<html><head /> <body> <META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-16"><title>Not Dead but Sleeping: The Eclipse of Christianity in Academic International Relations</title><meta name="keywords" content="relations,christianity,arnold,Augustine,cary,charles,elwes,international,ir,jones,law,natural,politics,religion,saint,secular,theology,thomas,toynbee,"><table style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:larger; " align="center" border="0" width="50%"><tbody><tr> <td style="background-color:silver; border-color:white; border-left-style:none; border-style:none; " width="730"><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:larger; ">Not Dead but Sleeping: The Eclipse of Christianity in Academic International Relations</span></td> </tr> <tr> </tr> </tbody></table><br><table style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:medium; " align="center" bgcolor="white" border="0" width="50%"><tbody><tr> <td height="131" width="669"><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small;"><strong>Editors Introduction </strong></span><span style="font-family:Verdana; "></span><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><IMG SRC="auth_jones.jpg"WIDTH="80"HEIGHT="110" ALT="Jones" VSPACE="10" HSPACE="10" BORDER="0" ALIGN="right">How is Christianity reflected in the mid-twentieth-century writings on international relations (IR)? Charles Jones (right) answers this question by focusing on the philosophies of St. Thomas and St. Augustine. He looks at the influence these key figures had on Christian realists such as Arnold Toynbee and Herbert Butterfield, and asks why Christian beliefs were written out of later accounts of the origins of the discipline, particularly in Britain.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">For most of the twentieth century it has been possible for secular thinkers to disregard religion. The main drama appeared to be ideological, with 1989 marking the victory of liberalism over Communism. However, it is equally possible to view the period since 1968 as one in which the Enlightenment project--liberalism just as much as Communism--has collapsed. The postmodern era is then to be variously regarded as one of nihilism or religious reassertion. Indeed, recent years have witnessed renewed political activity at mass and elite levels within several faith communities. This in turn poses the question of new kinds of accommodation between religious and secular viewpoints in the public sphere.</span><br><br><span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>Thomistic and Augustinian politics</strong></span><br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">I'd like to focus in particular on mid-twentieth-century Christian writings on international relations, and in order to make these intelligible to a secular readership, a preliminary sketch of opposing Thomistic and Augustinian politics should perhaps be offered.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Firstly, the importance of the sovereign as head of a perfect or sovereign political community, responsible for bringing kingly prudence to bear in public deliberation, becomes clear when looking at Thomistic accounts of natural law. The enduring influence of this view is attributed to the relatively slow encroachment of regulation and law in the making of foreign policy, continuities between natural law and modern international law, and, in particular, the enduring influence of "just war thinking" in the nuclear age.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The rational and moderate philosophy of St. Thomas is offered in part as a reminder of its vital foundational role in modern normative international-relations theory, but also as a foil to the more apocalyptic and intransigent inheritance from St. Augustine. Christian realists of the mid-twentieth century sometimes drew an analogy between his late-imperial age and their own.</span><br><br><span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>The influence of Augustinian theology</strong></span><br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Envisaging the period following the Russian Revolution of 1917 as the beginning of the end of Western civilization, men like Arnold Toynbee and Herbert Butterfield drew on the technical vocabulary of Augustinian theology, showing a radical disregard for consequences and for the world, a tragic recognition of the human predicament and a trust in Providence.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Butterfield, in particular, developed a form of structural realism, deceptively similar to the later neorealist position. However, he and other Christian realists of his generation differed from the positivists, who are generally felt to have ousted them in the second "great debate," in grounding their structuralism in sin and, accordingly, looking to personality, historical understanding and free will, rather than to rational calculation or ingenious institutions, as means to overcome the security dilemma. The superficial similarity between neorealism and Christian realism, it turns out, conceals a great ethical and methodological chasm between the two positions, perhaps wider than that between secular normative theory and the Thomistic tradition of natural law.</span><br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><br> <strong>Arnold Toynbee</strong><br> <A HREF="1592_500.ram" TARGET="_blank"><IMG src="1592_Th500.jpg" id="3562" type="3" align="left" width="102" height="102" name="" url="1592_500.ram"></A></span><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Toynbee, most of you will know, was one of the founding fathers of international relations (IR) in Britain. He served as director of research at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in the interwar years and went on to be director of the Foreign Office Research Department during the Second World War. His work at Chatham House in the 1930s on annual surveys of world affairs went hand in hand with the writing of a multivolume study of history in which he developed a cyclical theory with civilisations rather than states or nations as the basic unit.</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Though not himself a Catholic, Toynbee conducted an extended correspondence with Cary-Elwes, stretching across five decades, and what's striking about this correspondence theologically is its strongly Augustinian tone.</span><br><br><span style="font-size:x-small;">A correspondence between Toynbee and Cary-Elwes</span><br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The following quotation taken from a correspondence between Toynbee and Cary-Elwes (an Ampleforth monk), from January 1940, is one illustration of the difficulty facing the secular mind when going back to the 1940s. Toynbee writes:</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><blockquote>My own expectation is that we are in for very great tribulations. These will I fancy refute rather conclusively the modern illusion that an earthly paradise, capitalist, Marxian, Fascist, it doesn't matter which, is just around the corner and that to run round and harvest this is the supreme end of man. In this way calamity will open the way for a return to God, but it will need the utmost efforts of all men of goodwill to get mankind to take it. </blockquote></span><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">That sort of tone is not often heard in international-relations textbooks or indeed in the history of the development of international relations as an academic discipline.</span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><br> <strong>Toynbee's thoughts on Reinhold Niebuhr</strong><br> <A HREF="1592_501.ram" TARGET="_blank"><IMG src="1592_Th501.jpg" id="3564" type="3" align="left" width="102" height="102" name="" url="1592_501.ram"></A></span><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Writing in 1943, Toynbee drew the attention of his correspondent to a recent book by Reinhold Niebuhr. I hope you'll get this book for the monastery library," he writes, "for although Niebuhr isn't a Catholic, he isn't--as a theologian--a Protestant either, and he has a powerful mind which knows how to put the fundamental and permanent problems of Theology in terms which modern man can take without watering it down or giving anything away."</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Moving from the general to the specific, Toynbee continued, writing that "the central theme of the book was a definition of sin as a refusal by man to recognise and accept his own finiteness, so that he tries to build a necessarily fragmentary and imperfect universe around himself instead of entering into the true universe that has its centre in God."</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The theme of the book came home to Toynbee personally because his attempt to make a harmony of his own life had fallen apart. This had been partly he supposed because he had, and I again quote, "tried to build pagan-wise round selfish desire, instead of round unself-seeking love."</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">What's important here is that Toynbee is using a technical vocabulary. He actually writes not desire but "eros" in Greek characters, not love but "agape" in Greek characters, which is often I think translated as "charity." He also writes of grace and the necessity of grace if one is to resolve this difficulty, and is clearly using the term in the technical sense of efficacious grace that's drawn from St Augustine.</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The point of these quotations then is to make clear the impossibility of understanding Toynbee fully without accepting this religious element in his thought. I think the same is true for most figures (E.H. Carr being an exception rather than the rule) who were engaged in debates about international relations in Britain in the 1930s and '40s.</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Now, the point of this is not to make a claim that the whole tone of this debate is Augustinian. The point is that, like Toynbee and Butterfield, each of these people has a register which requires them to enter into the texts and the religious beliefs that they shared. It is impossible to separate the nonreligious, the secular, texts from these people. To read their texts in a secular manner would simply be bad intellectual history.</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; font-style:italic; ">Copyright The London School of Economics and Political Science.</span></td> </tr> </tbody></table> </body></html>