Voegelin’s “The New Science of Politics”: Chapter Five: Gnostic Revolution—the Puritan Case

I won’t go into much detail regarding this chapter as it’s really just a case study of sorts that portrays an example of Gnosticism in society and the effort to re-divinize temporal power. Voegelin does this by looking at the Puritan revolution in 17th century England.

What is interesting in this chapter is Voegelin’s seeming assertion that all Protestant movements are Gnostic in one way or another. I’ve never considered that before and need to dig into that idea more to form my own take. One wonders if that includes the Church of England, which is pre-Reformation, but also Protestant.

Another noteworthy point which comes out towards the end of the chapter is that public order is impossible without a civic theology. This seems intuitively true, but again, I need to go deeper with this idea before agreeing with it.

Voegelin argues that the attempts to make Christianity into a civic religion are doomed to failure, as these attempts fail to understand what Christianity actually is, due to their Gnostic lens with which they view and interpret the faith.