For two thousand years they have lived alongside each other and not got along. With the rigor of a lecture at Sciences Po, where he is a professor, Jean Picq observes this couple – politics and religion– over the long term. Convinced that history sheds light on the future, he questions the work of jurists, theologians, and philosophers in order to understand the key points of this tumultuous tandem, from Medieval Latin Christendom to republican divisions, via the Reformation and the Enlightenment. In these exceptionally lucid chapters, the author revisits the major stages of this cohabitation between the temporal and the spiritual in the West.
In the face of the awakening of fundamentalisms and violent extremisms, Jean Picq invites us to re-read our history, to identify the key points that have allowed us to define new relations between the spiritual and the temporal and to see the triumph of reason dedicated to civil peace.