Forum Philosophicum

Volume 28, Issue 2, Autumn 2023

Andrzej SłowikowskiOrcid-ID
Pages 355-384

The Dialectic of Christian Politics
The Kierkegaard-Maritain Model

This article suggests that the problem of Christianity’s involvement in the world of politics may be described as taking the form of a dialectic of Christian politics. This means that while the transcendent essence of Christianity is apolitical, the presence of the Christian message in the immanent world always brings with it political consequences and makes Christendom a part of political life. The dialectic is presented with reference to the thought of two key contemporary Chris­tian thinkers: Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) and Jacques Maritain (1882-1973). Both recognized the dialectical tension inherent in Christianity, but each found a different solution to this problem: whereas Kierkegaard denies Christianity any possibility of political involvement, Maritain concludes that such involvement is necessary for proper Christian existence in the world. The goal of this article is to uncover, on the basis of their considerations, a third, positive solution to the dialectic of Christian politics—a model that would demonstrate how the elements of the Christian ideal (transcendence) could be transferred to the temporal world (immanence), morally improving the latter without becoming falsified in it.