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Secular Powers – Humility in Modern Political Thought - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Secular Powers: Humility in Modern Political Thought

Julie E. Cooper


Genealogies of secularity have long depicted the secular project as one of self-deification – humans attack God’s authority only to usurp God’s place. Against these narratives, this book demonstrates that secularization is not tantamount to self-deification. The secular project is a project of human empowerment. Yet scholars have misunderstood the sources from which secular empowerment derives, and the kinds of strength to which it aspires. Thomas Hobbes, Baruch Spinoza, and Jean-Jacques understand that, if humans want to rule themselves, they must acknowledge their limitations. Thus, these th ... More

Keywords: Thomas Hobbes, Baruch Spinoza, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Secularity, Self-deification, Empowerment, Non-Augustinian critique of pride, Modesty, Humility, Secular subjectivity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780226081298
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226081328.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Julie E. Cooper, author