Similarities Between Letter From Birmingham Jail And Antigone

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“Given your definitions of religion and politics, where do you see parallels, and where do you see divergences, between the insights of King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and Sophocles’s Antigone?”

When I look at King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and Sophocles’ Antigone, it is evident that concepts of religion and politics exist within these texts. Similarly, these pieces both contain elements, which I identify as my definitions of religion and politics. For example, King includes the rhetoric of religious figures (St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas) on the issues of just and unjust laws to justify non-violent law-breaking. In a similar way, this relates to my definition of the use of symbols and religious traditions, which shapes …show more content…

By looking at the part of unjust and just laws, we can omit St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas as the symbols and just look at their teachings in practice. With this in mind, we can see another parallel to my other definition of religion that emphasizes the practice of these teachings as a state of mind that “an unjust law is no law at all", instead of relying on the only the symbols or religious figures. Politically speaking, his use of the religious rhetoric puts him in the leadership position to advocate for the rights of the oppressed. Clearly, we see the divergence of religion and politics to effectively promote a …show more content…

For instance, King’s political call for disobeying unjust laws draws away from how I view politics of being the foundation of an amicable society. I understand where his stands are and where he justifies his beliefs. However, those who do not truly understand his purpose can choose to ignore the meaning of just and unjust laws and just commit whatever crime they choose to. If everyone justified their own definition of just and unjust laws then there would not be any legitimate laws. Fortunately, those who followed King stayed true to his rhetoric, but thinking about our society now with just and unjust laws, will be skewed and taken advantage of. Furthermore, Antigone’s actions displayed a “maximalist” view, where she argues with Creon that the gods do not agree with his decree, emphasizing “the conviction that religion ought to permeate all aspects of social, indeed of human, existence.” This is a divergence from my definition of keeping the components of religion out of every aspect in

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