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Time for something new

This editorial by Levy is interesting because it points out that the radical problem in France is neither Islam per se nor poverty, but rather alienation and the lack of a unifying ideal that can make it worth for young people to partecipate in society. Since 1789, France has been a country unified by the nationalist ideology of "citizenship," which of course was parasithical to the lingering Christian idea of a people. Now that the last vestiges of cultural Christianity are fading away, what is left is either the gay nihilism of the elites or the ideological nihilism of Islamists.

Reader Comments (4)

What could serve as a point of unity in a pluralistic society? That's the question everyone asks in my phil. classes.

November 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSanti

Well, I would say that the common wealth of everyone is the religious sense, i.e. the recognition that being human is being person, i.e. relationship with a Mystery (or you can call it whatever you want). In any case, however, the problem is not to have an abstract "least common denominator," but an attractive ideal that can create a people by appealing to the freedom of each one. This is the task of the Church and this is why religious freedom is essential.

November 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterCrossroads

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.


November 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSanti

The idea of citizenship existed well before Christianity. French revolutionaries borrowed that concept from the Roman republican tradition. See Simon Schama's "Citizens".

November 10, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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