Were the Habsburgs All That Bad? The Case for Supranationalism

Much history written about the famous Habsburg dynasty has been written from a nationalistic perspective and that has been consistently negative. Sure the dynasty had its weaknesses and failures, and fell mainly because of “overreach” and strategic mistakes, such as a misguided push into the Balkans, which sparked World War 1.

But the Habsburgs achieved much, showing the advantages of an overarching and cosmopolitan system. Hasn’t out of control nationalism been responsible for mind-blowing world disasters, wars and civil strife? An historian of the dynasty, Benjamin Curtis, speaks of “the small minds and restrictive confines of nationalism”. A loose and largely tolerant, ethnically diverse system gives us something to think about in today’s catastrophic world.

Are Science and Religion Compatible?

Alec Vidler thought so. This distinguished English church historian had respect for science, even though he accepted that it was seen by some as a dissolving agent upon religious belief. Vidler had respect for science. He argued that theology had itself to blame for not keeping up with the achievements of science (including evolutionary biology). Theologians (or many of them) had simply not done the same hard work and research as scientists had done.

Nevertheless science did not have all the answers: “…there still remain mysterious depths in the whole universe and in human existence which mortal man has not fathomed”. It was the function of religion to cast light on those mysterious depths.

Christian Belief(1950).