Religion in Politics: Socrates and John Locke Both Plato’s Socrates and John Locke concern themselves with the dangers that religion holds out for politics. This essay compares Socrates’ critique of the Homeric Gods and heroes in Books II-III of The Republic with Locke’s critique of the Christianity of his own day; with regards to the source that will be utilized in order to describe Locke’s own critique of Christianity, his missive – the Letter on Toleration – will be used. The next several pages will discuss what challenges each sees religion posing to political life and how each man proposes to address this challenge. For Socrates, the Gods are dangerous insofar as the Gods are shown in the works of the ancient poets as being...The end:
.....for Christian men to act with Christian charity towards their fellow-travellers within the community. In the end, the paper above has made it clear that both Socrates and Locke see challenges to political society by the presence of religion; they also see opportunities, too. For Socrates, religion can teach men and women to act in the proper fashion; for Locke, this also holds true, but he goes further in insisting that there should be a separation between civil affairs and the world of religion. In the end, both men are right. Works Cited Jowett, Benjamin, trans. The Republic. USA: Plain Label Books, 1973. Locke, John. “A letter on toleration.” The Constitution Society, http://www.constitution.org/jl/tolerati.htm (accessed March 19, 2010).