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Single Idea 21085

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 8. Religion in Society]

Full Idea

The church [as opposed to religion] fulfils a genuine political necessity, for it enables the people to regard themselves as subjects of an invisible supreme power to which they must pay homage.

Gist of Idea

The church has a political role, by offering a supreme power over people


Immanuel Kant (Metaphysics of Morals I: Doctrine of Right [1797], §49 Gen C)

A Reaction

I'm sure I remember Marx putting a different spin on this point… This idea captures the conservative attitude to established religion, at least in the UK.

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Political Writings', ed/tr. Reiss,Hans [CUP 1996], p.150

Related Idea

Idea 7128 Religion is the opium of the people, and real happiness requires its abolition [Marx]