2008 Volume 18 Pages 67-83
This paper examines the seminal texts of primitive religious written by Auguste Comte and Benjamin Constant, and the political controversy between the Saint-Simonians and the political liberalists in the mid 1820s in order to understand how closely the religious studies and the political discourses were related to each other in the early 19th century France. After the French Revolution, French society witnessed both political and religious upheavals, and differing political views. It was in this context in which Comte and Constant turned to studies of the primitive religions that bore no relation to reality. What drove them to focus on the history of primitive relitions? Their religious studies concerned the contemporary political arguments instead of giving a historical account of the primitive stage of human being. The philosophical and political views of Comte and Constant represented Positivism(Industrialism) and Liberalism respectively. Comte argued a necessity of creating the modren spiritual power in order to solve problems associated with social anarchy of this era. On the other hand, Constant discussed a possibility of the personal religions in modern society and of liberal religions independent of authority. The former insisted on the scientific control of industrial society, whereas the latter was largely being influenced by the Enlightenment. Such arguments have been the subject of much debate even today.