from the worldliness of partisan politics and ideology. The melding of Christianity and partisan politics has been 40 years in the making, but the costs of that entanglement have only become clear to Christians over the last decade.

In response to changing cultural mores in the 1960s and '70s, religious leaders like the Reverend Jerry Falwell—who had previously spurned partisan political engagement—called Christians to "stand for what is right" through the acquisition of political power. "In a nation of primarily Christians," they reasoned, "why are we struggling to influence our nation's policy decisions?" Soon, Christians became aligned in practice and perception with the Republican Party, pursuing almost exclusively a one-party strategy for political victory.

In the 1980s and '90s, the power of the religious right was a defining feature of American politics. Ronald Reagan, a Republican, famously told a group of conservative Christians that "you can't endorse me, but I endorse you," the type of flattery that nearly gave his audience the vapors. Bill Clinton, a Democrat, ran for president making rhetorical concessions on the issue of abortion (it should be "safe, legal, and rare"), and while in office he signed the Defense of Marriage Act and made school uniforms a cause célèbre. But although Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson influenced Republican presidential primaries as favorite candidates of the religious right, it was George W. Bush who finally cracked the glass ceiling and was elected as the first president leaders of the Religious Right could claim as "one of us."

But conservative Christians learned that the political power to elect a candidate is different than the political power to govern. Sure, the White House hosted James Dobson each year for what amounted to a "kissing of the ring" session to mark the National Day of Prayer that Dobson's wife Shirley established a non-profit to support. Bush called for a "culture of life" at major public forums, and made a push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage during his second term. Yet the substantive, lasting policy victories conservative Christians hoped for were not achieved: Abortion remained legal, no federal amendment to ban gay marriage passed, and school-sanctioned prayer time remained unconstitutional. Moreover, as the original leaders of the religious right moved out of leadership, the next generation of pro-GOP voices for conservative morality were not religious leaders, but political advocates: Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins (a former Louisiana state senator).

As George W. Bush's approval ratings plummeted during his second term, many Christians who had been invested in the Religious Right movement began to reconsider their partisan posture in politics. In my conversations with Christian leaders and voters, I've found that there are two common motivating factors for this change. First, the political issues that draw Christian concern go beyond what the political system has suggested. Christian organizations have supported issues like prisoner rehabilitation, international development, immigrant services, and healthcare for literally centuries in this country. The legacy of Christian political activism in America spans not just the culture wars, but America's founding, the abolition of slavery, and the advancement of civil rights. To Christian leaders, and many Christians themselves, it was incomprehensible that they came to occupy such a small space of our political discourse. How could it be that they could elect a nation's president, but lose its politics?

But Christians also faced a similar and still more pressing question: How could it be that they could elect a nation's president, but lose its people?

Two books in the late 2000s helped answer that question. In 2007, Unchristian, a book written by Gabe Lyons and David Kinnaman based on original research, sent shockwaves through the church that continue to resonate. They found that young non-Christians have profoundly negative views of Christians. For instance, among 16- to 29-year-old non-Christians, Christians were viewed as "anti-gay" (91 percent), judgmental (87 percent), hypocritical (85 percent), sheltered (78 percent) and—surprise—"too political" (75 percent). In 2010, respected academics David Campbell and Robert Putnam's landmark book, American Grace, concluded that partisan politics was directly to blame for the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans. "The growth of the nones," Campbell argued, "is a direct reaction to the intermingling of religion and politics in the United States." Jonathan Merritt was more blunt in his assessment of the impact of a partisan faith: "As American Evangelicals have become more partisan, American Christianity has suffered as more shy away from the faith."

For Christians, this research confirmed what they were experiencing in their own lives: an open antagonism in the culture toward Christian ideas and doctrine a sudden change in conversations when they mentioned their faith the assumption of their politics that came with a knowledge of their faith the sudden need to make clear that they were "not that kind of Christian." Pastors increasingly found that a partisan politics was pushing people away from faith and causing tension among those in their churches. Things had to change.

The posture of Christians in politics that has begun to emerge in the wake of this realization is, well, otherworldly. These Christian leaders tend to be younger—Millennials and Gen-Xers—but you can find baby boomers in their midst. Most of these leaders are new to the scene, but their role models are older leaders who have been able to recalibrate and adjust their approach as the times have changed. They are pastors in America's cities and suburbs where they serve at the bleeding edge of our society's most pressing challenges, but they are also entrepreneurs, artists and politicians. They seek influence, but their ultimate commitment is faithfulness. They have their political preferences, but they're willing to work with anyone. And they're willing to disagree with anyone.

I worked with this type of Christian leader when I worked in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama's first term. Regardless of the party that received their vote on Election Day, Christian leaders took fire from their traditional partisan allies to work with the Obama Administration on issues like protecting the social safety net, supporting fatherhood, strengthening adoption, and combating human trafficking. Congress's bipartisan passage of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2011 would not have been possible without religious support, and any congressional act on voting rights in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision is unlikely without the support of these Christians. And Christian leaders have been among the most outspoken advocates for immigration reform as well, as I wrote last summer, and as Steve King learned for himself.

This model is exemplified by the evangelicals who worked with Sam Adams--the first openly gay mayor of Portland, Oregon—to create the Summer of Service, which Adams has called the most successful endeavor of his time in office. As Kevin Palau, one of the leaders of the Portland partnership, told New York Times: "Young evangelicals absolutely want their faith to be relevant .… The world they grew up in and got tired of was the media portrait of evangelicals are against you, or evangelicals even hate you. Young evangelicals are saying, 'Surely we want to be known by what we're for.'"

This idea that Christians should be known what they are for is now a common one. You'll hear it in conferences and church sermons, not just from intellectual leaders, but from pastors at the grassroots. It is a rallying cry especially for younger Christians—their corrective response to the more strident, oppositional faith of the previous generation.

It is also at the heart of Christians' love affair with Pope Francis: This pope is known by what he is for. Just about everyone loves Pope Francis so far. He's polling at 88 percent among all Americans. He was named Person of the Year not only by Tid but also by quoted Francis as part of his case against income inequality, and Obama's former chief speechwriter, Jon Favreau, recently wrote a glowing column praising the pope as "the most hopeful development for world affairs in 2014."

But for Christians, particularly those who feel religion's influence in this country is slipping—as a vast majority of both believers and non-believers do—Pope Francis offers something of a test case: Can Christians still thrive in the American public square while continuing to hold to the basic tenets of their faith?

Yes, Francis is the pope who washes the feet of Muslim girls who expresses humility first when presented with the opportunity of judging a person, gay or straight who sneaks out at night to serve the poor—but he is also consistent with traditional Catholic doctrine on homosexuality, women in Church leadership, reproductive issues, and other topics that have brought the Church under criticism in recent years. As Nancy Gibbs suggested in Tid, the pope "has not changed the words, but he's changed the music."

However, changing the music may not be enough: attempts to box Pope Francis in have already begun. A close ally of the pope recently spoke out against "manipulation" by the media of statements the pope has made to suggest a break from Catholic doctrine. I The Washington Post, Max Fisher suggested the pope has "preferred symbolic gestures" over "productive diplomacy." EN Salon columnist faulted his encyclical on economic justice for not including support for gay marriage and an endorsement of accepting women in the priesthood. As Francis's honeymoon potentially comes to a close, what happens if the pope's policies do not conform to expectations?

These questions aside, it is the case that in 2013, for the first time in decades, the loudest Christian voices were the peacemakers. The hopeful. The grace-givers. Sure, the same-old people who profit from conflict still have their megaphones, but they are starting to be drowned out by those who prefer partnership to opposition and conversation to screeds. And though important internal debates are happening among Christian leaders and in small groups across the country, it is important to note that many of the voices taking this new posture (like Francis) still believe the same fundamental things about Christian doctrine.

So what does this new Christian political posture mean for the culture wars? The last big dust-up of 2013 offers a glimpse. When Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson made his incendiary remarks in an interview with GQ, one would have to be forgiven for expecting that we were about to have another "Christians vs. gays" battle in the culture wars. And, certainly, there was some of that. But the aftermath also showed the beginnings of a third way, a 21st-century common ground. Some of the most representative Christian articles and blogs on the subject were encouraging introspection on the part of Christians, such as Jen Hatmaker's call for Christians to be "peacemakers" (not habitual culture warriors), and Rebekah Lyons' post on the importance of the words we use, and Christians' need to be "messengers of peace." Wesley Hill's post for First Things, a staple conservative publication, was probably the most surprising and incisive, as he wrote: "… just because someone quotes 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and is opposed to same-sex marriage doesn't mean that they're speaking up for a theologically informed, humane, pastorally sensitive view of what it means to be gay."

There were also surprising voices questioning A&E's decision to suspend Robertson. LGBT writer Brandon Ambrosino wrote for Tid on the bigotry of the reaction to Phil's remarks. "Why," he asked, "is our go-to political strategy for beating our opponents to silence them? Why do we dismiss, rather than engage them?" CNN's Don Lemon—who is gay and has spoken out passionately on air against homophobia and discrimination in the past—also said on air that he opposed firing Robertson. More than the headlines would suggest, many people with different views on LGBT rights came to agree that ending a conversation is vastly different from winning an argument.

During the string of retrospectives that greeted the new year, many named 2013 the year of a progressive renaissance. From the continued rise of the religiously unaffiliated, to the progress of marriage equality as a political and cultural force, and the election of Bill de Blasio, many observers have suggested we're entering a new and more liberal era: The old ideas have been tried, found wanting, and Americans are now ready to discard them, we've been told.

Even for those who would welcome a new, enduring progressive era, declaring one does not make it so. I believe the story of 2013 was different. Rather than discarding old ideas, Christians returned to the basics, shedding some of the political baggage and layers of allegiances gained in the previous century to return to their most fundamental allegiance: to Jesus and to people. They are reaching for a new equilibrium between the prophetic and the pastoral, between mercy and justice, the aspiration of holiness and the free gift of grace.

A clear example of this new kind of public posture is the Imago Dei Campaign launched last month by evangelical organizations like Focus on the Family, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Liberty University's Mat Staver, and Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, producers of the History Channel's The Bible, blandt andre. The Imago Dei (latin for "image of God") website declares, "For the image of God exists in all human beings: black and white rich and poor straight and gay conservative and liberal victim and perpetrator citizen and undocumented believer and unbeliever."

As Elizabeth Dias reported in Tid, the campaign is an effort to "erode the culture war battle lines that have helped define evangelical discourse for the better part of half a century." It amounts to an admission of sorts on behalf of evangelicals. That they feel they have to launch a campaign to reaffirm a doctrine as old as the book of Genesis, suggests evangelicals have allowed this fundamental principle to become obscured. Like Pope Francis's statements, Imago Dei does not accede on issues like gay marriage—it even reaffirms the view that abortion is immoral—but it does express a new humility, a new acceptance, that would have never occurred under the old partisan paradigm. It offers a pathway for dialogue and persuasion: If gay people are to be afforded dignity as those made in the image of God, what does this require of our rhetoric? What does it require of our laws?

The question for 2014 is whether political and cultural forces will support or undermine this new equilibrium. Will Christian humility on controversial issues be welcomed, or will a full renouncement of their beliefs be demanded? Can our politics build upon the unlikely alliances of the immigration-reform movement to continue relationships on areas of common ground, or will we force groups into boxes using ideological litmus tests? Can we insist on a truly inclusive America, or will parochial interests and short-term political battles distract us?

I think we will look back at 2013 as a turning point in the Christian project to live out and project a holistic, positive, and hopeful faith. It was a year of establishing new norms, in religious life and in the life of our nation. 2014 will be about how we negotiate living with this new normal. A Christianity that seeks to unilaterally impose itself on the nation is unlikely be fruitful, but it is similarly unrealistic and unproductive to force a secular morality on believers.

What will be required of our political and religious leadership in this year is not diversity alone, but an understanding of diverse groups of people, with the knowledge that neither women nor men, gay people or straight, black, white, Latino, native, nor any other ethnicity or race, religious nor atheist—none of these various segments of the American population are going away. We need leaders, and people to support them, who recognize that the question for this century is not "how do I win?" but "how can we live together?" For Christians and for all Americans, answering this question should be the central political project for 2014 and beyond.


Se videoen: Frederik Miler - 3. Spisi sa Mrtvog Mora - Najveće Svjetske Zagonetke (November 2021).