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eBook Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe, from the French Revolution to the Great War download

by Michael Burleigh

eBook Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe, from the French Revolution to the Great War download ISBN: 0060580933
Author: Michael Burleigh
Publisher: Harper; First edition (February 28, 2006)
Language: English
Pages: 544
ePub: 1234 kb
Fb2: 1816 kb
Rating: 4.7
Other formats: mbr lrf azw rtf
Category: History
Subcategory: World

In "Earthly Powers," he traces the history of European secularization from the French Revolution to the First World War. He finds that the 19th century march toward secularization was not as inexorable as legend would have it. Indeed, Europeans were very ambivalent about secularization.

In "Earthly Powers," he traces the history of European secularization from the French Revolution to the First World War. The totalitarianisms of the 20th century - Fascism, Nazism, and Communism - made use of many of the rituals of established religions. They used festivals, spectacles, monuments, statues, loyalty oaths, and so forth to satisfy the religious impulse in societies in which religion had been banished.

I look forward to seeing how Burleigh develops his ideas in the next volume Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, from the Great War to the War on Terror. Publishers - please up your game!.

Prior to the French Revolution, many Continental states suffered from fiscal fragmentation and absolutist rule. Since time immemorial Europe had been dominated by nobles and nobilities. In the 18th century their power seemed better entrenched than ever. Fiscal centralization occurred in most Continental states from 1789 to 1815, resolving the fragmentation problem. Limited government, which resolved the problem of absolutist rule, did not emerge in most Continental states until the 1830s and 1840s, however. But in 1790 the French revolutionaries made a determined attempt to abolish nobility entirely.

In this masterful, stylish, and authoritative book, Michael Burleigh gives us an epic history of the battles over religion in modern Europe, examining the complex and often lethal ways in which politics and religion have interacted and influenced each other over the last two centuries. From the French Revolution to the totalitarian movements of the twentieth century, Earthly Powers is a uniquely powerful portrait of one of the great tensions of modern history†one that continues to be played out on the world stage today. Categories: Religion.

Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe, from the French Revolution .

Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe, from the French Revolution to the Great Wa. Burleigh weaves together a rich miscellany of themes. A thought-provoking, deeply civilised book' KENNETH o. MORGAN, Independent 'Tackling everyone from Robespierre to Marx and Dostoevsky, the book has a sweeping ambition that is matched by its learning' ANDREW HOLGATE, Sunday Times. Recently Viewed and Featured. Resilient Liberalism in Europe's Political Economy.

In Earthly Powers, Michael Burleigh surveys the roughly 125 years indicated by the book's subtitle and describes the ongoing .

In Earthly Powers, Michael Burleigh surveys the roughly 125 years indicated by the book's subtitle and describes the ongoing struggle between the secular, political powers and the several traditional. It provides a good history of the century or so between the French Revolution and the Great War, but the tone of the book is often more judgmental than analytical.

In this book, Michael Burleigh gives us a history of the battles over religion in modern Europe. The overall effect was a widespread increase in secularism and a demystification of the power of politics. Examining the ways in which politics and religion have influenced each other over the last two hundred years, he reveals that throughout history the two realms have interacted in complex and sometimes lethal ways - just as they still do today. Read associated article: Charles Fourier.

Michael Burleigh was born on 3 April 1955. Earthly Powers: Religion and Politics in Europe from the French Revolution to the Great War (HarperCollins, 2005). He was awarded a first class honours degree in Medieval and Modern History from University College London in 1977, winning the Pollard, Dolley and Sir William Mayer Prizes. Sacred Causes: Religion and Politics from the European Dictators to Al Qaeda (HarperCollins, 2006). ISBN 978-0-00-719574-9. Blood and Rage: A Cultural History of Terrorism (Harper Collins, 2008). Moral Combat: A History of World War II (Harper, 2010). ISBN 978-0-00-719576-3.

In this masterful, stylish, and authoritative book, Michael Burleigh gives us an epic history of the battles over religion in modern Europe. Examining the ways in which politics and religion have influenced each other over the last two hundred years, he reveals that throughout history the two realms have interacted in complex and sometimes lethal ways -- just as they still do today. The overall effect was a widespread increase in secularism and a demystification of the power of politics.

With dazzling scope, Burleigh encompasses the philosophies of the Enlightenment and the influence of thinkers like Maistre and Bonald and Lamennais, painters like Zoffany and David, the Catholic Emancipation hero O'Connell, as well as the pseudo-religious aspects of Marxism. While the nineteenth century saw the replacement of the confessional by the liberal state, it also saw the birth of ideological fanaticisms that would achieve enormous power in the twentieth century. As the state began to colonize areas of existence where it previously hadn't ventured, it laid the foundations for both the soft totalitarianism of the modern bureaucratic welfare state and the more sinister police states of Communists and National Socialists. The most violent and repressive of these systems mimicked many of the functions of religion. Although liberalism was eventually restored to the continent in 1945 and 1989, many of the themes that Burleigh highlights here, notably the need for civic religions, have assumed a terrible relevance as Europe reacts to the threat of Al Qaeda.

Earthly Powers is a magisterial history that sheds new light on the momentous struggles between church and state, from the French Revolution to the totalitarian movements of the twentieth century. Written with astonishing breadth and sophistication, this is a uniquely powerful portrait of one of the great tensions in modern history, one that continues to be played out on the world stage today.

Comments: (7)
Gardall
This was one of the first books I purchased for my Kindle in 2008 and I've finally gotten around to finishing it. No one can accuse Mr. Burleigh of being light on details although I'm sure that he's accused of many things. (He probably wouldn't have it any other way.) Burleigh sets out to explore the "clash" between religion and politics from the French Revolution to World War I. The clashing often takes the form of strange mash-ups in which religions take on distinctly political forms or issues or when the politics takes on the manifestations of religion.

It's fascinating to see the Jacobins of the French Revolution create their own cleric-free religion handily called "The Cult of the Supreme Being" or a Roman Catholic priest get kicked out of the church for creating a political role for the Holy See. Some of the collisions between religion and politics Burleigh unearths are amusing - like the utopian socialist writer who imagines a world in which "fairies" cure the jilted of their broken-hearts. Others are just plain disturbing. Humans can't live without some sort of religion, Burleigh seems to be saying, even if we have to make up something truly bizarre to fill the gap.

Burleigh has done his research and has his views, some of which had me nodding my head such as "there is surely something mad about all-consuming political passions" and some that had me wondering what planet he inhabits. I don't care what it's "set beside', the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre is not a "modest affaire". I don't know why Burleigh felt the need to do the written equivalent of a drive-by in referring to Beatrice Webb as "ghastly" but I admit to being as amused by that as by the phrase "harpy pawnbroker consort". I get the feeling that if someone declared this book "vast in perversity" (to quote the Vatican's description of a work cited here) Michael Burleigh would be pleased indeed.

Burleigh isn't shy about sharing his opinions but his quirky erudition made this worth the ride for me.I disagreed with many of Burleigh's "conclusions" but for me that's part of the enjoyment of reading a book like this - it's like having a debate with a very opinionate acquaintance. This is not an easy read and it is not for everyone. If you're interested in the topic I'd recommend you read a few pages with Amazon's Look Inside feature before buying. Burleigh loves obscure verbs and occasionally presents a quote in the original language without providing translation. (Why he does this sometimes and not others in the same language is a mystery.) Hence my 3-star rating: this is an interesting book that does not transcend its topic. Recommended for those interested in the topic.
Kata
Historian Michael Burleigh does a good job of explaining the change in European culture from a faith based to a secular society. Although he is clearly a cultural conservative and he does take an occasional pot shot at the dominant left/liberal school of contemporary historical analysts, he is fair in pointing out the flaws and failings of the Christian Churches of the era, including and especially his own Catholic Church.
He explains a confusing era in European history. I drew a number of conclusions from his book. In the first place,the horrific description of what took place during the French Revolution especially the persecution and slaughter of the Catholics in the Vendee shows that mass murder is not limited to religious fanatics. Secularists and atheists can do just as good a job. Secondly, a deranged form of Nationalism seems to have been the real root of the terrible anti-semitism of the 20th century. Finally, the secularization of modern Europe was inevitably based on modern social organization, and it is ultimately a positive thing. Roman Catholicism in particular has benefited from its loss of temporal power and separation of church and state is an absolute necessity for human progress.
My only complaint is that Burleigh's presentation is sometimes difficult to follow. His subject is vast and sometimes his writing is too compressed. He also digresses a bit from his main theme to discuss, for example, the paintings of David or the novels of Dostoevsky. Although often his digressions are useful in giving a sense of the period. All in all a good job. It would probably be more rewarding for those who have some knowledge of the period.
Mr_Mole
While doing his research on the Third Reich, British historian Michael Brurleigh became interested in the religious character of totalitarianism. In "Earthly Powers," he traces the history of European secularization from the French Revolution to the First World War. He finds that the 19th century march toward secularization was not as inexorable as legend would have it. Indeed, Europeans were very ambivalent about secularization. The totalitarianisms of the 20th century - Fascism, Nazism, and Communism - made use of many of the rituals of established religions. They used festivals, spectacles, monuments, statues, loyalty oaths, and so forth to satisfy the religious impulse in societies in which religion had been banished.

In his account of the French Revolution, Burleigh shows how the Jacobin suppression of the church led to the cult of nationalism that followed. The Jacobins were not opposed to religion per se, they were opposed specifically to the Catholic Church for being partner in the throne-and-altar tyranny. They did see the need for a civil religion to garner loyalty to the state. In the process they established various cults and rituals that mimiced religious ceremonies. The Jacobins were the precursors of Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini.

The French Revolution, according to Burleigh, secularized religion. Religion went from "world-transcendent" to "world-immanent," a distinction he borrows from Eric Voegelin, an early 20th century Austrian writer who had written a book called "The Political Religions." The new "creed" was no longer other-worldly, it was the nation-state, and the new god was no longer God, it was the new secular leader.

Burleigh pulls together many historical strands showing how both Protestants and Catholics negotiated the uneasy relationship between church and state throughout the 19th century. He gives a fascinating account of how secular forces in France's Third Republic and Bismark's Germany tried to eradicate religion from their educational systems. At the same time, he shows how O'Connell of Young Ireland and Mazzini of Young Italy used religious imagery to attract followers to their respective nationlist causes. And he goes on to show how utopian thinkers such as Saint Simon, Fourier, Comte, and Marx - to mention the most obvious - were actually prophets of political religions.

The interplay between politics and religion is particulary relevant to our current age. Although it is safe to say that the Europeans have put the religious impulse, political or otherwise, to rest after the totalitarianisms of the 20th century; they now firmly belong to the secular camp, in the traditional sense of the term. However, since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Islam is rapidly becaming the toxic brew of religion and politics in our time, not only in the Middle East but in the West as well. Volumes have already been written about the Islamic threat in Europe, and as this book reminds us, it should not be taken lightly.

This book is extensively researched and very well-written. I look forward to the projected sequel "Sacred Causes," dealing with the political religions of the 1920's and 30's.
Samulkree
Great book that is Volume I of two books concerning religion and politics in history.