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2/24/2018 10:06 pm  #11


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Okay, I found Anthony Smith on Wikipedia and then I found one of his books at Questia,com, an online library. (I have a lifetime subscription to Questia. Great resource; I recommend it highly.)

Smith describes nationalism thus:

Nationalism is the natural response of human beings whose social world, with its stable groupings, has collapsed; yearning to belong to a durable community, they turn to the transhistorical nation as the only available replacement for the extended family, neighbourhood and religious community, all of which have been eroded by capitalism and westernisation.
. (Ref: Smith, 1998, p. 97, Nationalism and Modernism: A Critical Survey of Recent Theories of Nations and Nationalism)

I don't see anything wrong with that. 

One of Prof. Smith's books is titled The Ethnic Origins of Nations. That is a pleonasm. There can NOT be "ethnic origins of nations" because one is a Greek word and the other is a Latin word that describe the same object! What is missing is that the Latin word adopted a connotation in later times, and that is "state inherent in nation". I mean the Latin word "natus" was used by the Romans as the Greeks used ethnos in Classical Antiquity. So NO, ethnicities do not grow into nations. Inherent in any ethnos/natus/race, as a single entity is a government structure. All living systems have a governing structure. The cell its nucleus. The animal body its brain. The Clan its chieftain. The nation its Monarch. This is throughout the animal world and in the social insect world. 

Ethically, we are to always use language properly and rightly. Prof. Smith was a classicist, I don't know why he would use two classical terms as if they were opposed. Words are tied to history. Change a word, one changes history and creates a disconnect. I don't like that. I know that is now common, but as a Christian, I'm tied to Classical Antiquity and have respect toward our common Graeco-Roman Heritage that is the foundation of Western Culture and Civilization. For a classicist in Dr. Smith's pedigree, to misuse those terms in a book title, is a little unnerving. The misuse of language is not to be countenanced. 
 

Last edited by Clinias (2/25/2018 7:50 am)


"We are not in the world to give the laws...but in order to obey the commands of the gods".
~ Plutarch, priest of Apollo at the Doric Temple of Delphi.
 

2/24/2018 10:31 pm  #12


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Clinias wrote:

Smith describes nationalism thus:

Nationalism is the natural response of human beings whose social world, with its stable groupings, has collapsed; yearning to belong to a durable community, they turn to the transhistorical nation as the only available replacement for the extended family, neighbourhood and religious community, all of which have been eroded by capitalism and westernisation.
. (Ref: Smith, 1998, p. 97)

I don't see anything wrong with that.

That doesn't tell us what nationalism is; it is a theory about why people become nationalists.

Even if it were true, it wouldn't tell us that nationalism is a good thing, and it doesn't rebut what has been said here about the problems with nationalism.

I don't think it is true. I have no idea to which 'transhistorical nation' I belong, and I certainly didn't turn to it when I felt alienated from modernity. When I felt alienated from modernity, I returned to the Catholic Church and became more involved in my local religious community.

 

2/24/2018 11:16 pm  #13


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Okay, I found a list by Prof. Smith:

"The ideology can be briefly summarized:
 1. the world is divided into nations, each with its own character and destiny;
 2. the nation is the sole source of political power, and loyalty to it overrides all other loyalties;
 3. everyone must belong to a nation, if everyone is to be truly free;
 4. to realize themselves, nations must be autonomous; nations must be free and secure if there is to be peace and justice in the world ( A. D. Smith 1973, section 2; 1983, ch. 7; Breuilly 1982, Introduction).
 These propositions form the 'core doctrine' of nationalism everywhere, at all times. They are the central tenets preached by the founders of nationalism: Rousseau, Burke, Herder, Jefferson, Fichte, Mazzini, Korais, and others. It follows that the modernists are right when they underline the modernity of nationalism, the ideological movement, dating as it does from the late-eighteenth century in Western Europe. (Ref: Myths and Memories of the Nation. Contributors: Anthony D. Smith - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 102)

Well, according to Smith that IS the definition of nationalism. 


"We are not in the world to give the laws...but in order to obey the commands of the gods".
~ Plutarch, priest of Apollo at the Doric Temple of Delphi.
 

2/24/2018 11:23 pm  #14


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Clinias wrote:

Well, according to Smith that IS the definition of nationalism. 

When I said "That doesn't tell us what nationalism is" I was referring not to the list from the OP but to the quotation in this post. For the purposes of this thread I have assumed that nationalism is defined by that list.

I would note that Smith does highlight there that nationalism is a modern doctrine...

 

2/25/2018 8:36 am  #15


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

"For Adrian Hastings (1997), the very act of translating the Bible into the vernacular turned the reading public into a 'chosen people'. By allowing translation of Sacred Texts from Hebrew/Greek into the vernacular, Christianity encouraged the development of ethnicities and pre-modern nations. It also endowed the latter with a new sense of sacredness attached to their collective identities by supplying a ready-made sense of God-sent chosenness. Even in a secular world, the most powerful election myth remains a Biblical one: ....

Firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian values, nationalism then spread outside Christianity in the wake of colonialism. It is through the mirror of the Bible which nations are initially conceived: 'The Bible provided… the original model of the nation. Without it and its Christian interpretation and implementation, it is arguable that nations and nationalism, as we know them, could never have existed…' (Hastings 1997: 4). In particular, the role of territory is comparable to that of biblical Israel (see also Grosby 1995). The concept of a Holy Land has been passed on to all significant nationalist movements, either civically or ethnically based.  (Ref: Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism: History, Culture and Ethnicity in the Formation of Nations. Contributors: Athena S. Leoussi - Editor, Steven Grosby - Editor. Publisher: Edinburgh University Press. Place of publication: Edinburgh. Publication year: 2007. Page number: 20)

Utterly fascinating. No telling what one finds when doing research. Here all sorts of people claiming that Christianity is incompatible with nationalism---and lo and behold, a researcher surmises that it was the Bible and Christianity in the vernacular that created nationalism!  Wow. 

Last edited by Clinias (2/25/2018 8:36 am)


"We are not in the world to give the laws...but in order to obey the commands of the gods".
~ Plutarch, priest of Apollo at the Doric Temple of Delphi.
 

2/25/2018 1:30 pm  #16


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Clinias wrote:

"For Adrian Hastings (1997), the very act of translating the Bible into the vernacular turned the reading public into a 'chosen people'. By allowing translation of Sacred Texts from Hebrew/Greek into the vernacular, Christianity encouraged the development of ethnicities and pre-modern nations. It also endowed the latter with a new sense of sacredness attached to their collective identities by supplying a ready-made sense of God-sent chosenness. Even in a secular world, the most powerful election myth remains a Biblical one: ....

Firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian values, nationalism then spread outside Christianity in the wake of colonialism. It is through the mirror of the Bible which nations are initially conceived: 'The Bible provided… the original model of the nation. Without it and its Christian interpretation and implementation, it is arguable that nations and nationalism, as we know them, could never have existed…' (Hastings 1997: 4). In particular, the role of territory is comparable to that of biblical Israel (see also Grosby 1995). The concept of a Holy Land has been passed on to all significant nationalist movements, either civically or ethnically based.  (Ref: Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism: History, Culture and Ethnicity in the Formation of Nations. Contributors: Athena S. Leoussi - Editor, Steven Grosby - Editor. Publisher: Edinburgh University Press. Place of publication: Edinburgh. Publication year: 2007. Page number: 20)

Utterly fascinating. No telling what one finds when doing research. Here all sorts of people claiming that Christianity is incompatible with nationalism---and lo and behold, a researcher surmises that it was the Bible and Christianity in the vernacular that created nationalism!  Wow. 

 
Isn't that tragic, however? The whole point of the Christendom was that people were first members of the Christian faith; national and ethnic affiliation were only of secondary importance. Frenchmen, Spaniards, Englishmen, Germanics, were first and foremost part of the Church and members of Christendom. Nationalism broke that. The nation always had secondary importance when compared to religion. That changed with the advent of the modern period, and thus "nationalism" became a substitute for what was previously reserved for the Christian faith.

I take nationalism to be a corruption of patriotism. And a distinctly modern phenomenon.

Last edited by Miguel (2/25/2018 1:31 pm)

 

2/25/2018 3:04 pm  #17


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Greg wrote:

I think you'll find that the thesis that all identities other than Christian identity are contingent and secondary to be a normative thesis. It is a claim about the place these identities should have in your life and not about the prospects for eliminating them. The thesis that Christian identity is primary is not a claim that apostasy is impossible. That some identities cannot be abandoned is irrelevant.

I find some of the posts in this thread duplicitous. First, people claim that a racial identity is "contingent". But when I argue that nations do exist. They say, this thread is about nationalism but then the very start of their posts begins with identity. That makes NO sense. 

They want their cake and eat it too. So somebody chirps up and says this thread is not about the question of nations existing. But then if you say national identity is contingent as defined as "happening by chance or without known cause; fortuitous; accidental:" meaning that nations do NOT exist. There seems to be a lot of mental squirming. On one hand nations exist---but on the other hand, a racial identity does not exist. You can't have it both ways. I find the duplicity on this thread unethical. 

Second, let's go back to Socrates. That a Christian identity has primacy and all other identities are contingent. But is that true for OTHER Nations that are NOT Christian?  Is that for Japan, China, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Israel? If they are not Christian---what happens to the "contingent and secondary" status of their racial identities?  How does that work?  This makes NO sense. 

I'm having a hard time understanding the closeted, narrow-mindedness of the Catholic thought on this thread that ONLY pertains to them but not to the world in general. All your rationalizations don't fit non-Christian countries. What happens now? 

What I am seeing is that Catholicism seeks to Rule over the Natural Order. Catholicism seeks to subvert and command over the Natural Order. Christianity has come into the world---and thus destroys the Natural Order. 

The Church has NO authority over the Natural Order. The Natural Order existed before Christianity and will exist after Christianity is gone. The Natural Order is not temporal, but Christianity is. When God ends the world, the Christian religion ends because its telos has been completed. The pull of national identity is strong.  I point to the English Reformation where the Papacy wanted to put the English under their thumb. The King and the English revolted destroying hundreds of churches and monasteries and killing quite a few Catholics. The Orthodox don't have that problem. Each nation has its own Patriarch. The divorce case was only window-dressing hiding the larger more significant factor that the English were losing their sovereignty to the Papacy. 

"As you may know, many young conservatives have left Christianity,” the message begins. “Although I was raised Catholic, I too am leaving Catholicism, as I believe it is no longer a healthy religion.” The young man’s name is Dan, and he explains why he is apostatizing. “The Church has become the number one enemy of Western Civilization. Soon the only people left in Christianity will be third-world immigrants and a handful of self-hating whites.” (from "The Anti-Christian Alt-Right" First Things.

European males are leaving the Church right-left-and-center. People recognize within the Church a globalist agenda. That Christianity has been perverted into a nation-killing religion. Nobody wants to be a part of that. 

Don't sit there and say "nations have existence" and then say, "one's national identity is contingent and secondary".  Is this about "nationalism" or is this about the existence of nations? Because what I read here is your duplicity. 

Christianity is a Religion---and has NO authority over the Natural Order. Jesus Christ is not at war with Himself. Christ created both the Christian religion----AND THE NATURAL ORDER. Christ did NOT send the Christian religion to attack the Natural Order. You guys really have NO respect do you. 

Last edited by Clinias (2/25/2018 6:20 pm)


"We are not in the world to give the laws...but in order to obey the commands of the gods".
~ Plutarch, priest of Apollo at the Doric Temple of Delphi.
 

2/25/2018 5:12 pm  #18


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Without having to point out how nationalism is a *modern* phenomenon, even for Asia -- therefore alien to traditional societies -- suffice it to say then that, paradoxically, it is a central part of European identity, precisely from Christendom, the fact that religious ties are stronger than ethnic and territorial ones. As Frenchmen, Spaniards, Englishmen, Germanic men, etc., first and foremost considered themselves part of Christendom, and only secondarily as Frenchmen, Spaniards, Englishmen, etc., then it follows that a coherent French, English, Spanish, etc. nationalist will have to uphold his historical tradition and hold that nation, ethnicity, and other accidents are of secondary importance to religious faith and the participation in Christendom. It is, paradoxically, what European nationalists should strive for.

Modernity has its roots in the revolt against the Spiritual Power, however, and in the exaggerated elevation of naturalistic and immanent elements (race, national ethos, etc) as a substitute for what was the transcendent source of order in traditional societies -- especially medieval ones. Unsurprisingly, nationalism reached its apex in the 19th and early 20th centuries. So no, thanks.

 

2/26/2018 10:03 am  #19


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

I am reminded of a story:

After years of one humiliating defeat after another, both the military and civil leadership of France were demoralized and discredited. When the Dauphin Charles granted Joan's urgent request to be equipped for war and placed at the head of his army, his decision must have been based in large part on the knowledge that every orthodox, every rational option had been tried and had failed. Only a regime in the final straits of desperation would pay any heed to an illiterate farm girl who claimed that the voice of God was instructing her to take charge of her country's army and lead it to victory. (Ref: Wikipedia pg on St. Joan of Arc)

"God instructing her to take charge"?  What?  God is a nationalist?

God is a Nationalist. 

Where have we seen that before?  In the story of Sampson where the Spirit of the Lord descended upon Sampson and began his career of ending the multiculturalism and diversity of the Philistinian/Jewish country. The purpose of God in this story was to break up and move the Philistines out of the territory. 

God is a Nationalist. 

I also remember the Battle of Myeongnyang (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Myeongnyang)

"With only 12 ships remaining from Admiral Won Gyun's disastrous defeat at the Battle of Chilchonryang, Admiral Yi held the strait as a "last stand" battle against the Japanese Navy, who were sailing to support their land army's advance towards the Joseon capital of Hanyang 
...
The actual numeric strength of the Japanese fleet that Admiral Yi fought is unclear; various sources indicate the number of Japanese ships could have been anywhere between 120 and 330 ships, though the low end of this range appears to be a count of actual warships and the high end appears to be referring to the entire Japanese fleet (including roughly 200 supporting non-combatant ships). Regardless of the size of the Japanese fleet, all sources indicate that the Japanese ships heavily outnumbered the Korean ships, by at least a ten-to-one ratio. In total 30 Japanese warships were sunk or crippled during the battle. 

Some 12 Korean ships defeated an overwhelming Japanese force. 

God is a Nationalist. 

Was St. Joan of Arc a Nationalist? Did this French Catholic fight and lead a victorious army, against English Catholics? The French look upon this event as a Nationalist event.

Here is French Traditional Catholics singing homage to St. Joan of Arc to save France from diversity and multiculturalism:Les Brigandes - Jeanne ( J'ai trouvé une épée )
https://youtu.be/Th4vipUPX2E


St. Sampson, King David, St. Joan of Arc, Patrons, Fighters of your People, Pray for us and our nations.


"We are not in the world to give the laws...but in order to obey the commands of the gods".
~ Plutarch, priest of Apollo at the Doric Temple of Delphi.
 

2/26/2018 6:31 pm  #20


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Nations existing does not entail nationalism. Nations may have found their model in the Bible, but nationalism arose in the 14th century when the Kings of France wanted to usurp all spiritual authority found in the Pope and proclaim themselves independent rulers.  The beginnings of nationalism arose out of an anti-Christian, anti-Catholic, and anti-traditional mindset that claimed political power should be free from spiritual authority.  Does this prove that nationalism in all its forms is incompatible with Christianity?  No, but It is pretty damning in my opinion.

It also is not a coincidence that France, the first nationalist country, was the first country to behead their royalty in the name of Democracy.  Nationalism seems to be a specific period in the evolution of liberalism.  The fact that "conservatives" now want nationalism as opposed to progressive liberalism seems strange to me.  Liberal democracy is the result of nationalism's failings (WW1and 2, in particular).  The same sort of oddity happens when Americans want a return to Colonial style libertarianism.  Why would recreating the conditions that led us here, with a much degenerated population, get us somewhere better the second time?

Without realizing it when I posted, Miguel makes many of these points as well.  I second his opinion.

Last edited by Brian (2/26/2018 6:33 pm)

 

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