The Religious Nature of the City

Every city is religious by nature because the human person, and thus human community, is naturally, essentially, and unavoidably religious. Such a claim should not be controversial, but because we are tempted to see political culture in a liberal frame which pretends to religious neutrality or indifference, it is a claim which I would like to present at greater length than I normally would by dwelling first on the place of religion in the ancient city. By doing so, it will become clear that the ancient, and thus pre-liberal, way of conceiving the city was ineluctably religious, and so we must never ask whether a city is secular or religious; rather, the only question we must ask is whether the religion of the city is true or false.

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