History, theology and the relevance of the translatio imperii

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    Abstract

    In his Sociology, Rosenstock-Huessy had argued that the translatio imperii was an important, but forgotten, Medieval Christian formulation which grasped that with the Church the aspiration of empire had entered onto a new historical path; the extinction that is the fate of all earthly empires need not be repeated if the powers of human endeavour are incorporated within a spiritual body (Augustine's 'heavenly city') for whom 'love is stronger than death'. This radical faith in the future has been retained in, and is indeed intrinsic to, the secular Western revolutionary consciousness. This faith also provides the discipline of History with an eschatological mission far beyond merely chronicling of the past. History inevitably shares the same theological and philosophical roots not only of Europe but the entire world. For the 'world' we now inhabit is what it is because of the outgrowths of revolutions and world wars that were initiated in Europe.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-18
    Number of pages14
    JournalThesis Eleven
    Volume116
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013

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