help draw the line between the human, the inhuman, and the non-human: torture, religion, human rights, and trauma narratives.
First: torture. The shock of the current ‘war on terror’ resides particularly in the way acts of inhumanity have focused on the sexualized body. In the contemporary crisis, the emphasis on sexual abuse is not (as some critics may wish to insist) a deviation from hardnosed considerations of all-pervading state power and seemingly unassailable military muscle. Where discrepancies of power between protagonists are so
euthanasia and to uphold the sanctity of life. All other major religions across the world similarly pronounce on matters of medical ethics. 1 In the UK, in considering the impact of faith on medical ethics and practice greater attention needs to be paid to traditions other than Christianity. 2
The Hippocratic Oath makes interesting reading. Its first premise is that the doctor owes loyalty to his teachers and his brethren. Obligations to exercise skill for the benefit of patients’ health come second. Abortion, direct euthanasia and abetting suicide are prohibited
that of Christianity which in itself he argues favours ‘freedom, the source of all moral greatness’ (11): ‘Christianity, which has rendered all men equal before God, will not be loath to see all citizens equal before the law.’ Furthermore, ‘the reign of freedom cannot be established without that of mores, nor mores founded without beliefs’, and Christianity should therefore be a natural ally of democracy whose efforts it could ‘sanctify’. In spite of all this, the ‘partisans of freedom’ have chosen to perceive ‘religion in the ranks of their adversaries’: the
strengthen royal power at the expense of the established Church.
Figure 3.1 State religions in Europe, c. 1560
A time out of joint
A key question of political theory emerged from this turbulence: what is the relationship between religion and war? On the one hand, many spokesmen of the established Church maintained the right to wage war against infidels and heretics – Spanish jurists in particular argued that heretics should be punished by war and that infidels, who set themselves outside the law of God and nature, have no true
, the 2005 election had achieved yet another term for the by then widely discredited Blair, with continuing involvement in the Iraq War a central issue, yet this added little to the turnout, which improved by only 2% over that in 2001.
Other factors influencing voting behaviour
Britain has moved a huge distance from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when religion dominated the political life of the nation. By the nineteenth century, the Church of England was said to be ‘the Conservative Party at prayer’, while the Liberals attracted support from
intersection of religion, class, and gender, ethnicity and the effects of colonialism on women in Mombasa. Judith Brown situated the life of the nun Benedetta Carlini in the context of religious and social attitudes to lesbianism in Renaissance Italy. 25 Enormous research efforts have illuminated gender history across the world, covering topics as diverse as family and marriage, work, religion, political structures, and the arts. 26 Additionally, comparative and transnational gender history has encouraged the investigation of sub-governmental links between movements, such
the necessity to achieve it by establishing rules for war. It will begin by briefly sketching the fall of Rome and the chaos that followed in its wake. It will then discuss the slow emergence of feudal institutions which reintroduced some order in the West. Finally it will point out that discussions about the nature of these institutions, and of the order they sustained, were steeped in religion – as is evident in the writings of Christian authors like Augustine and Gelasius and in Muslim authors like al-Shaybani. Political discussions were much enriched by the
'Terror' is a diffuse notion that takes no account of local particularities and 'war on terror' is a contradiction in terms. This book is based on the lectures that were given on the subject in Oxford in 2006. Amnesty has described 'war on terror' as a war on human rights. It is also a contest of narratives: stories that the protagonists tell about themselves, about their enemies, and about what is happening now. The book considers how the recent actions of the United States have stressed and stretched two areas of international law: the right of self-defence, and the rules of international humanitarian law. State terrorism, with a bit of careful spin, can be reclassified as counter-terrorism, in other words as inherently good in the same way that terrorism is inherently bad. The book engages with the politico-conceptual difficulties of distinguishing between war and terrorism. The interface and tensions between the human rights tradition and the Islamic tradition, particularly Islamic law, is discussed. The intensification of Western repression against Islamic thinkers or activists has at times been coupled with policies that seemed designed to change the religious trajectory of society. The sexualization of torture is only one way in which the 'war on terror' has delineated who is (and who is not) human. Religion, human rights, and trauma narratives are three other mechanisms for rationalizing suffering. The book also discusses the subject of censuring reckless killing of innocent civilians by the issue of fatwas by Muslim teachers.
democratic state gives everyone the right to their own beliefs and to practise their religion.
None of this, however, can obscure the themes which Marx deploys in the second part of his essay. Here is a key passage from it:
For us, the question of the Jew’s capacity for emancipation becomes the question:
What particular social element has to be overcome in order to abolish Judaism?
For the present-day Jew’s capacity for emancipation is the relation of Judaism to
the emancipation of the modern world. This relation necessarily results from the
set the standard for later generations by not only preaching, but also writing like a scholar, a trait which became a hallmark of what we might call scholar-missionaries, people who commanded not just spiritual but also intellectual authority. Liang freed Christianity from the assumed tradition that only foreign missionaries could interpret and philosophise the religion; he began a tradition of Sinicising Christianity that continues today. He shuttled back and forth between Guangdong and Malaya, preaching and baptising in secret and distributing the Bible and his