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"Odd" Fellows in the Politics of Religion: Modernism, by Gary Lease

By Gary Lease

Publication by means of rent, Gary

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Extra info for "Odd" Fellows in the Politics of Religion: Modernism, National Socialism, and German Judaism

Sample text

Without beginning, and without end, events float unrelated to other activities and above all to human experience, and thus become "a"-historical or meaningless. While "locating" an event always implies establishment of a boundary indicating the conclusion, or end of that event, the pinpointing of its beginning, or first emergence, is even more vital in scheduling the particular experience under investigation for location on a map of meaning in relationship to other experiences. Such an "emergence" always, in turn, indicates a break or act of discontinuity; at the same time, the "location" of it in relation to other acts claims some continuity with both past and future.

History, though always incomplete and never that which it claims to be, is always an act of power and thus a political act in the fullest sense of that term. It is hardly accidental that, in Western culture at least (and in many others, I am persuaded), theology plays a parallel role to that of history. By self-assessment, theology is designed to short-circuit the definitional process. Transcending the "doing" of history as the attempt to reconstruct the events of history, it nevertheless has, as its goal, those very same events.

Eastern Europe was no better off, having been falling under Russian hegemony since the Napoleonic collapse at the beginning of the nineteenth century; among the Southern and Eastern Slavic peoples Russia was playing its card of the Third Rome with effect. With practically one blow, then, the Vatican found itself politically isolated and forced to realign itself with Europe's new power constellations. The wisest step appeared to be not only peace, but a working relationship with Germany, clearly the force of the moment - and very likely the future.

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