In which sense can we still be called modern? Applied to the relation between the political and the religious, this question arises from an interpretation of different philosophies of citizenship (from Hobbes to Tocqueville). While the legislating will has totally withdrawn itself from the authority of the Good, it has also found itself divided between a universal will, founded on human rights (cf. Rousseau) and a particular will, differentiated according to the spirit of a specific nation (cf. Montesquieu). We are faced with a conflict: to the formal identity of the citizens is opposed the acknowledgment of their cultural identity. In which way then can theology act in the field of politics? The author suggests: hermeneutic distanciation and ethical excess.