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Lecture 82

EURO ST 10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 82: Freemasonry, Dialectic, Feudalism

European Studies
Course Code
John Smith

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Professor Smith
Europe Studies 10
Course Code: 24000
4 units
2018 Fall Quarter
The French Revolution
The Third Estate
Abolition of Feudalism
Rights of Man and Citizen
Some important ideas
A complex view of secularization
The simple view: religion increasingly irrelevant in public life, indeed in modern
societies in general
“God is dead” (Nietzsche) or The Churches are empty”
A process started perhaps in 1648
That may be true but does that mean that religious structures, institutions,
rituals, and symbols don’t play another role?
So in the more complex view of secularization, religious rituals, institutions,
ideas, symbols, wander” into other non-religious (secular) spheres
We might not recognize them as religious, but they occupy important
places in our society
The example of Max Weber
Who among us knows much about Luther’s (or Calvin’s) theology? And yet, it’s
core ideas get transformed into a work ethic that comes to be the spirit of
Are religious symbols and institutions necessary to create a deep sense of bonding
in an otherwise alienated society?
Is that what the brotherhood” of priests (and/as freemasonry) shows in
the opera?
Even the enlightenment, with its focus on reason and science, needs some kind of
symbolic glue” to bring people together
Egyptian symbolism?
Dialectic of Enlightenment”
General move of a dialectic
In holding on to one exclusive position in opposition to another, our
position can flip into its opposite (or/because it is thereby dependent on its
Karl Marx argued that precisely the success of capitalism would produce an ever
larger (and poorer) working class that would lead a revolution against capitalism
A contemporary example: A (white) police force that defines the black criminal
element” as totally other” can in fact itself become criminal by shooting innocent
black men…
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