THE SPLENDID IDOLATRY OF NATIONALISM
Copyright (c) 2021 Cavanaugh William
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This article addresses the question ‘Do we live in a secular, disenchanted world devoid of gods, or do we live in a world populated by new gods?’ Some cite Max Weber in assuming that disenchantment is a fact. Others cite Émile Durkheim who points to ongoing forms of enchantment and the development of new religious forms to take the place of Christianity. In this article I use the case of nationalism to examine this question. I analyse two arguments, one that sides with Weber, the other with Durkheim. I not only side with Durkheim, but argue that Weber sides with Durkheim, too. I then go beyond Durkheim, and argue, from a Christian theological point of view, that nationalism is not only a religion, but an idolatrous one at that.