Religion and Politics
Religion and politics share a common concern: the order of human beings in the social world in order to avoid the problem of chaos. If at least one definition of politics is the means by which we order our community and even our personal conduct through the formulation and acceptance of certain rules, laws, and institutions that oversee them, then religion has always had a political function by structuring the world—both inner and outer—in order to provide or enforce some kind of organizing order and meaning of the community. Dominating premodern or pre-Enlightenment concepts of religion and religious life was the notion that the individual was ensconced in a broader order of things, one ordained supernaturally that structured communal relationships as well as personal attitudes toward authority and social power by linking that order of things to some transcendental authority. Religion possessed a political function precisely because it served as the undergirding rationalization for law and the ways that social relationships were governed and organized within the community.