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component of the ethical health of the community. I have suggested that British engagement in Africa – far away, emotional, rooted in action (ritual, even), transcendent of profane politics – resonates with the idea of a sacred core of state activity. I have also suggested that Durkheim’s ideas have an affinity with Hegel’s depiction of the idea of the good state – interpreting Hegel’s good state as an aspiration, or an ideal, separate from, and reinforcement of, the more complex real state. Throughout, the idea of utopia has constantly arisen – utopia as a representation

in Britain and Africa under Blair

from the ordinary, profane activities of human life. Like utopia, it must be removed from the real to avoid contamination. Africa as utopia This is the aspect of utopianism that this book is concerned with. We have looked at the nature of utopian thinking and explored two broad types which show the ways in which a perfect social life can be imagined. The argument I want to make is as follows. Most of us appear to need to feel a connection to a higher form of good than is accessible in normal human life. We do this by individually and collectively conceiving better

in Britain and Africa under Blair

only unnecessary but questionable from a normative point of view’ ( 2002 : 222), Habermas passes up the chance of constructing a confederal and multicultural middle ground between the sacred domestic space of well-ordered democratic societies and the profane world of international anarchy. His argument is twofold. Firstly, whereas Taylor develops the idea of a liberalism for

in Recognition and Global Politics

to the sacred. Durkheim recognises the significance of a connection to a pure good: the capacity to idealise ‘is not a kind of luxury that man might do without but a condition of his existence’ (Durkheim, 2001: 318). This connection to the good is what makes human frailty bearable. The believer is ‘raised above human miseries because he is raised above his condition as man; he believes he is saved from evil’ (Ibid: 311). For Durkheim, there is still a strong sense that the good is split off from human frailty – his separation between the sacred and the profane

in Britain and Africa under Blair

similarities with these non-Christian African cosmologies. Baptism might be the quintessential act of colonial enculturation, denoting re-birth into the new (white) family of Christ. Yet many enslaved priests of the enslaved saw in this the continuation of what they knew already from African cosmologies, that is, the significance of water as a medium of transmission between the profane and sublime

in Recognition and Global Politics
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and unsullied by baser human activities and passions. Hegel, as I have already discussed, suggested that the good state could represent an ideal, although it could never fully realise it, shaped as it must be, by politics. Durkheim, on the other hand, develops a notion of a sacred space separated from the profane (and mundane), formerly realised through the realm of religious life. Durkheim’s sacred space, like Hegel’s good state, is an essential ingredient to moral wellbeing – of the community, but through the community, of the individual too. Both, as I suggested

in Britain and Africa under Blair
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to come to blows, a puzzling state of affairs. A secular, pro-Western democracy, representing everything Iran despises, Ankara was positive that Tehran sought to export the revolution to Turkey. Ankara knew that it would be an extraordinary coup for the revolution should Iran manage successfully to subvert Turkey, a key Muslim state, a symbol of profane worldly rule, as well as a strategic and ideological adversary. Regularly and violently, Iran raged against the Turkish secular state, against Turkish democracy, and against Turkey’s blind

in Turkey: facing a new millennium

-giving role of traditional illusions—often labeled as myths—provide a basis on which a theory of emerging illusions during periods of change could be built. Mircea Eliade’s contributions in the The Sacred and the Profane23 are particularly relevant for discussions on differences between traditional and modern illusions, focusing on the way in which societies are organized along time and space coordinates24 while Levi-Strauss’s contributions in AN ANATOMY OF DISILLUSIONMENT Myth and Meaning25 are also particularly important for understanding the role of illusions in

in Revolution, democratic transition and disillusionment