e., the kingdom of sinful earth; and on the other hand, the non-identification, the possibility that the state has a Divine function to restrict chaos. All this is understandable only in a period in which Augustine lived, and in which the Roman Empire and later the Germanic-Romanic kingdoms were matters of non-Christian power. Even in a period in which already Constantine had accepted the Christian doctrine, the power-play was still going on and the substance of the ancient culture was still in existence and was not replaced by the religious substance of the Church.
Now the situation changed. After the great migration, the Church became the cultural substance of life – that power which determines all the individual relations, all the different expressions of art, knowledge, ethics, social relations, relation to nature, and all other forms of human life. The ancient substance was partly received by Augustine and partly removed, and what was left in it was subjected to the theonomous principles of the Church. ‘ Now in such a situation one couldn’t say any more that the state is the kingdom of Satan because the substance of the state is the Church. So a new situation arose which had consequences not only for the consideration of the Church with respect to the state, but also for the state itself. How was the Germanic system related to the Church? The Germanic tribes, before they were Christianized, had a religious system in which the princes, the leaders of the tribes, represented not only the earthly but also the sacred power. So they were automatically representing both realms. This was continued in the Germanic states in the form that the clergy belonged to the feudal order of these tribes. A man like the great bishop of Rheims, in France, Hincmar, represented the feudal protest of a sacred political power; – political and sacred at the same time – against the universality of the Church. The German kings, who had to give political power to the higher feudal lords, had to give power to the bishops who were higher feudal lords also, – the Church called this simony, (from the story of Simon, who wanted to buy the Divine power.) This was connected with the fact that these feudal lords had to give something for what they received. All this was necessarily connected with the territorial system of the Germa ic-Romanic tribes and was of course something in opposition to the universal Church.
Against the feudal bishops and the local kings or princes, opposition came from three sides: 1) from the lower clergy. 2) from the popes, especially Gregory VII, 3) from the proletarian masses; which were anti-feudal, especially in northern Italy. The pope used them and let them alone again. The pope used the lower bishops who were very much nearer to the lower clergy than the pope, so in the name of the pope they could resist the feudal clergy of their own countries. This was the situation which finally led to the great fight between Gregory VII and Henry IV, the struggle which is usually called the struggle between Church and State, but this is very misleading, you shouldn’t call it thus. It was a quite different thing. First of all, “state” in our sense is a concept of the 18th century and didn’t exist before, and when we speak of “the state” in Greece, in Rome, in the Middle Ages, we should always put it in quotation marks, using the word from the18th century situation, which didn’t exist in former centuries. What did exist were the legal authorities, with military and political power, But what was the point of conf lict? It was not, as it was often later, that the states encroached upon the rights of the Church – this of course was their right – but it was a much more fundamental thing. Since the Church was the representative of the spiritual substance of the daily lif of everyone, of every function, craft, business, professi6n – it was all ecclesiastical in some way – there was no separation of realms as we had it after the Reformation, but there was one reality, with different sides.
But now the question arose: Who shall head this one reality? There must be a head, and it is dangerous if there are two heads. So from both sides, the clergy and the princes, the feudal lords, each claimed to be the head of this one reality. The state represented by the feudal order was conscious of also representing the Christian body as a whole, and the Church represented by the pope was also conscious of representing the Christian body as a whole, This was the fight. The same position was claimed by both sides, a position which embraces the secular as well as the religious.