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Title: Theocratie en democratie
Author(s): KAL, Victor
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 73    Issue: 1   Date: 2011   
Pages: 47-74
DOI: 10.2143/TVF.73.1.2114151

Abstract :
In this article the common view that ‘theocracy’ and ‘democracy’ can only be each other’s enemy is challenged. First it is shown that the idea of theocracy is not necessarily related to the idea of the state, and, second, that it is more plausible to relate the idea of theocracy primarily to the idea of individual freedom. Also in modern history this second relation has to be considered as most significant. In line with this, Kant explored the necessity of ein Volk Gottes (a ‘theocracy’) as a social institution in which the (modern) state could not have anything to say. After it has been made clear, first, that theocracy cannot be defined as a phenomenon in the sphere of the modern state, and, second, that modern democracy historically presupposes the individual freedom produced by radical theocracy, the main thesis of the article can be made plausible: there is some urgency of theocracy for democracy, and some urgency of democracy for theocracy. The problem today, however, is the fact that many people are able neither to define nor to experience the connection between informal theocracy (modern freedom) and formal theocracy (religious tradition). As a result the scepsis theocracy would imply, and freedom needs, is weakened.

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