The Dark Side of Church/State Separation analyzes the Enlightenment's attack upon the Judeo-Christian tradition and its impact upon the development of secular regimes in France, Germany, and Russia. Such regimes followed the anti-Semitic/anti-Christian agenda of the French Enlightenment in blaming the Judeo-Christian tradition for all the ills of European society and believing that human beings can develop their own set of values and purposes through rational means, apart from any revelation from God or Scripture.
Stephen Strehle's analysis extends our understanding of church/state relations and its history. He confirms the spiritual roots of modern anti-Semitism within the ideology of the Enlightenment and recognizes the intimate relationship between anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity. Strehle questions the absolute doctrine of church/state separation, given its background in the bigotries of the philosophes. He notes the nefarious motives of subsequent regimes, which used the French doctrine to replace the religious community with the state and its secular ideology.
This detailed historical analysis of original sources and secondary literature is woven together with special appreciation for the philosophical and theological ideas that contributed to the emergence of political institutions. Readers will gain an understanding of the most influential ideas shaping the modern world and present-day culture.
Table of Contents
I France and the Modern etat
1 Voltaire and English Deists
2 The Philosophes
3 The French Revolution
4 The Process of Secularization
II Nazi Germany
6 The Rise of the Third Reich
7 The Immediate Sources of Hitler's Ideology
8 The Metaphysics of Voluntarism
9 Biblical Criticism and Liberal Theology
10 The Growth of Anti-Semitism and Anti-Christianity: Inside and Outside the Church
11 German Etatism, Racism, and Ethnocentrism
III International Communism
12 The First International: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
13 The Second International: Karl Kautsky
14 The Third International: Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev