"Is not modern democracy the finally-found form of the religion of Humanity?" (2007)
The Religion of Humanity: The Illusion of Our Time
is the first anthology in any language of the writings of the contemporary French political philosopher, Pierre Manent, on “the religion of Humanity.” The striking phrase comes from nineteenth-century French thinker, Auguste Comte (1798–1857). Comte coined the phrase and indeed created an atheistic religion of a self-adoring Humanity. In the aftermath of the Cold War, Manent observed victorious democracy interpreting itself in a similar framework. He took it upon himself to track this development, analyze it, and warn his fellow Europeans of its deleterious political, intellectual, moral, and spiritual effects. With conceptual precision and (most often) a sober tone, many contemporary sacred cows were gored. But in addition to cursing the humanitarian darkness, he also lit many candles of judicious political, philosophical, moral, and spiritual analysis. This anthology is thus almost unique in its subject matter, and certainly unique in its treatment of the subject. It is a rarity and gem: a first-rate work of political philosophy.