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TAGS: Christianity; Church and State; Criticism and apologetics; Government; Interfaith dialogue; Islam; Politics
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Abstract:
Review of Bahá'í literature and of the scriptures of Christianity and Islam show that the separation of state from religion is a universal ideal. Excerpt from a lengthy book; includes Contents, Foreword, and Introduction.
Notes:
Excerpt online at academia.edu. Order a copy of the book from kalimat.com/churchandstate.html.

Church and State:
A Postmodern Theology, Book One

by Sen McGlinn

published in Studies in the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions, 19, pages 1-32
Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 2005
About (from kalimat.com): This is a political theology for the Bahá'í Faith, but it is also a philosophy for living in our globalized, post-modern society. The author investigates the Bahá'í 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 a political theology for the Bahá'í Faith, but it is also a philosophy for living in our globalized, post-modern society. The author investigates the Bahá'í teachings concerning the separation of "Church" and State. This is an exhaustive review of Bahá'í 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.

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