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Title: Religion and nation : an exercise in comparative political theology, with special reference to Christos Yannaras and Sri Aurobindo
Author: Smytsnyuk, Pavlo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 2241
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis is an analysis of the ideas of religion and nation from the point of view of their semantic overlap and interdependence. The principal argument of this thesis is that, from a theological standpoint, the line between the sacred and profane lies not where it has been drawn by modernity, i.e. between the religious and the secular or political, but within each sphere. The particular angle from which I am looking at this issue is that of modern nationalism. I challenge modernity's paradigm on two levels. Firstly, by analysing nationalist discourse and action, I claim that nationalism is far from being limited to what modernity defines as 'profane', but instead it often sacralises the nation, taking the place that previously belonged to conventional religion or to the pre-modern religio-political whole. Secondly, engaging theologically with Christos Yannaras and Sri Aurobindo Ghose, I argue that the Christian community is a holistic, profoundly political enterprise which, rather than identifying itself with the sacred, should also be able to discern and articulate the sacred outside its institutional borders, in the secular world of nations. Yannaras and Aurobindo provide resources for challenging modernity's paradigm, but also serve as 'test cases', where both modern and anti-modern paradigms coexist in tension. I highlight this tension through analysis of the construction of respective Hellenic and Indian (or 'Eastern') identities in a theologically dangerous contraposition to the 'West'.
Supervisor: Ward, Graham ; Flood, Gavin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Nationalism ; Theology