Detalle Publicación


The "philosophical bible" and the secular state

Título de la revista: EUROPEAN LEGACY
ISSN: 1084-8770
Volumen: 22
Número: 1
Páginas: 31 - 48
Fecha de publicación: 2017
Almost all scholars of the Enlightenment consider Hobbes, Spinoza, and Locke as the founding theorists of the secular modern state. In contrast to the widely held view of the modern state, I argue that far from being secular it was the product of the sacralization of politics, which resulted from the way these philosophers interpreted the Scriptures as part of their philosophical inquiries. The analysis of the linguistic turn in their biblical interpretations reveals how they tried to undermine the power of the Church to claim greater freedoms for the state. Their philosophical inquiries initiated the secularization of the Christian religion and the sacralization of politics as two correlative developments, rather than the secularization of the state per se, as is usually supposed. The philosophical arguments proposed by Hobbes, Spinoza, and Locke helped to resolve the religious battles of Europe's many confessions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but are still pertinent to our current very different historical context.