On the Origin of the ‘Private Sphere’: A Discourse Analysis of Religion and Politics from Luther to Locke
This essay supplements the recent literature on the social construction of ‘religion’ by demonstrating that liberal discourses on the ‘private sphere’ and the ‘separation of church and state’ originated in a rhetorical slippage between different uses of the word ‘religion’ in early modern Europe. However, contrary to much of the recent social constructionist literature, this essay demonstrates that the implemen- tation of the so-called ‘separation of church and state’ resulted not in an actual separation, but, rather, that this discourse masks the very real circulation of power from one institution to the other.
Keywords: Social Construction of Religion, Early Modern Political Theory, Privatization of Religion, Liberal Discourses on Religion, Liberal Political Theory, Separation of Church and State
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