Church and State: A Postmodern Political Theology
This is a political theology for the Baha’i Faith, but it is also a philosophy for living in our globalized, post-modern society. The author investigates the Baha’i teachings concerning the separation of “Church” and State.
Government, religion, commerce, art, education, and science are increasingly independent, have different social functions, relate differently to one another, and have different meanings for us today. This functional differentiation also drives the pluralism, relativism, and global scope of our post-modern society. In a society such as ours, in which religious ritual is the mirror of individual distinctiveness, not of collective identity, in which permanent pluralism means that no one religion can provide common norms and values, and in which the values of one sphere of life are not transferred to other spheres, religion must find a new role in society.
The twentieth century has taught us that economic affairs cannot be governed by political ideologies, that science must be free of doctrine, that the dignity and autonomy of the individual must be respected, and that church and state must be separated.
This is an exhaustive review of Baha’i literature on the subject, but the book also inquires into the scriptures of both Christianity and Islam to find that the separations of state from religion is a universal ideal