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Fundamentalism or TraditionChristianity after Secularism$
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Aristotle Papanikolaou and George E. Demacopoulos

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823285792

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823285792.001.0001

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Saeculum–Ecclesia–Caliphate: An Eternal Golden Braid

Saeculum–Ecclesia–Caliphate: An Eternal Golden Braid

(p.94) Saeculum–Ecclesia–Caliphate: An Eternal Golden Braid
Fundamentalism or Tradition

Paul J. Griffiths

Fordham University Press

The secular state, the church, and the caliphate are associations that each hold universal aspirations, at least implicitly. While the universal aspirations of the church and caliphate may be obvious enough, every state seeks dominion over the whole world. (“Secular” describes states that limit their vision to this world, as opposed to the transcendence to which both the church and caliphate appeal.) As an essay in Catholic speculative theology, Griffiths asks two questions: Whether Catholic theology supports or discourages the variety of political orders, and whether these orders could be ranked in terms of goodness from a Catholic perspective? In response to these questions, Griffiths appeals to two aspects of St. Augustine’s political thought: Political rivalries serve the common good; and the principal indicator of the degree to which a state serves the common good is its explicit service to the god of Abraham. The United States (a secular state) is compared with ISIS (an attempted caliphate).

Keywords:   St. Augustine of Hippo, ISIS, political theology, Roman Catholicism, United States, war

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