Religious Origins of Modern Radicalism
Author: Eisenstadt, S. N.
Source: Theoria, Volume 52, Number 106, April 2005 , pp. 51-80(30)
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
Abstract:It is the major argument of this essay that the roots of modern Jacobinism in their different manifestations are to be found in the transformation of the visions with strong Gnostic components and which sought to bring the Kingdom of God to earth and which were often promulgated in medieval and early modern European Christianity by different heterodox sects. The transformation of these visions as it took place above all in the Great Revolutions, in the English Civil War and especially the American and French Revolutions and their aftermaths, entailed their transposition from relatively marginal sectors of society to the central political arena. From then on, these visions, especially in their various collectivistic, especially Jacobin, guises became a continual component of the modern political discourse and dynamics, in continual confrontation with more 'open' pluralistic visions.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 2005
- Published in association with the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Theoria is an engaged, multidisciplinary and peer-reviewed journal of social and political theory. Its purpose is to address, through scholarly debate, the many challenges posed to intellectual life by the major social, political and economic forces that shape the contemporary world. Thus it is principally concerned with questions such as how modern systems of power, processes of globalization and capitalist economic organization bear on matters such as justice, democracy and truth.
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