Sunday, November 01, 2015

 

Quotable: Separation of Church and State in Ancient China

[The] Qin [dynasty] had arguably developed the first secular state ideology but Shang [Yang] separated religion from politics, not because of its inherent violence but because religion was implacably humane. Religious sentiment would make a ruler too benign, which ran counter to the state's best interests. "A State that uses good people to govern the wicked will be plagued by disorder and be destroyed," Shang insisted.

Source: Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence (New York: Knopf, 2014) pp. 96-97.

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