Faith and Citizenship What are the connections ? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Faith and Citizenship What are the connections ?

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  1. Faith and Citizenship What are the connections ? Professor James Arthur Director of citiZED Canterbury Christ Church University

  2. Religion and Politics • two distinct activities • private beliefs • ‘bracket out’ beliefs • ‘principle of secular jurisdiction’ • mental dualism

  3. Secular Citizenship ‘Citizenship is secular, on historical and philosophical grounds’Bernard Crick British Humanist Association University of London October 2006

  4. Religion and Citizenship • religion as a key factor in character, moral norms and ideas of duty • religion as a key factor in an individual’s sense of national identity • religion concerned with action and participation • religious values have significant public consequences

  5. Religion and Citizenship ‘When secularized citizens act in their role as citizens of the state, they must not deny in principle that religious images of the world have the potential to express truth. Nor must they refuse their believing fellow citizens the right to make contributions in a religious language to public debates.’Jurgan Habermas in Habermas and Ratzinger (2006: 51)

  6. Judaism and Citizenship • covenanted people of God • equal in the eyes of God • family, friendships, charity, voluntary associations • love thy neighbour • love the stranger

  7. Early Christian Church • ambivalent relationship with secular power • persecution • ‘alien citizenship’ • strong idea of separation • accommodation and protest

  8. Universalistic Notions of Citizenship ‘Both slave and free must equally philosophise, whether male or female in sex… whether barbarian, Greek, slave, whether an old man, or a boy, or a woman… And we must admit that the same nature exists in every race, and the same virtue’. Clement of Alexandria (200AD)

  9. Christian Theory of the State • independence of the Church • deny absolute power to the State • Church takes precedence over the State St. Ambrose of Milan (340-397)

  10. The Church and Secular Affairs • ‘against its nature’ • vacuum created with decline of Empire • ‘drowned in the world’ • subordinates political authority to the Church

  11. St. Augustine’s City of God • civic and divine citizenship • two kingdoms theory • primary anticipatory citizenship

  12. The Theory of the Two Powers ‘There are two chief powers by which the world is governed, August Emperor: the sacred authority of the prelates and the kingly power’ Pope Gelasius I in 494 in a letter to the Emperor The bull unam sanctam of 1302 in which Pope Boniface VIII claimed the superiority of the spiritual power over the secular in all matters.

  13. St. Augustine • distinct but not separate • engage in the political community • commended to love both God and neighbour • civic citizenship raised to the level of religious duty

  14. The State and the Individual • limits to the power of the State • Contra Plato, the state is not the individual ‘writ large’ • politics does not justify society’s existence • State and political order does not provide a reason for being either for society or the individual

  15. St. Thomas Aquinas • human beings are social and political animals • civil government is necessary and a positive force • secular activities do not direct one away from God

  16. Aquinas’s Theory of Citizenship • ‘simple’ and ‘restricted’ • full exercise of political rights • limited exercise of political rights • ‘restricted’ – inclusive based on baptism

  17. Separation of Church and State • Enlightenment • Critical and Sceptical • Constitutional Secularisation • Separation of religion from public life

  18. Citizenship Education • dual calling of citizenship and faith • competing obligations • shared language of citizenship

  19. Secularisation 1 the decline of religious belief and practice among a particular population, or 2 the retreat of religion from influence on the public sphere.

  20. St. Thomas More ‘this Indictment is grounded vppon an acte of parliamente directly repugnant to the lawes of god..’

  21. Rights and Citizenship ‘Codes of rights cannot be expected to define what the good life is, what love and faithfulness and honour are. Codes of rights are about defining the minimum conditions for any life at all. So in the case of the family they are about defining the negatives: abuse and violence.  Rights can’t define the positives: love, forbearance, humour, charity and endurance. We need other words to do that, and we need to make sure that rights talk doesn’t end up crowding out all the other ways we express our deepest and most enduring needs.’ • Michael Ignatieff

  22. Rights and Citizenship ‘...citizenship depends upon beliefs and values, and these are both religious and moral. Therefore, citizenship education which pays scant attention to the process and content of both moral and religious believing is likely to stumble, for therein lie the springs of active participation’. • Brian Gates

  23. Minimal and Maximal Citizenship ‘The more demanding the conception of citizenship, the more intrusive the public policies needed to promote it…the more our conception of the good citizen requires the sacrifice of private attachments to the common good, the more vigorously the state must act (as Sparta did) to weaken those attachments in favour of devotion to the public sphere’. William Galston

  24. Secularism and Citizenship ‘As long as secular citizens are convinced that religious traditions and religious communities are to a certain extent archaic relics of pre-modern societies that continue to exist in the present...religion no longer has any intrinsic justification to exist …

  25. Secularism and Citizenship In the secularist reading, we can envisage that, in the long run, religious views will inevitably melt under the sun of scientific criticism and that religious communities will not be able to withstand the pressures of some unstoppable cultural and social modernisation’. Jurgen Habermas (2005)

  26. The State and Citizenship ‘Western modernity and liberalism are at risk when they refuse to recognize that they are the way they are because of the presence in their midst of that partner and critic which speaks of ‘alternative citizenship’ – the Christian community…the distinctively European style of political argument and debate is made possible by the Church’s persistent witness to the fact that states do not have ultimate religious claims on their citizens’. Rowan Williams

  27. Secularism and Citizenship

  28. Further reading • Why Politics Needs Religion: The Place of Religious Arguments in the Public Square (2006) by Brendan Sweetman You can order this on Amazon