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The Hyper-Spiritualisation of Justice

Our supposedly secular society has in fact hyperspiritualised the question of justice. Every claim to justice takes on an importance equivalent to that of a final battle between Christ and the devil, with good unambiguously on one side and evil on the other, along with all the apocalyptic fervor that this framing implies. But no human struggle can bear this divine weight. That way lies totalitarianism and making any means legitimate in attaining an end that is so pure, so noble, and so absolute. It is the logic behind the proclamation in "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" that in the advance of the Northern troops, "My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." It is the logic that led to the "Terror" of the French Revolution, with the guillotining of around 17,000 people, including many former revolutionaries whose convictions were subsequently considered to be insufficiently radical. It is the logic that led to the Chinese cultural revolution, in which intellectuals were murdered for their unwelcome views, to the killing fields of Cambodia, all in the name of creating a better society of the future, and to the various oppressions perpetrated by Catholic and Protestant states in pursuing the end of a properly Christian society.

CHRISTOPHER WATKIN
(Source: Biblical Critical Theory)

According to Watkin, at the root of this hyper-spiritualisation is the rejection by secular man of the biblical doctrines of original sin and redemption. In a world where people don’t regard themselves as sinners, they will only see themselves as pure victims and the others as exclusive sinners. If we add to that the absence of the biblical doctrine of redemption, life becomes a zero-sum game.  

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