The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West

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Vintage Books, 2008 - History - 341 pages
A brilliant account of religion's role in the political thinking of the West, from the Enlightenment to the close of World War II.

The wish to bring political life under God's authority is nothing new, and it's clear that today religious passions are again driving world politics, confounding expectations of a secular future. In this major book, Mark Lilla reveals the sources of this age-old quest-and its surprising role in shaping Western thought. Making us look deeper into our beliefs about religion, politics, and the fate of civilizations, Lilla reminds us of the modern West's unique trajectory and how to remain on it. Illuminating and challenging, The Stillborn God is a watershed in the history of ideas.

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User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

A very interesting history of political theology, and through it of the evolution of at least the Western world's view of and attitude toward religion, religious belief and religious tolerance. Classy book, well written, on an important subject. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bdhamilton - LibraryThing

Mark Lilla wrote this book for the heirs of what he calls the Great Separation: the modern West's attempt to distinguish religious questions from political ones once and for all. This is the West's ... Read full review


The Crisis
The Great Separation
The Ethical God
The Bourgeois God
The WellOrdered House
The Redeeming God
The Stillborn God

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About the author (2008)

Mark Lilla is Professor of Humanities and Religion at Columbia University. He was previously Professor at the Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago. A noted intellectual historian and frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, he is the author of The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics and G.B. Vico: The Making of an Anti-Modern. He lives in New York City.

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