Religion binds. Politics mediates.

“Religions bind people to one another and to God. They form communities…”

“Religions may create communities which are hierarchical or egalitarian, organic or covenantal. But at their heart is a vision of a unity, an entity, a whole. That is what sets them apart from our mainstream understanding of politics. Difference is where politics lives; but it is what religion transcends. Religion binds. Politics mediates. That is why what, in politics, may be necessary virtues – compromise, ambiguity, diplomacy, coexistence – are, from the point of view of religion, usually seen as vices.”

“Religion and politics speak to different aspects of the human condition: the one binding people together in communities, the other mediating peaceably between their differences.”

“The great tragedies of the twentieth century came when politics was turned into a religion, when the nation (in the case of fascism) or system (communism) was absolutised and turned into a god. The single greatest risk of the twenty-first century is that the opposite may occur: not when politics is religionised but when religion is politicised.”

The Dignity of Difference, p. 36