All the Kingdoms of the World

New and radical religious doctrines, such as Catholic integralism, propose to replace liberal democracy. Are these doctrines true? All the Kingdoms of the World helps readers discern for themselves.

  • Offers the first book-length critique of new religious anti-liberal ideals and Catholic integralism
  • Provides a compelling narrative about the rise these ideas, rather than mere analysis
  • Develops an eclectic method for determining whether a given religious anti-liberalism is true or false
  • Explores questions within political theology by appealing to multiple fields, including philosophy, politics, economics, and history

According to a common narrative, the twentieth century spelled the end of faith-infused political movements. Their ideologies, like Catholic integralism, would soon be forgotten. Humans were finally learning to keep religion out of politics.

Or were we? In the twenty-first century, nations as diverse as Russia, India, Poland, and Turkey have seen a revival of religious politics, and many religious movements in other countries have proved similarly resilient. A new generation of political theologians passionately reformulate ancient religious doctrines to revolutionize modern political life. They insist that states recognize the true religion, and they reject modern liberal ideals of universal religious freedom and church-state separation.

In this book, philosopher Kevin Vallier explores these new doctrines, not as lurid oddities but as though they might be true. The anti-liberal doctrine known as Catholic integralism serves as Vallier’s test case. Yet his approach naturally extends to similar ideologies within Chinese Confucianism and Sunni Islam.

Vallier treats anti-liberal thinkers with the respect that liberals seldom afford them and offers more moderate skeptics of liberalism a clear account of the alternatives. Many liberals, by contrast, will find these doctrines frightening and strange but of enduring interest. Vallier invites all his readers on a unique intellectual adventure, encouraging them to explore unfamiliar ideals through the lenses of theology, philosophy, politics, economics, and history.

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Praise for All the Kingdoms of the World

“This splendid book has something for everyone. For religious conservatives who question the separation of church and state, Vallier offers compelling arguments against their integration, drawing from Catholic theology, Church history, and considerations of social stability. For liberals, Vallier offers a bracing view of a powerful current stream of anti-liberal thought that should shatter any complacency about taking liberal political assumptions for granted. For people of all religious and political orientations, Vallier offers a rigorous method for assessing political proposals that does not presuppose liberal principles, but can serve as a basis for all to engage each other in serious discussion. In our politically polarized age, that is a major achievement.”
— ELIZABETH ANDERSON, Max Shaye Professor of Public Philosophy, University of Michigan

“Kevin Vallier thoughtfully makes the case against post-liberal political doctrines, focusing on Catholic integralism. But he also pursues reconciliation with conservatives through his striking proposal for non-liberal charter cities within the framework of a liberal state. This book is a daring and original effort to adapt liberal political theory to a post-liberal era.”
—YORAM HAZONY, author of Conservatism: A Rediscovery

“Integralism holds that state coercion is to be used to forward a religion’s vision of the supernatural good. It is deeply statist and deeply illiberal; and, yet, it arguably follows from the teachings of Roman Catholicism. In All the Kingdoms of the World, Kevin Vallier does the great service of taking this position seriously—of presenting it with care, so that its attractions are plain. He also does the great service of showing why it nevertheless profoundly fails in its own terms as an account of a just, stable political order and how its failure provides lessons for the prospects of other emerging anti-liberal statisms. The book is intellectually invigorating, theoretically rigorous, and politically timely. I am grateful that it was written, and that it was Vallier who wrote it!”
—MARK C. MURPHY, McDevitt Professor of Religious Philosophy, Georgetown University

About the Author

Kevin Vallier is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University. He is the author of four monographs, five edited volumes, and over fifty peer-reviewed book chapters and journal articles. His books include Liberal Politics and Public Faith: Beyond Separation (2014), Must Politics Be War? Restoring Our Trust in the Open Society (Oxford, 2019), and Trust in a Polarized Age (Oxford, 2020). To learn more about Kevin, head over to the About page.