[ Note that the area with least civic involvement includes Chiaramonte, the dysfunctional southern Italian city famously profiled by Edward Banfield in The Moral Basis of a Backward Society - ED]
Good points. The historical relationship between the Reformation and classical liberalism is often overstated. Here is an old poast I wrote that buttresses your point
It may be useful to split this off into a separate thread, by the way.
Very informative post, Mlad. I believe that Abe and I were referring more to the type of retrospective self-congratulatory statements made by 19th- and 20th-century Protestants who found in the libertarian frontier ethics of Americans a reflection of their own theology. The quote from Schmitt is, in fact, a response to Erik Peterson's argument that the trinity militated against any this-worldly political corollary to Christian theology (e.g., one God, one king), and that therefore Christian theology was necessarily apolitical in the sense that it could not provide structural or analogical legitimacy to any regime, contrary to the claims of Roman emperors, European absolutists, and Schmitt.
Luther's doctrine of the two kingdoms seems worthy of a closer look on my part. The point I wanted to stress is that regardless of whether a theology claims to be compatible with any given regime, it will necessarily become political to the extent that it demands specific types of behavior from men. Claiming, as Luther did, that religion should not impinge upon the sphere of secular power amounted, in his historical context, to a political doctrine that had real effects on the secular power of the Church.
You called me a papist, or something to that effect, but my intent wasn't to defend Catholicism. The point is that theology will always be mobilized in the service of the state, or some form of politics.
In closing here, I'll note that it's possible Schmitt misread Peterson. Your post reminded me of a blogger who made such a claim. In discussing Schmitt's Political Theology II , the author notes:
The American South really
different. There is however a narrow band of German Catholics in Georgia and Alabama and into Texas. Whatsizname from the Beer Barrel was in this group.
The Irish who settled in the Deep South often became Episcopalian, probably to enhance their social standing. IIRC, the O'Hara's in Gone With The Wind were Episcopalian. My mother's family included Irish who were staunch Episcopalians and settled in Savannah. I do not know if they were from Protestant Ireland. A not insignificant number stayed with the Roman Church, e.g., Flannery O'Connor's line.