Totalitarianism and Political Religions Volume III: Concepts for the Comparison Of Dictatorships - Theory & History of Interpretations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Totalitarianism and Political Religions Volume III

Concepts for the Comparison Of Dictatorships - Theory & History of Interpretations, 1st Edition

Edited by Hans Maier


428 pages

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Available for the first time in English language translation, the third volume of Totalitarianism and Political Religions completes the set. It provides a comprehensive overview of key theories and theorists of totalitarianism and of political religions, from Hannah Arendt and Raymond Aron to Leo Strauss and Simone Weill. Edited by the eminent Professor Hans Maier, it represents a major study, examining how new models for understanding political history arose from the experience of modern despotic regimes.

Where volumes one and two were concerned with questioning the common elements between twentieth century despotic regimes - Communism, Fascism, National Socialism, Maoism – this volume draws a general balance. It brings together the findings of research undertaken during the decade 1992-2002 with the cooperation of leading philosophers, historians and social scientists for the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Munich.

Following the demise of Italian Fascism (1943-45), German National Socialism (1945) and Soviet Communism (1989-91), a comparative approach to the three regimes is possible. A broad field of interpretation of the entire phenomenon of totalitarian and political religions opens up. This comprehensive study examines a vast topic which affects the political and historical landscape over the whole of the last century. Moreover, dictatorships and their motivations are still present in current affairs, today in the twenty-first century. The three volumes of Totalitarianism and Political Religions are a vital resource for scholars of fascism, Nazism, communism, totalitarianism, comparative politics and political theory.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: On the Interpretation of Totalitarian Rule 2. The Classical Understanding of Tyranny and Despotism 3. The New Approaches 4. On the Concept and Theory of Political Religions 5. Fascism and Non-Democratic Regimes 6. Interpreters of Totalitarianism: A Lexicographical Survey 7. Bibliographic Index

About the Author/Editor

Hans Maier, born in 1931 in Freiburg im Breisgau, is Professor Emeritus in Political Science and the Theory of Religion at the University of Munich. He was the Bavarian Minister of Culture and Science from 1970 to 1986 and President of the Central Committee of German Catholics from 1976 to 1986. Major publications include Revolution und Kirche (1959), in English, Revolution and Church: The Early History of Christian Democracy, 1789-1901 (1969). Also Die ältere deutsch Staats- und Verwaltungslehre (1966), Die christliche Zeitrechnung (1991); Politische Religionen (1995); Welt ohne Christentum - was wäre anders? (1999) and Das Doppelgesicht des Religiösen: Religion – Gewalt – Politik (2004). This is the second volume of the three volume set on Totalitarianism and Political Religions.

About the Series

Totalitarianism Movements and Political Religions

This innovative book series will scrutinise all attempts to totally refashion mankind and society, whether these hailed from the Left or the Right, which, unusually, will receive equal consideration. Although its primary focus will be on the authoritarian and totalitarian politics of the twentieth century, the series will also provide a forum for the wider discussion of the politics of faith and salvation in general, together with an examination of their inexorably catastrophic consequences.

There are no chronological or geographical limitations to the books that may be included, and the series will include reprints of classic works and translations, as well as monographs and collections of essays.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General